Tell me if you’ve heard one of the following phrases before:
- social media is free
- you only need to spend 30 minutes a day on social media
- social media doesn’t take that long
- just create a blog and a twitter account and start talking to people
I’m sorry to say that all of the above is 100% bullshit.
Let’s be real here for a minute shall we? Social media is an aspect of business, just like product development, customer service, or sales. As with anything in business you get out what you put in, this means that if want to spend 30 minutes a day on social media then your return is going to reflect that. Make no mistake about it, social media is hard work and it’s not easy. If you think you can create a twitter account and a facebook page and that you’re going to see people flocking to your site then let this be your wake-up call because it’s not going to happen. I’ll say this again, social media is a part of business, it’s not a game and it’s not about knowing how to send out a tweet or create a linkedin profile.
I had a few discussions over the past few days with people that keep saying “I don’t have time for social media so what do I do?” Well, if you really don’t have time for it, then you don’t have time for it. I’m one of the busiest people I know and if I can find time for it, then guess what, so can you. I don’t want to convince people to use social media and in fact I (or anybody else) shouldn’t have to. So yes, social media does take a lot of time and hard work.
Next, regarding expectations. There is no such thing as a “I want to rule the world in 30 days” approach to social media, that’s not a reasonable expectation to have so don’t expect that. Think about you’re asking for here. Social media is about building relationships, trust, authority, and a brand. If you can do this in just a few months then let me know and I’ll hire you, heck I’m pretty sure any company in the entire world would hire you. Developing and launching a full social media strategy is going to take anywhere from 6 months to a year, and this means researching, developing/creating, implementing, and using social media in various parts of your organization. Once the strategy is deployed and executed THEN you can start focusing on specific social media campaigns to deliver short term results. You can check out my post from a few weeks ago on rolling out a social media strategy.
So to sum up.
- social media is hard work and takes time, if you’re looking for something you can throw a few hours at here and there while expecting great results, then you’re wasting your time
- create and manage your expectations effectively, look for around a one 6 month to 1 year time frame for social media. You’re not going to see the results you want in 1 month or even 3 months.
Be realistic, have anything else to add?