As a small investor I can vote but I don't do it. Official company issues are voted based on capital weight, so my voice is almost zero to compare with institutional voices whose hold million times more shares than I have.
But in some aspects (in particular dividend policy) my and institutional voices are equal weighted but institutions talk with company management while individual investors are often silent.
IMO, we should and can influence companies with good dividend policies (e.g. company with positive DCR from David Fish CCC list) and communicate them our appreciation of their dividends.
It takes only couple minutes to send email like this to investor relations:
I really appreciate COMPANY dividend policy and think that your company did terrific job for shareholders. I hope that Board will be able to increase dividends in future. Please pass this message to your top management and Board as a voice of small but long-term ABCD investor.
I did it couple times after company announced dividend increase.
I believe that in difficult times than company need to decide about dividends CEO, CFO and Board will count your voice and message like one above as strong as other voices.