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How Small Businesses Can Participate in the Social Media Game While Also Doing Everything Else!

(Assuming you already have a strategy with an objective defined.)

Small business operations have some unique challenges involved in participating in social media.

The challenges originate in the fundamental demand of authenticity: this is SOCIAL interaction and people want to interact with other people.  Businesses in general have the challenge of choosing what personality they will assume for the conversation as well as who will conduct the conversation.  Success requires that the person conducting the conversation be able to authentically convey the personality of the business.

In a small business the choices of who will conduct the conversation are few: the founders, a key contributing employee, a part-time person, or a contractor.   The complication is that in just about EVERY small business, the personality of the business is derived from the personality and vision of the founder or the current owner.   That is to say, the business personality is actually an aspect of an individual’s personality.  Taking on another person’s personality is very hard—we honor actors who are successful at this with all kinds of rewards: money or fame or Oscars are some examples.  So, hiring a temp or school kid to take on the personality of your business and communicate that to the world is just plain foolish.

The bottom line about who needs to be interacting online is that it really needs to be the person that is the heart, soul, and personality of the business—and that quality of authenticity is more important than quantity.

However, some reasonable quantity of interaction is necessary to both create traction and maintain relationships.  This is true in the real world, so of course it’s true online—after all, behind those avatars are REAL people.

Finally, to the main question: so if one of the key people needs to be doing the interaction, how do they find the time?  What do they give up so they can have the time?  Is it really worth their time – and how much?

The key to having a main (or the main) person in the business be able to participate in social media as well as carry on key aspects of the business is to look for integration points.

I’ll be covering method, timing, content, frequency, and leverage in the coming posts…

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