I’ve been thinking a lot about how every small business in my local community can harness the power of the social graph to improve awareness or just simply to improve monthly revenue. I’ve been working with various small businesses here in Los Angeles on ways they can use the internet to reach their goals and one thing I’ve learned in using the tools the available tools is how easy it is becoming to drill down to individual customer preferences and actions.
Small businesses in any community have the ability to take advantage of the opportunity to intelligently market their services or products. Many of the pieces are in place to put together effective campaigns. Email services are beginning to provide social data along with traditional metrics and companies like CoTweet are enabling large businesses to monitor customer sentiment in the Twitter channel. But, there are still areas where development and improvement need to be made and I think those areas are in the bottom-up, business side of the equation. The top-down, consumer-side tools and platforms are being created but from the point of view of the business, the ability for any one of them to plug into a platform and gain the basic data needed to help make future decisions is an area full of opportunity for improvement.