When engaging in any online activity we are accustomed to getting instantaneous results. Online expectations have been set and realized as the Internet offers immediate interactivity – with potential buying customers just a click away.

Although Social Media is an online activity, its true results and impact are felt only over time. Social Media when practiced best is brand building – requiring commitment and endurance. It takes time to build your credibility, influence, and community. No matter what your goal it’s not one that can be realized overnight. While patience is generally a virtue – with Social Media patience is a must.

You start by building your followers (fan base) first, and that requires consistent effort and relevant content. Once you have some fans the next step is to implement a Social Media campaign to increase the number of followers or fans, then once you have a sufficient fan base you will want to foster a greater level of engagement with those fans.

When at this more advanced level you will want to experiment, test and retest content and techniques to help drive deeper engagement – based on some conclusions from successes or failures.

Some find it can initially be rather frustrating as they bring social media to their business. At first you are excited about implementing it, and then you discover that it takes off slowly. Don’t get frustrated, focus on endurance – as success takes time and requires patience.

Social Media Endurance Tips

  1. Time Is On Your Side. Some businesses can affect an impact after a several months… others after a year. Different levels of participation and different messages per individual businesses make it impossible to set and predict any certain number. This it is not about time, it is about participation. A good measure for activity should be in terms of “per/500 Tweets” rather than “days since started”.
  2. Be Consistently Active. You or your media person/team (internal or outsourced) need to dedicate some time each day (or to a plan) to develop, post, retweet, and respond not only on your pages and feeds, but on other’s as well. Be interactive!
  3. Don’t Be Too Pitchy. If you always come across like a TV pitch-man people will not want to follow or communicate with you. Take an interest in what others are sharing before you promote your business. If you grab attention through regular conversation, they’ll follow a link from your profile. It is perfectly okay to talk about yourself occasionally… just not all the time.
  4. Make Realistic Goals. Don’t set your initial goal as, ‘Have 50k followers in 6 months’. Make your first goal simpler and obtainable, such as, ‘Send 100 tweets this month” or ‘Reply/retweet 5 new people each day’.
  5. Success Is Not Volume. You want to raise awareness in your business and be recognized as a knowledge leader in your industry and of course, drive sales – but you can generate the same amount of sales success with 100 loyal followers as you would with 10K casual followers.

You should enter the social networking sphere mindful that you need to be in it for the long haul – with the knowledge that this is not a sprint, but a long distance event. People will find you, but it will take time. Here at Everbearing we have personally witnessed client web site traffic go up (and down) as a direct result to their social media engagement level.

To be successful in the social world you, or your team, need to put it the time, and then give it time. If you plan to only dedicate a few minutes a week to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., you can’t expect the world at your door in six months. When involved in Social Media, take your time, enjoy the process, build your credibility and community, have great conversations… then sell.