Why Social Media Is A Slow Burner, And Why That's OK

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We live in a time of instant gratification, and although I disagree with the lazy/impatient/entitled millennial stereotype, I do think there are more innocent ways this cult-of-quick has seeped into the conscience of young entrepreneurs who are relying heavily on social media marketing.

I would argue that social media should be seen as a positioning tool over anything else (even a content diffusion system) to be used to the best of its ability. There have been some successful businesses that have seemingly exploded overnight thanks to a social media strategy based around virality and humour (A couple of good examples are Pink Boutique and Pussydoll Palace), but for most businesses, this success won't be emulated without a lot of hard work and dedication. 

So what am I suggesting?

1. Put out content consistently, but automate this where you can.

Sharing valuable content can be automated without being spammy, so long as it actually does add value. For example, consumers are more intrigued by a link to an article that is a guide to identifying the eras of vintage jewellery, as opposed to a link to an actual piece of jewellery they can buy. The latter is important, of course, but should not form the bulk of your content.  Nobody wants to be sold to 24/7 if they wanted that they would just subscribe to an RSS feed of Gumtree. Seeing shoddy Twitter spambots is one of the most frustrating things for me in the vintage world, and if sellers understood that this tactic does nothing for increasing their long-term organic reach, I think they could perform much better!

2. Understand that social media is a slow and steady build up and act accordingly.

Some businsesses don't put time into their social media at all, as they feel they have better things to do in the initial stages of starting up a business. That may be the case - but I beseech you to find the time! The longer you leave it before you start building up a presence, the longer it will take to catch your business up to the presence it deserves. Set some time aside, perhaps in the evening, with a cup of tea, and just dedicate a solid hour to writing a blog article or updating your scheduler once a week. It can seem fruitless, but consistency is key, and as long as you make sure to optimise your content to deliver value to your audience, it will be worth it in the long run.

3. Positioning yourself as an expert in an area can have other benefits

A strong social media presence is not just about putting your brand out there for customers, it's also there as a window to the world, including the press. Any content that delivers value to your audience, will probably also add to your authority on the topic and this is particularly true for guides, tutorials and case studies - so bear these in mind if you are in an industry where coverage on other blogs or traditional print media is important. Also, remember that being an expert in the eyes of the media and being called upon for quotes to article or features will add to your credibility in the eyes of consumers and build up that ever-important brand trust.

Finally, don't be discouraged if your business is taking a while to take off online - a consistent, considered and personal approach to it is the best way to go to ensure sustainability and a following of people who actually convert into customers and care for what you do!

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