Culture, not size, is key to your social business evolution

Is social business only for large, Fortune 500 companies?

Our answer: No. In fact, organizational size has very little to do with moving toward being a social business.

It’s about the culture of the organization.

To me, social business is much more about open communication between a company (or a nonprofit, an association, or even a government agency) and its internal and external audiences. Once the walls are torn down, customers experience a better relationship with the organization, leading to loyal customers who may even become brand ambassadors. It also allows for better sharing of knowledge internally, making for a stronger organization with happier employees.

Organizational size will affect a few things during your transition with regard to people, process, and technology – and you may find that smaller businesses actually have an advantage over their larger counterparts. One example: getting people on board for the change. Large companies often have employees spread out geographically and have departments that work independent of each other. Smaller companies usually are centrally located and have people interacting between departments, giving them a leg up on managing this evolution.

The process portion of social business is pretty much the same no matter the size of the organization. Big or small, these are some policies and training that needs to be implemented to get everyone in the organization on the same track before expanding their reach into social media. Even a one-person company needs to identify its social media “voice” (though there might not be a written policy).

With technology, there will always be a need for some basic tools; the specific tools used, however, will vary depending on organizational size and goals. There are a wide variety of monitoring, CRM, measurement, and collaboration tools out there that organizations can choose from based on their size and needs.

Social business has much more to do with the culture of your organization than its size. Don’t let your size hold you back from starting the process.