Well, extra time (possibly the biggest barrier), money (but really not much) and people. With social media being so time intensive, and best results coming from directly being involved, the barriers to entry get higher as a business gets smaller, but not insurmountable for those willing to put in the time, especially since it can be done at all hours, and some of the most effective times to connect via social media are very early in the morning and very late at night.

Creating content isn’t difficult. Take your most popular tweets and FB posts, or the ones you feel most passionately about, and use them to develop blog posts. You don’t have to write three pages; you don’t even have to write four paragraphs. Seth Godin is one of the most successful bloggers in the marketing world, and he writes in two- to three-sentence paragraphs. He’s a master at expressing ideas that are thought-provoking and easy to read. People are time pressed these days and content can be overwhelming, so make it valuable and easy to read.

Another way to get ideas is start commenting on the things you read, such as other people’s blogs and newsletters, media publications and anything else relevant to your business. You’re already absorbing the content and you probably have opinions when you’re reading it; go ahead and comment on those blogs. One benefit of commenting is that people will start recognizing your name, another is it gives you material for a blog post.

In the future it is going to be critical for small businesses to decide where they want to put their scarce resources so they can maximize their ROI. With the ability to be building relationships, trust and loyalty at your fingertips, at scale, and for anyone to do no matter your budgets, the question really becomes… can you afford to not to.

Jack Vincent, head of the sales advisory Focus360, agrees. “Consultants may not have a monetary budget [for social media] when starting up, but they do have time. A colleague used to tell me, ‘… but social takes so much time,’ and my reply was, ‘Yeah, that’s my marketing budget.’”

Yes, social is an investment of time. So start now and figure it out as you go… or you won’t have the reach and influence you want, when you need it. Later will always be well… LATER.