It doesn’t take any time at all. You just flip the switch and magic will happen. NOOOO, just kidding!
One of the biggest questions small-business owners have for social media is whether it takes time for it to start working for their businesses or not.
I can’t really think of an effective marketing strategy that doesn’t take time. Even if you have lots of money to spend on advertising, it’ll take you time before you fine-tune your landing pages and your ads’ calls to action. If you turn to SEO for a second, it’ll take you months of optimization and link building before you can rank for moderate keywords. If you turn to email marketing, then it’ll take you lots of time to build a list of targeted people, not to mention all the time and effort you spend nurturing and building lasting relationships with them. So why do you expect social media to be a turn-button solution?
Because you think it’s FREE?
The point is that all effective marketing strategies take lots of time and effort (if not money). If you want something sustainable that will continue to bring awesome results for your business, then you need to pay for that, and the only currency social media marketing accepts is PATIENCE!
The Difference Between Patience And Ineffectiveness!
When I say that you need to be patient with social media, I don’t mean that you should ignore the signs that it’s not working at all for your business.
Patience means that you are progressing slowly at the beginning even without necessarily making sales. I’ve talked about this in a previous post called “The Social Media Marketing Snowball Effect”.
I know that you only care about bottom-line (I DO!), but social media metrics like (audience size, reach, engagement…etc) are your only indicators that social media is working, especially at the beginning. Once you reach momentum, you’ll start seeing the leads/sales numbers you were seeking.
If you notice that your social media marketing efforts are ineffective for a while, then you should consider fixing your strategy to best meet your business goals.
So, Does Social Media Take Time?
Yes, social media will take a while before you start seeing significant results for your business. The great thing about social media is that you can’t game the system (like some people used to do with search engines). The only way it’s going to work for your business is for you to build lasting relationships with your prospects. The more you do that, the more your messages will get amplified, and the wider audience your business will be able to reach.
The time social media takes before it starts to work for your business varies from business to another. It varies depending on how big your goals are, how big and qualified your team is, how much budget do you have…etc? It could take couple of months for a small campaign and up to 6 months or more for a wider more complicated strategy. To help you save lots of time and accelerate the process, here are some tips for you:
1- Make Sure You Don’t Stand In Front Of Your Own Success
Yes you heard that right!
Sometimes the lack of understanding of social media could stand between you and your business’s success. If you don’t realize that social media takes time and effort, then you might end up changing strategies without perfecting any. Whoever you are working with, allow them to explain to you what social media marketing really is and why it takes time. You should also read industry case studies to see how successful businesses have made it through social media and how you can do the same for your business.
2- Don’t Step Away From Your Business
Many business owners step away completely from the social media marketing strategy when they hire experts to handle it. They think that by spending the money, they can step away and let the “Expert” handle it!
The truth is that nobody understands your business more than you do. Even the best social media marketer in the world won’t understand your business the way you do.
Remember, they’re social media experts, not real estate experts (if you happen to be a real estate investor). They know how social media marketing works and you know how real estate investing works. Only by merging those together, you’re going to get a successful strategy.
So don’t step away from the strategy. Ask questions, try to understand processes, check how it’s progressing, and I promise that it’ll work for you!
3- Hire The Right Person
I know that hiring could be a tough process for many business owners. However, hiring the wrong person could be devastating to your business.
The right social media marketing expert will help your business thrive in the least time possible while the wrong one could cost you time, effort, money and lots of frustration and disappointment. Whether you’re hiring a social media marketing strategist, consultant, manager or a coach, you should look at these traits from my previous post!
4- Spend Some Money!
Advertising is the fastest way to get you to that tipping point (critical mass) when you’ll start seeing bottom-line results. It’s by no mean a replacement for organic audience building, but it helps get the ball rolling. Starting from scratch is a pain and advertising seems to solve that problem so you can start with a small audience and work your way to the top.
Advertising isn’t the only way to build an audience fast. You can create and promote contests to build your initial following. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on either advertising or contests, a small (or even a micro) budget can produce significant results if spent wisely.
Anyway, spending money seems to be the closest thing to a replacement of spending time. So make sure you combine the 2 to get the maximum benefit.
So what are you doing to save time on social media marketing? Let us know!
Image Credit: mpclemens