Will Social Media Transform Your Business?

crysalisWell here we are a week into the new year and wondering where ’09 will take us. The holidays are over and some sink into the doldrums of sugar lows and the sudden quiet that descends after all the family and friends go home. Others see this quiet time as a time to renew and plan for the coming year.
Which are you?

I like to get over the doldrums by cleaning off my desk, reading all the white papers and e-books I’ve downloaded but not gotten to, and setting up a game plan for the coming year. Reading likes this is invigorating. All these new concepts to absorb and put to use. New people to discover and connect with. New ideas flow and plans are made.

We know it’s probably going to be a challenging year, but there is also hope in the air. Remember that crisis has an upside and it’s innovation. When people are challenged they adapt, and often in surprising and new ways that change our lives. I read a post by Bruce Nussbaum recently that hit home for me. He says “Innovation died in 2008, killed off by overuse, misuse, narrowness, incrementalism and failure to evolve.” and “We need a deeper, more robust concept. “Transformation” captures the key changes already underway and can help guide us into the future.”

I agree wholeheartedly. Social media has transformed my business and the businesses of many of my friends and clients over the last year. It’s dramatically changing the way we communicate and even do business online.

Is “Transformation” the new “innovation”? I hope it’s more than that. I truly believe putting the power to create change in the hands of everyone instead of the elite will dramatically alter the our way of being. That’s what social media does. It allows individuals to be heard and make an impact in ways they haven’t been able to before.

We used to say in the early days of web business that the web levels the playing field between companies large and small, allowing them to compete in the same space. Then the big companies found technologies the small company couldn’t afford to differentiate themselves.

Social media levels that playing field again, and this time it’s actually an advantage to be the small company because it’s all about being real and personal and making connections at a personal level. Large companies have worlds of issues with this that the small ones don’t. They don’t think they can afford to connect on a personal level or they don’t want to open their brand up for discussion.

On the other hand, a small company thrives on personal connections and uses those personal connections as a way to grow their business and to get the word out about the quality of their service and product. Social media is an extension of how they built their business in the first place, and once they learn the ropes it’s a natural extension of their business for many entrepreneurs.

How will you transform your business in ’09? Will social media be a part of it? Tell us how.