To get ready for an upcoming presentation, I came up with a list of things about social media that scare small town governments, or roadblocks that keep them from participating in social networks. I think there are lots of similarities to small businesses.
- We don’t know what to do.
- We don’t want to lose control (of the message, the conversation).
- We might draw negative comments.
- We could run into legal issues.
- Does this create Open Records Issues?
- What will it cost?
- Where will we find the time or the staff to do it?
- This is not seen as serious business. We have important things to do.
- If we spend money to get help, we might face public outcry.
- Will there be any return on this investment?
- How does this fit with what we do now?
- Who will do it, and what are they NOT doing while they are doing it?
- What if we mess up?
- Why? What for?
- People will expect follow up and better performance.
- What if it’s a failure?
- The Mayor, Council, or the Public might not like it, or don’t like it.
- What if we accidentally reveal too much information?
- We don’t know the guidelines or rules.
- We can’t keep up with changing technology.
- What would we say?
- This might create jealousy when one employee gets to do it, but not others.
- We’re too small.
What are the Answers?
If you’ve tried to help people with these issues, what answers have you found effective? Are there some techniques that help get past some of these internal barriers?
I’ll do a follow up with some of the best solutions. I’ll be speaking on this topic twice in the coming months, so I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.