I came to a conclusion about lead generation and customer service while I was reading through “The State of Small Business Report” from Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. The report focuses on the development of small business and a section of the report talked about social media adoption. Social media adoption has actually doubled for small business over 2009 from 12% to 24%. However, that is not the interesting stat.

Based on the performance of Social Media image to the left it was rare when social media actually met the expectations of the business owner. This could be chalked up to higher expectations but there is an interesting dynamic that I recognized in the stats. The one stat that actually received higher than expected results was the collaborating more externally with vendors and customers.

This further supports thoughts I have had with Jason Baer and Brandon Prebynski... we talked about the concept of people laughing about social media being used for lead generation. The true value of social media is ingrained in communication through stories and customer service. We are talking about a communication medium where sharing, customer retention, and customer communication are absolutely… positively… king.

This also supports the concept of enterprise systems developing more social capabilities in the software helping corporate cultures market and communicate. Every facet of customer communication needs to be looking towards social as another way to speak values across a subset of people.

It is hard to imagine a world where every social media consultant is NOT talking about lead generation. However, we may be experiencing another shift in the way we look at social media.

By the way… small business is still increasing spending in social media. Let the games begin.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]