Blue Collar: The Forgotten Demographic in Social Media
One of my best friends from childhood, Steve Singlak owns and operates his own very succesful business. Steve is one of the smartest people I know, and the fact that he has become successful is no surprise. Steve was a straight A student at Mahopac High School, and as a result was accepted into prestigious Babson College. While there he earned outstanding grades and starred on their soccer team. Upon graduation he was recruited by PwC.
While I settled in New York City after graduation, Steve remained up in Boston. We would occasionally get to spent time together during his lengthy client road trips to New York City. After a few years at PwC, Steve got the entrepreneurial itch. This too was no surprise. Babson provides one of the most Entrepreneurial friendly environments for students in the nation. It was the business that Steve chose that may have been a surprise. While Steve was toiling away at PwC, a classmate of his had gone "blue-collar" with a wood flooring company, and was doing exceptionally well. Steve joined him, and helped the business expand from wood flooring to outdoor gardens, and eventually into stone. Fast forward a few years, and Steve recently launched his own company called Stone Farm based in Newtown, CT.
It's necessary to share this information because while on the surface Steve's company provides a blue-collar service - the management, business, and fundamentals are nothing but white collar all the way.
Which brings me to my point for writing this post. As leaders in the digital space (social media specifically) I believe we are under-servicing blue collar companies like Steve's. Many of us (Myself included) only want to work with the Geico's of the world. The fatal flaw of this model is that while Geico is great - real innovation always comes from small and nimble companies like Steve's Stone Farm.
They have a gorgeous Facebook page, active Twitter account, and most importantly a fantastic Pinterest page which really highlights the great work they do. Granted - I helped Steve and his partners start things off in social media, but they handily took it from there. No further direction needed. I didn't tell them about Pinterest, they did it themselves, and did it well. Steve is the reason why my company Drive Action Digital has a specific service offering where we offer set up, training, and then release. No need for ongoing execution, no need for Apps that cost thousands of dollars.
Educate, and allow.
So I encourage all of you social media experts out there. Reach out to the blue collar companies. They're smarter and scrappier than you think. And really isn't that the beauty of social media? That the small guys can create a splash just as big as Geico, as long as they're creating great content?
Social media is the ultimate field leveler. Is that even a word? You get the point.