Social Media is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

By now, your business is probably on social media, or you have a strong idea that maybe you should buy in. With over 50% of businesses increasing their time spent on social media, and a majority of those buying in looking to increase their marketing for increased sales and customer engagement, it is important for business owners to have tangible value for their efforts. But you have to be wondering: "How does this start to make me money?" And the answer is that it's very complicated.

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when considering social media marketing is not understanding where their customer base is. If you are spending your time investing in social media where you're seeing little to no engagement, you would be better off taking the time to zero in on where your customers are so that you don't waste your time and resources. Deciding on which platform you want use is tough, because only you know where you'll have the most leverage, but we have a couple suggestions here, here, here, and here.

Once you've determined which social media outlet will work best for your business, you have to understand that there are "hard" and "soft" benefits. The "hard" benefits like sales and lead generation are definitely the most rewarding and the easiest to justify. But they are also the hardest to come by. The "soft" benefits like awareness and brand recognition are not as tangible, but go a long way in growing your business profile. These soft benefits give your business a personality, a voice, and are important in shaping overall public perception. Capitalizing on this is a long term goal, but will ultimately hold more lasting effects.

If you are used to the quick, instant gratification of advertisements, then you have to readjust your perspective when it comes to social media marketing. Seeing the results of a social media means developing long term trust and relationships with your customer base through engagements, which could end up paying off down the line. So don't be discouraged if you're not seeing direct returns on your social media, but if you stay the course and continue to have strong engagements, you can built quality social media that will continue to give you a return.

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