Advantages Small Businesses Have Over Big Brands On Social Media

social media advantageSmall businesses can kick the ass of any big brand in a major way when it comes to social media.

You might never achieve the millions of likes and followers that they have.

Your content might never go viral.

But you can create a more personal experience for your audience than any big brand ever could.

You have the opportunity to build a much deeper connection with your customers.

How is this an advantage?

Through building these connections small businesses have the advantage of being able to generate better results from social media marketing compared to big brands.

Social media makes it easier than ever to get to know someone on a personal level. And everyone prefers to do business with those who they know and trust.

Building more relationships over social media gives you the advantage of a larger community of brand advocates who are likely to speak out about you and recommend you to others.

In this post I’m going to go into more detail about the advantages small businesses have in social media, and follow it up with a real example from a local business.

Before getting into how to build those connections, let’s first make sure you’re clear on the myriad advantages you have as a small business using social media.

Unique Advantages Of Small Businesses

As a small business owner, or someone who works for a small business, you know your products and services inside and out.

Most of your business functions are performed in-house, which means your social media communication is not being outsourced to a company that hasn’t experienced everything your business has to offer.

You know what benefits your customers are looking for and how to sell them what they need.

This kind of expertise lends itself incredibly well to social media marketing.

Not to mention you’re more accessible than any big brand, so you can run circles around them when it comes to customer service.

You have the advantage of real, personal interaction with your customers. You can solve their problems in ways that big brands can’t.

Social media is like a 24/7 customer service desk, and the big brands are failing miserably at responding to their customers.

Let’s take a look at a real life example of a small business rocking it on social media.

Here’s A Small Business Taking Advantage Of Social Media

Cafe Petit Gateau, a local dessert and coffee shop, literally includes customers as part of their social media activity.

This small business is run by a lovely woman named Yoshi, and she loves being social.

You can quickly tell that she loves getting to know her customers just as much as she loves baking cupcakes.

Being social is a huge part of the success of her business.

In addition to Twitter and Facebook, she has fully embraced Instagram as part of her social media marketing.

She regularly shares pictures, like this one, of her customers having a great time at her shop.

Throughout the day she also shares mouth-watering pictures of her fresh baked goods.


With social media she doesn’t just market her products, she markets the entire experience of visiting her cafe.

This approach is very engaging for current customers and inviting to those who have never done business with her before.

In between sharing pictures she takes time to get to know her customers better through conversations on Twitter.

As a result of all the time spent engaging customers on social media she has established her business as a leader in the local market after just a year in business.

She’s developed a devout following of repeat customers and regularly attracts new ones through great word of mouth buzz.

What lessons are there to be learned from Cafe Petit Gateau?

Key Takeaways From All Of This

Small businesses have always thrived on the strength of their personal networks and word-of-mouth referrals. Social media is a vital extension to that proven strategy.

With social media small businesses have the opportunity to create more meaningful relationships with customers than any big brand could ever hope to.

If you’re great at building customer relationships in person then that will translate very well over social media.

Make sure your social media content is media rich. Sharing lots of pictures is extremely effective at marketing the whole experience of your business to current and potential customers.

And the most important takeaway…

Embracing social media as an essential part of your marketing strategy can drive results for your small business and gain market share from competitors.

Next Steps For You To Take

Reach out to your customers and invite them to engage with you at every level.

Next time you’re having a conversation with a customer in-store invite them to connect with you on social media

Once you’re connected make sure to engage with them and keep the connection going until their next visit.

Repeat this process and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can build your network.

Have Your Say

What do you think is the greatest advantage that small businesses have over big brands in social media? Let me know in the comments section!

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photo by: pixelthing


  1. says

    This post is a fabulous reminder of getting back to some basics with social media. As you said, it IS all about the experience. But the experience is best the one that you want to provide for your customers. The one you enjoy that you know had attracted customers to your from the get go. Thanks!

    • Matt Southern says

      Thanks for the comment, Patricia. Glad I was able to remind you about the importance of marketing the experience. Customers will always remember how you made them feel, even on social media, so focus on making their experience a great one :)

  2. says

    This is such a great reminder that it really is about the customer and how we are willing to interact. The more we engage in a personal and effective way to more our customer will want to engage (do business) with us.

    • Matt Southern says

      Hi Susan, thanks so much for the comment! You’re totally right, the stronger your relationships with customers the more likely they are to stick around. They’re the most important part of any business and should be treated that way :)

  3. says

    Hi Matt,

    Small businesses definitely have the upper hand in dealing with their customers. Just as in your example – that lady connects and engages with her customers on a daily basis. Incredible!

    Starbucks has never done that with me!

    Social media has given the the little people a way to compete with the big guys.

    And it works!


    • Matt Southern says

      Hey Christine, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Yes, Yoshi definitely creates a connection with her customers that just can’t be matched by big brands. She’s just as much a part of the experience as anything she serves. I think some of her best customers go in to see her as much as they go in for her delicious treats.

      Social media is a huge competitive advantage for small businesses :)

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