I had an interesting conversation with a client today which made me think about a false notion within Social Media marketing. There’s a misconception out there that Social Media results happen instantaneously. The press is constantly focusing on overnight success stories, from viral campaigns to multi-million dollar advertising onslaughts.
Yes, overnight low budget viral videos do happen but they’re usually flukes, and so far no one’s developed a perfect recipe for them. It takes solid creative ideas, discipline, and trial and error to get proper results. The quantity of content distributed is also extremely important these days. If you can’t commit to making at least 100 videos for your brand, than don’t even get started; it really takes that type of dedication to build an engaged audience.
Any successful brand out there goes through years of trials and experimentation before succeeding – the creators behind Angry Birds are the perfect example. It took them 10 years to achieve their “overnight success” and very often that part of the story doesn’t get mentioned. Who wants to read about that aspect of their development; it’s usually depressing and makes the end goal feel unattainable.
So how can we be more reasonable with our expectations and still stick to a Social Media diet?
First – Social Media works – it’s been proven again and again – it just takes persistence and consistency. The rapper Lil B posted new videos every week for a year before making it big, and you’ll see the most successful campaigns put in a similar effort. Here are a few rules I stick by when consulting on a Social Media campaign.
1) Set Your Goals – With all my clients I set specific goals so we can have benchmarks – levels of interaction, traffic spikes, acquisition goals etc… Having clear goals helps monitor progress; it’s one of the most important steps that’s often overlooked. If you don’t know what to expect by the finish line, of course you’ll run out of juice.
2) Don’t get disappointed until you’ve hit the 3 month mark – Like any diet, set a Social Media routine and stick to it for 3 consecutive months. You’ll see the results, but if you don’t, you probably need to re-think your strategy. Remember, original content is always key – what is it about you that separates yourself from the online clutter? Is it a streamed debate show? Riveting controversial content? Get your audience excited about what only you can offer.
3) Focus on Acquisitions – If you’re just starting out in the Social Media game – focus on getting your community involved. Think of where your audience might be, start conversations with them, and get them to really understand what your brand is all about.
4) Focus on Content – Create original content – if you wrote a book, is there a way you can piece it out and reveal one quote from the book each day? Get your original content out there in an interesting and innovative format.
5) Amplify – Once you’ve created your content amplify it – go to as many mediums and platforms as possible to get your audience to talk about it.
Moral of the story: Don’t get disappointed if you haven’t achieved 4,000 fans after three months – that’s normal. Focus on having a loyal audience who cares what your brand is about and the rest will happen organically. Be patient and don’t lose faith. Happy Tweeting.