It can certainly be frustrating to get excited about bringing social media to your business and have it take off slow. You hear over and over how fast word travels on Facebook and Twitter, but word is still not travelling about your business. Your message is being sent into space and you are getting really good at one-sided conversations. I am sure you have asked these questions to yourself...how long does it take before I start seeing the fruits of my labor, when do I know it's working, and am I even doing this right??? Don't get frustrated just yet, it takes time and patience.
5 Tips for Social Media Patience
- There is no magic number. Some businesses can make an impact after a month...some after a year. It is impossible to give a concrete number because everyone's level of participation is different, everyone's message is different, etc. But in reality it is not about time, it is about participation. I would rather see you measure activeness in terms of "per/500 Tweets" vs "days since started".
- Set aside a small amount of time to be active. Not only on your page or Twitter feed, but on other's as well. Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing, recommends using 5 minutes each day to do nothing other than replying-to and retweeting people. Start some GOOD conversation!
- Don't be too sales focused. If you communicate like a sleezy used car salesman all the time, people have no reason to follow and communicate with you. Take an interest in what others are saying before promoting your product or service. If you catch someones attention through regular conversation, they follow a link from your profile. Talk about yourself sometimes...just not all the time.
- Set some achievable goals so you feel like you accomplished something. Don't make your initial goal out of the gate "I will have 50k followers in 6 months". Make your first goal something like, "I will send 100 tweets this month" or "I will reply/retweet 5 new people each day".
- Avoid looking at social media success in terms of volume. Yes, you want sales and interest in your business, but you can have the same amount of "business" success with 100 loyal followers as you would with 10K casual followers.
Yes it does take time, and we all know that time does not flow like water. But if you want to be successful in the social world you need to give it time. Not necessarily from a stance of 5 hours a week or a solid number like that, but understand that your success will come quicker if you are more involved. If you can only dedicate 30 minutes a week to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and so on, don't expect the world in 6 months. After real participation, you will get the hang of social media and you might even like it.
I am not a patient person myself, so I understand your anxiety. I check UPS tracking numbers 10 times a day when I am waiting for a package...So trust me, I understand your anxiety! If and when you get involved in social, take your time, have fun, make friends, have great conversation...then sell.