They say patience is a virtue. But when it comes to social media marketing, few are willing to take this mantra to heart. Thus it is no surprise that when NextStage conducted a study of 1, 700 U.S. and Canada-based businesses, less than 8% said they were satisfied with the impact they’re having.
Why is that? Well, many businesses dive into social media with expectations that are too high and a timeline for success that is too short. They expect too much, too soon. And when they don’t see that immediate change, they lose hope and turn away from the promise of social media marketing.
However, businesses should not be so quick to lose faith in the power of social media to help their business. Online efforts can pay off and social media has a great deal to offer. First of all, “Your social media presence and ‘social signals’ play a major role in your search engine rankings and have a major impact on your SEO efforts.” Moreover, the “most effective social media strategies are centered around providing value to prospective customers.” Social media is about building strong relationships with your consumers. “If your value has been shown to be dependable and reliable, then a long-term and monogamous relationship with your business begins to grow.” That kind of trust doesn’t happen overnight, but if you have the patience to work toward that kind of relationship, loyal customers will come back time and time again, and you’ll be able to see your business flourish.
Thus, while engagement is the most difficult part of building a social media community, patience is the most important. Building a social network takes time. It takes time to create content, to connect with people and to be discovered by others out there. While the day-to-day of social media management may seem arduous, people forget that social media is about working toward a larger goal, a bigger picture. They also forget, or may have never even known, that when it comes to social media, time and patience are critical factors. Those who write about the laws of social media always identify patience as one of them.
Now how long should a business commit in order to see real results from their social media efforts? Turns out, it can range anywhere from three months to three years to see your efforts on social media platforms pay off. It’ll be different for each business, but the point clearly is that waiting just a week, or even half-a-dozen weeks and expecting results simply isn’t realistic. Social media marketing is a long-term commitment and businesses should only dive in if they have the patience to stick with it.
So the question is: are you slow enough to succeed at social media?
By Katherine Pearce