Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Small Business Can Win with Social Networking

One can learn a great deal about the potential power of the social web by reflecting quietly on the comfort in service and social engagement from your favorite neighborhood store. A handshake, a smile, a conversation. Often, the first question being

"How can I help you?"

Strategically, a perfect question.

On Twitter, the question is

"What are you doing?"

For over sixty years, Anthony Dapolito (insert) managed his family's small Italian bakery with passion and compassion along Prince Street near Thompson. Anthony listened to the neighbors, whom often vented about something, somebody, or somewhere. He spoke quietly, offering advice, and over time, he became a man of local and social influence. He died in 2003, and the bakery continued to operate until this past February. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/nyregion/thecity/22vesu.html

There is a new paradigm emerging which will enable small business to leverage the qualities
of "small" to reach and service new customers via the Internet. The social web, and social
networks are going to empower the model. Small business will not simply appear as a store-front, so nostalgic and romantic. It will take form online, and redefine our perception of the "independents", and the freelance expert. The low cost of connectivity, and the abundance web-based digital content, offers an environment for small business to thrive. Storefront retailing
with its emphasis on touch, smell, and taste is being re-invented. The price of real estate for
storefront leases will go lower as the halo of Madison Avenue retrenches. Commerce will be
generated by a series of convergences and balances, online vs. offline, physical vs metaphysical,
social search, realtime news, and closer connectivity between the source of the product and
the customer....Stay tuned...The conversation begins now!


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