The Biggest Social Media Risk

We all know the excuses for not using social media – not being very good with technology, not enough time, and not willing to be that visible.

Of course, there are many more reasons why small business are not taking advantage of the opportunities that social media offers them.

What’s the biggest risk with regards to social media?  

For small businesses, it is comfortably blending in with the majority that are not using it.

It’s Time to Get Uncomfortable

Regardless of the types of marketing that you use, if they only elicit a response of approval – then you have failed.

You want attention – and that is not going to happen if you are doing what everyone else is doing.

This is why in my two plus decades as a small business owner I never advertised in the Yellow Pages. Why in the world would I want to be grouped together with my competitors? !

It’s uncomfortable standing out on the proverbial ledge by yourself – but its a great place to get noticed. People notice those that are crazy enough to take risks.  In fact, in our current culture, it is often applauded.

There has never been a better time to use social media, as the risks are measurable and manageable. Those that are accepting them are catapulting businesses into new arenas and expanding their spheres of influence.

Soon enough though, the use of social media will be commonplace and you’ll be able to blend in nicely.

There will be little risk – AND little opportunity.

Make Your Communities Think

In both online and offline social encounters you can seek approval – or you can get others to think differently.

If you can get your communities to think, you will be remembered – and that’s the primary role of marketing.

How can you get your communities to think?

Educate them about something they may not have known – and that is likely to be useful.

Ask good questions – especially those that suggest you understand them and their challenges and opportunities.

Be supportive.  This doesn’t have to be complicated. Just listen and seek to understand.

Offer to help. When you demonstrate you are willing to help you get people to think, simply because it is a quality that is often in short supply.

Be Yourself. When you actively share your interests and passions with others you accomplish a number of things – you remind them to do the same, and you add something original to the conversation.

What are the risks?

Your efforts to educate may not be wanted. Not everyone is ready to take action. But usually a few are, which is one reason why I hang in there and do what I do – such as sharing ideas on this site.

You may ask a question that makes you look stupid. Laugh at yourself and get over it. They’ll probably laugh with you.

When you are supportive and offer to help, you may be asked to take on more than you are capable – whether it is for free or a fee.

This is exactly why it is essential to know yourself and honestly share that. Making tall claims looks and sounds good – until you have to back it up.

What do you think?

Leave a comment below or share this with your community on with any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

Photo Credit:  Idea go