Small Business, Social Media

The Risks and Challenges of Social Media For a Small Business

To be social or not to be social. That is the Question.

Answering that question for a small company that offers any kind of marketing service can be particularly challenging. There are tons of articles out there about the befits of social media for small Business. For example:

However, just because there are known benefits does not mean that your marketing company should jump in with both feet, without first considering the associated risks and challenges of doing so.

The Risks of Going or Not going Social

Just like any decision has at least two sides to it, so does making the choice to go or not go social. All of the risks and rewards must be weighed to make the best decision for your company.

Not Joining

  • Loss of potential customers – Currently, in 2017, 81% of the US population is on social media. If your company is not on social media, you are potentially missing out on reaching 81% of the population.
  • Not seeming relevant  – Just like having an up to date website, social media profiles help a company to seem and stay relevant. Lack of profiles may give off the idea that your company is stagnant and not engaged with their target market.


  • Potential negative PR – Your company cannot control what others say about you on social media. Bad things may get said about your company. The only thing you can do is have a plan in place for how to deal with negative social PR.
  • Your social profiles represent your product – If your company offers marketing services, potential clients will look to your profiles to see how well you are doing. They may make their decision on if they should work on with your company based off of your social media presence.

The Challenges of Going Social

If you decide getting your business on social media is right for your company, remember, you may face some challenges, but they can be overcome. Here are three challenges you may face:

1. Upper Management Buy-In

As a marketer, you may understand why social media is important for your company. However, your manager or upper management (you know, those who make the final decision), may not understand this importance. It may take some education to get upper management buy-in for your social media program.

2. Putting Your Strategy Where Your Mouth Is

This challenge is also a risk of joining social media mentioned above.  Your social strategy represents the product that you sell. You need to make sure that you do for your company on social media what you would recommend, and/or do for your clients.

3. Resources

Proper social strategy takes a lot of time and dedication. From creating the content strategy, to posting, engaging and listening, the tasks build up. A lot of small companies have very limited resources to be devoted to social media. It will be important to scale your social campaign to the resources that you have.

If you have any experience with the challenges listed above and/or how to overcome them, please leave a comment with the information!


8 thoughts on “The Risks and Challenges of Social Media For a Small Business”

  1. Samantha or Shakespeare, that is the question! Such great information and an aesthetically pleasing format. The friendly tone and play on Shakespeare makes this a blog that captures the reader. Great work! -Stacey


  2. Samantha,
    I liked this post for one reason specifically the article on convincing management that becoming part of social media is worth it. I know of a couple of managers that,if there was social media then, would be very stubborn mostly because of ROI questions which your article covered. I think that even today that is an important issue, especially for smaller companies.


    1. Hi Bruce,

      I have run into my fair share of stubborn managers as well (which is partly why I included manager buy-in in my blog). Hopefully, if there is someone out there who is facing opposition the information contained in this blog about getting management buy-in will help!


  3. Interesting article. From your standpoint, it looks like the pros beat the cons in joining social media as a small business. 81% of the population actually seems pretty small to me. I thought it would be about 90%.


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