Setting the Record Straight on Social Media Time and Expectations |

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Setting the Record Straight on Social Media Time and Expectations


Posted by on July 26, 2009

record-player-2

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
  • etc

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?

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  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Excellent post as it just about says it all. Those that expect to jump in and immediately be welcomed are naive and sadly mistaken.

    The first points are where people go wrong. Certainly you can spend 30 min a day on social media but it is a waste of the 30 minutes as think people will be waiting for you and your 30 minutes.

    Social media takes time and yes 6 months to a year to get become established with many, many hours is dead on. Social media is the buzz and here to stay but some do not realize the time and effort that is put into it. so mamy want instant results or they abandon ship. the only thing instant about social media is that it instantly takes up a lot of time. I retiterate to clients that it is a process that is a commitment and not a fad. You make the commitment for the long haul so you can get information that will add value and also share information to add value.

    Good read. Thanks!

    Suzanne Vara /@Lvadgal

  • http://www.thatdamnredhead.net thatdamnredhead

    Preachin' to the choir! I tell my clients I could recite sound bites like those above for them or I could tell them the truth, then ask them which they want.

    As far as the “instant results” false expectation — last week I had a guy saying, “I don't want to do twitter, but I want to do a blog, and probably Facebook, what's the ROI gonna be on that in two weeks?” I almost banged my head on my desk, it was like I had some kind of magical B.S. calculator in my head that made me pull numbers out of my butt. Don't tell me what you think you want to use and expect me to tell you what you want to hear. Tell me what you want, I'll tell you what you need, and we'll work together to work out a plan on how to go about getting idealistic results in a realistic time frame. He tried to say, “Well the other guy I talked to said he could produce ____ for me in a month,” and I was like, “Yeah, good luck with that.”

    • http://www.biketoworkbarb.blogspot.com BarbChamberlain

      I love a really quick read that gets straight to the important points.

      @thatdamnredhead–Yow. Did you ask him what “I” he intended to put in over the next 2 weeks to get the R?

      Ask the people who say they “don't have time for social media” if they have time for communications, PR, marketing, business development, customer service. If so, what tools are they using? What's the ROI there? How much time do those tools take before they see results?

      Just on the communications side, where I work–If they're doing great print ads and people are flocking in with their coupons, then that's working for them. Of course, that takes money for the repetition required to see results (and the places they're advertising are shrinking rapidly).

      If they're doing real media relations, it can take months to build a constructive relationship with good writers/reporters and see stories. (Ditto on rapid shrinkage–smaller news holes)

      They may be right that they don't have the time–if they keep doing things the way they've been doing them. I know (because I measure) that I've had thousands of clickthroughs to news about my campus and my university thanks to a multi-faceted approach primarily utilizing email (to the right contacts–not spammy stuff), Twitter, and blog comments. I extend our live community relations efforts particularly through Twitter and email.

      I'm doing less of other things because I'm doing more of this. Reallocation of effort to use new tools is just a reality. Are they still typing things with carbon paper and distributing hard copies? Putting news out on a teletype? Giving away green stamps?

      @BarbChamberlain
      @WSUSpokane

  • trishanders

    I think it takes that long just to get through all the automated spammers to the “real” people!

    Good article which I am adding to my pile of support material when I go to my managers with the whys and hows of using social media to make the organisation more accessible.

    TrishAnders

  • http://www.biketoworkbarb.blogspot.com BarbChamberlain

    I love a really quick read that gets straight to the important points.

    @thatdamnredhead–Yow. Did you ask him what “I” he intended to put in over the next 2 weeks to get the R?

    Ask the people who say they “don't have time for social media” if they have time for communications, PR, marketing, business development, customer service. If so, what tools are they using? What's the ROI there? How much time do those tools take before they see results?

    Just on the communications side, where I work–If they're doing great print ads and people are flocking in with their coupons, then that's working for them. Of course, that takes money for the repetition required to see results (and the places they're advertising are shrinking rapidly).

    If they're doing real media relations, it can take months to build a constructive relationship with good writers/reporters and see stories. (Ditto on rapid shrinkage–smaller news holes)

    They may be right that they don't have the time–if they keep doing things the way they've been doing them. I know (because I measure) that I've had thousands of clickthroughs to news about my campus and my university thanks to a multi-faceted approach primarily utilizing email (to the right contacts–not spammy stuff), Twitter, and blog comments. I extend our live community relations efforts particularly through Twitter and email.

    I'm doing less of other things because I'm doing more of this. Reallocation of effort to use new tools is just a reality. Are they still typing things with carbon paper and distributing hard copies? Putting news out on a teletype? Giving away green stamps?

    @BarbChamberlain
    @WSUSpokane

  • trishanders

    I think it takes that long just to get through all the automated spammers to the “real” people!

    Good article which I am adding to my pile of support material when I go to my managers with the whys and hows of using social media to make the organisation more accessible.

    TrishAnders


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