Barriers to social participation and how I moved past them
What keeps you from participating in social business? For me, I was able to identify three things that initially kept me away, or at least kept me playing in very safe but now exactly visible ways:
- I feared saying the wrong thing: While my recent post on the topic covered this from a wider perspective, I had to come to terms with the fact that I might say the wrong thing (and often have) but that’s okay, so long as I accept and own my mistakes. Once I took that ownership and confidence in my words, I no longer feared saying the wrong thing, and embraced my voice.
- I have privacy concerns: Like most people, I like my privacy. I also recognized, however, that I would need to give up some of that privacy to become more effective at my job. After all, to build a reputation, you need to be identifiable. You’ll note my post on this topic from last week, which noted a few ways to maintain your privacy while still being active. Those are tips I’ve learned over the past two decades playing online and in the past 5 years working in social business. At this point you may find it laughable that as much as I share, I still consider myself a very private person. You can indeed playing in social business without giving up your sense of privacy.
- I saw it as just another thing to do for my job: While social business is indeed additive in nature as the point is to provide value to benefit the rest of your business model, it isn’t just another check box to say I did my job. More importantly, as an individual I stopped seeing it as another task to complete and began seeing a benefit from sharing my expertise with others: suddenly I became seen as an expert in my field, both within my company and more importantly in the public realms. Why is this so important? It can mean the difference between a stagnant job or a vibrant career. I also posted about this back in June as I outlined how to use social media to help you stand out as an expert in your domain of knowledge. The future is now, and social is one of your keys to landing that next job.
Those were my top barriers which kept me dragging my feet for a bit… and while I am sure they are shared with a number of you all as well, I also know they aren’t the only barriers to becoming active in social business. So this is where I put the call out to you for some discussion: What is YOUR barrier? What keeps you from sharing your expertise with others via social media? I’m especially curious for those of you in companies who are encouraging the behaviour but are still hesitant.