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To Engage Or Not Engage

I’ve been getting questions lately about why small business don’t use social media more frequently. A little more than a year ago, I got that same question on Quora.

Before I share it, let me just add one thought. Although social media is free, before engaging, you really should ask yourself if your customer is using social media. If they’re not, don’t start. You’re wasting time. That being said, if you’ve decided your customer is out there in the interwebs, here’s my response modified based upon recent conversations with clients:

There are a few factors that contribute to a small business owner’s decision to engage in social media:

People don’t know what they don’t know. Unfamiliarity causes fear and hesitation.

People perceive it will take longer than it does, and small business owners often feel like they are over-extended. This would be one more thing on the list to do.

Engaging in the online space can be daunting, especially if you have been used to running a bricks and mortar business. Sometimes, small business owners are trying to control everything to ensure their success. Social Media is something that occurs, and you have little control over it. Sure, you can influence it, but control it? You can’t. If a small business owners feel the lack of control is too much to risk for their business, they may step away from Social Media. Side Note: The conversation is happening with or without you. Just because you don’t participate doesn’t mean others have stopped talking about you.

These are a few of the biggest factors I see. What else impacts your decision?

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