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Is an Avoidance of Social Media a Common Fear?

by Tim Rimington | April 3, 2012

I believe that in some cases, an avoidance of adopting social media for small business is simply based on fear of the unknown.

Understandably, I still get a high degree of indifference from some clients whenever I mention the likes of Twitter or Facebook (with Twitter taking the cake). If you don't understand something, sometimes it's a natural reaction to shy away from a subject or dismiss it entirely as "irrelevant" or "stupid". I believe that most of that indifference is fear-based.

I recognise, too, that many business owners genuinely do not have the time to invest in Twitter. But I also know that we find time for the things that we enjoy, or the things that we believe will provide a return on our investment. So without attracting the ire of small business owners, I want to briefly discuss the subject of fear. If you genuinely don't have any spare time in your day, evenings and weekends, then you are duley excluded!

Many years ago I'd train people to become shop managers, and I'd sometimes come across people who were afraid to answer the phone. The fear, of course, was often about a lack of knowledge, a fear that by answering the phone, the person on the other end would ask questions that the salesperson couldn't answer.

Another common fear was about engaging people in conversation. That fear also translated across to face-to-face customer engagement. But more often than not, by increasing the salesperson's product knowledge, together with an increase in knowledge of the company's general T & Cs, the person would overcome their fear and go on to become a confident member of the team.

One of the techniques we'd use back then, was to have a person stand before a mirror and practice "answering the phone" or addressing a customer. Sounds "naff", I know, but it worked! So how can you apply this to overcoming fear of adopting social media into your business?

Concerning Twitter, the best advice I give is to jump in and get your feet wet. Here's what you need to do, and I guarantee that in less than a month you'll be Tweeting like a pro; within 90 days (or much less!) you'll be sending people to your website. This is a simple learning exercise that's suitable for anyone not already using Twitter.

Click here for the follow-up article » Newcomers to Twitter: 10 Steps to Assessing Whether Twitter is Suitable for Your Business

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