Businesses are all too often viewed as cold, calculating machines. For example, when you think of Google, Facebook or Amazon, do you picture a face? Do you feel a personality? Well, maybe. You may think of Mark Zuckerburg or Jeff Bezos, but are they really human?
No, but seriously. when you think of these behemoth companies, you undoubtedly view them as corporate machines--and that's exactly what they are. They don't need to personally engage with their customers because they have a monopoly on a commodity that is in high demand.
Neither Mark Zuckerburg nor Jeff Bezos personally engage with their customers online. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to ever find a means of contacting either of them personally. And this, precisely, is where these multi-national giants lose their edge: they do not have a personal relationship with their customers. Sure, they try to make up for this by inventing fancy AI algorithms to try to fool us into thinking we're talking to a real human being, but we're not dumb. We can tell when we're talking to a machine, Mark!
This is where the small business has a chance to shine. When you engage personally with people, in the guise of your brand, on social media, you effectively transform your brand into a persona. This can be accomplished by sharing or posting content that is, A.) relative to the products and/or services you sell, and B.) subjects of interest to your target audience. Finding the marriage of these two variables is crucial, and can only be done by rigorous market research on your part.