The Biggest Social Media Obstacle for Small Business

confusedThe biggest social media obstacle for small businesses is this:

Unfamiliarity

When I talk to small business owners who are inactive on social media, I have found one big thing in common: they are confused and overwhelmed by the unfamiliarity of social media.

Social media is not intuitive. Anyone with a Twitter account can testify to this. Twitter language to a new user may as well be ancient Egyptian symbols. I remember when I first opened my Twitter account, I felt so overwhelmed and embarrassed, I actually Googled “how to use Twitter”.

Reminder: nobody was born knowing how to use social media. Nobody was born knowing how to use the internet. We’ve all had to take the baby steps necessary to figure it out.

I am a part of the first generation that was sent to computer class in elementary school. We learned how to play computer games at a young age, chatted with our friends on AOL in middle school, and had an active email address before we got to high school. And I’ll tell you something- even we don’t understand new social media when it is released. As we see networks like Pinterest, Google +, and FourSquare being released, even young people have to take those same baby steps to figure them out. As strange as it may seem, the playing ground is more level than you think.

I stress these points to small business owners because being intimidated by social media and technology will hold your business back in many ways. And frankly, it will hold you back as a leader and business professional.

Taking the time to understand how to use social media for your business (particularly, how to use it to boost sales and build a positive connection with your audience) is essential. It is a mistake to believe some people have an easier time learning these principles of online business. You owe it to yourself and your business success to learn which social media tools are right for your business and how best to use them.

Part of growing and becoming more successful lies in getting comfortable with discomfort.

Learning new ideas and systems is difficult and uncomfortable. Recognizing that discomfort and moving forward in spite of it is what separates the high achievers from the disheartened. Don’t be one of those businesses frozen by the fear of technology and social media marketing. Be brave and accept that you will feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed. Move forward anyway. Trust me, your business will thank you for it.

Have you ever experienced social media anxiety? What confused you most when you first got started, and how have you overcome your fears? Let me know in the comments below!

Stacy Rust

Stacy Rust is a marketing consultant focused on teaching business owners how to think like a customer. She helps entrepreneurs understand their target customers through market psychology and consumer behavior.

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