15 Obstacles in Social Media

Most social media discussions seem to talk about all of the benefits and opportunities available for your business, yet I can’t help but think that a lot of it is interpreted as over-hyped happy talk and not real business advice. I know some people perceive that social media for business is nothing more than vivid rainbows and magical unicorns creating a mystical cocktail of new business success.

I very much believe in the new opportunities for business with social media, but I also know there are enough cynics and doubters that there must be a realistic perspective on the very real obstacles with social media.

So, at the risk of killing a social media rainbow or two, here are fifteen common obstacles you’ll encounter with social media. Go ahead and get ready for them if you haven’t dealt with them already:

  1. Something you say will be taken out of context and misinterpreted.
  2. Someone will not like your view or perspective on something.
  3. You will feel like you have a lot less control than you used to.
  4. You will feel like your voice is not your own.
  5. You will go through periods when you don’t have anything to say, but you know you need to say something.
  6. You will go through periods when you have a lot to say, and you forget to capture the ideas.
  7. You will unintentionally say something stupid.
  8. You’ll be tempted to use social media as another sales tool and neglect it as a connection tool.
  9. You will feel the temptation to work on something easier but less strategic.
  10. You will get overwhelmed with the desire to deliver well in social media while maintaining everything else on your plate.
  11. You will want to outsource your efforts so you can relieve the pressure to deliver and still feel like you’re active in social media.
  12. You will be tempted to respond to something/someone in ways that you’ll later regret.
  13. You’ll want to promote yourself, your organization, your products, or services more than you should. 
  14. You’ll forget to say thank you to someone who helps you.
  15. You’ll have a boss or client want you to talk about something in social media that doesn’t fit the medium or your audience, and you’ll have to decide whether to appease them or violate the proper use of good social media.

You know there are going to be obstacles with social media. Deciding now how you’re going to deal with them will make getting over them easier. Everyone has plans for success, but few people have plans for obstacles. Why not go ahead and prepare yourself, your client, or your boss for the inevitable obstacles that will be in the middle of the road during your social media journey?

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Bill Seaver founded MicroExplosion Media in fall 2007 and has been blogging since June 2006. Bill has consulted numerous organizations to help them understand and apply social media into their marketing initiatives. He's led seminars, corporate training sessions, and numerous social media campaigns to include blog strategy and development, Google AdWords, podcasts, online video strategy, widget development, social media marketing campaigns, blogger networks, and social networking campaigns.