Almost 1/5th of all small businesses are currently implementing social media into their daily business procedures.  Some business are just getting started on it while others have been doing it for years. No matter which end of the spectrum you’re on, you can always learn something new.

Here are three case studies we’ve drawn from the pages of Mashable to help you zero in on what works and what doesn’t work in social media.

SteelMaster unites with Facebook. If you’re like SteelMaster, you might think that social media has no benefit to your business.  That was the mindset of the manufacturer of prefabricated steel buildings until they discovered the array of possibilities Facebook has to offer.  All that needed to be done was to find the connection between SteelMaster and the social media world.

Answer: pictures.  Facebook is an excellent way to show off their projects through posting pictures to their page.  It allows them to stay connected with current customers while also providing prospective customers with an idea of what they offer.

Twitter and Facebook also helped SteelMaster develop new leads and enter into markets in which they were previously unknown.  Exposure was created by posting pictures, but also customers sharing photos of their finished product with friends!

Lesson learned: social media can work — even for small B2B manufacturers.

@NeenahPaper. What happens when the phone conversations and in-person meetings you typically depend on fail to provide new customers?  It might be easy to just throw in the towel, but the team at NeenahPaper decided that social media was their way out.

By taking advantage of the ample amount of time their designers and graphic artists spent on the computer, the company stepped onto the Twitter train. Ironically, it was actually their sales force that benefited the most.  Twitter gave each sales person a brand new outlet in developing leads and forming new relationships.  Now, a majority of their business deals occur via the social media world.

Lesson learned: social media can open new channels for your salesforce to connect with prospects.

Butter Lane: A Social Media Connoisseur. Do you have a social media page for your business but now feel like it’s time to add one more?  What about seven more?  Maria Baugh, co-owner of Butter Lane cupcake bakery, has discovered the enormous reward social media has to offer.  Her Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Tumblr, Groupon, LivingSocial, and Foursquare pages all serve to enhance her business through customer relations.

Butter Lane relies on social media, like Yelp, to keep track of their customer service and manage it effectively.  Any review or customer feedback sent their way is considered with the highest regard and used to make beneficial changes.  Baugh says that she owes much of the success of her business to social media and the following created from it.

Lesson Learned: Social media can open up a dialogue with prospects and customers, and it can help you keep track of your customer feedback.

Those are just a few accounts of the success small businesses have had with social media.  I hope they serve as encouragement for your business and provide some inspiration to step into the world of social media, if you have not already.  But lets not stop there! We would love to hear more stories on how social media has brought success to other businesses.  Feel free to share any comments with us below.

Westley Philippi is a marketing analyst and writer for the 60 Second Marketer.