You’ve created your social media networks.  You have fancy profile and background photos. You’ve started posting content.  You expect to see immediate results. Not so fast! Social media marketing does not work that way.  While you may experience some immediate benefits when first jumping on the social media train, the majority of the benefits that come from social media take time. Social media marketing is a marathon.

One of the biggest struggles I see businesses having with Twitter and social media is that they aren’t patient.  They sprint out of the gates and run out of gas. I can’t tell you how many businesses I see start to utilize social media and then stop, which is crippling for a business.  These are businesses that will never be successful.  They simply don’t get it.  Social media marketing, in today’s world, is something all businesses need, and it takes patience and a new way of thinking to succeed.

Here are three reasons businesses get impatient and give up on social media too soon:

1. They don’t see the ROI:

I get this. The bottom line is…the bottom line. Businesses need to make money. However, it is impossible, no matter how fancy your tracking system is, to accurately gauge the ROI of your social media. You won’t be able to track all sales that are influenced by social media. You just can’t do it.  However, over time, the value will be proven.

2. Low initial engagement:

Very few social media accounts will experience high engagement from the get go. It takes time.  Growing followers, getting those followers to notice your content, and then getting them to engage is a process.  Social media engagement is like pushing a snowball uphill; it takes time, you need to grow momentum, but once you do, that snowball grows quick and engagement follows. Don’t get caught up on the numbers early.  Engagement and followers will come in time.

3. Cash-strapped:

I see some businesses that are experiencing some financial hardships, sales are down, and so they throw some money at social media as a last-ditch effort. That inevitably fails. Social media marketing is something that should be a part of any healthy marketing budget. If you’re looking to throw out a “hail marry,” social media marketing is not your best bet. If you understand the importance of investing in marketing, in investing in growing your brand, and have a vision to grow and sustain and healthy thriving business, then social media marketing is a must.  If you’re down to your last dollars, don’t expect to sprint into social media and expect it to save the world. You’ll crash and burn.

You get it now, social media is a marathon.

So, how do you succeed in this social media marketing marathon?  I’ve broken it down to three steps.

3 Steps to Acing the Social Media Marketing Marathon

1. Create a plan:

When I train for a marathon, I need a training plan and the same is true for social media marketing. You need to create a plan that will help you reach your goals and grow your brand. Make it as detailed as possible.

2. Work your plan consistently and relentlessly:

You have a plan, now work it and stick to it. Don’t start changing things. Don’t take days off. Work your plan. Social media marketing takes consistency to be successful.

3. Realize that social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint:

Don’t expect immediate returns. Don’t get caught up trying to measure ROI. Keep working your plan and your consistency and commitment to social media marketing will allow you to dominate your social media marketing marathon.

I understand that social media marketing can seem overwhelming.  That is why there are people like me and companies out there like ARCH Digital Agency to help you.  When I train for my marathons, I do it by myself.  However, most people aren’t like me. Most people join a running group or hire a training coach.  You or your business might not be able to succeed in the social media marketing marathon by yourself, and that is okay. Marathons aren’t easy.  Reach out to people who can help you.

Social Media Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Go lace up your shoes, create your plan, stick to that plan, and run a good consistent race. You’ve got this!


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