What stops companies from using social media?

What stops us doing things? What is it that means we say ‘I don’t think that is a sensible way forward’? How can we overcome these barriers?

I have had a chance to speak to some teenagers about their use of social media, what concerns they have and what they feel it gives them. I also had the chance to talk to a whole range of agencies who were considering how they use the new technology. The key element is that we often shy away from trying new things because we are concerned about failures.

Some companies and businesses have failed to grasp the opportunities of social networking because they can’t accept that they may get things wrong. It means they remain on the sidelines watching others jump in. It was something the teenagers weren’t worried about. Their approach was very liberating it was just another way of communicating.

Obviously it is important that they do understand the risks which was why we were working with them. They were helping with some work to raise awareness of the problems of online bullying, fraud and revealing too much personal information. Surprisingly, they did understand a lot of these issues and were still not put off from making full use of social networking.

So why is it that businesses can’t take the leap and take some calculated risks? We will never make improvements if we aren’t prepared to do things differently and see what results that brings. The more we remain in the past the more out of touch we become and in a world of big business that is a fundamental error. Because as you sit on the side and worry about the risks your competitors may be taking full advantage of the opportunities.

Perhaps it is time to take a deep breath, ensure the plans are in place, feel the fear and do it anyway. What have you got to lose?

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