Social Media and Content Marketing: It’s a Journey, Not a Race

Small business owners and entrepreneurs can often be impatient when it comes to watching their businesses grow. That’s understandable. Many have left good-paying jobs, with benefits and other perks, to pursue their dreams. The financial strain of striking out on one’s own, and the desire to see that dream grow, would make most people a little impatient. This is especially true when it comes to waiting for marketing activities to pay off. But, especially in the world of online marketing, patience pays!

We’ve often touted the benefits of using social media as an efficient and cost-effective marketing strategy. Unfortunately, achieving results in this realm does take time, particularly when starting from scratch. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg conundrum. It’s tough to build followers without good content, and it often feels like a waste of time to generate content for an audience of only a few. Results are not going to happen overnight.

However, just because social media marketing isn’t the fastest way to attract new customers, the process can be expedited! There are a few key tips and strategies that can help any small or medium business pick up steam on their social media marketing efforts:

  • Targeting very specific audiences with shared interests. This will help to ensure that your content is on track and meaningful to that audience. If you can get some lively discussions going with recurring visitors and contributors, even better!
  • Creating and sharing content that is unique and likely to be highly valued by that audience. You can get a head start here if you already have content available (e.g. through newsletters, brochures, articles or books you’ve written, presentations you’ve done, etc.) That content can easily be multi-purposed across social media sites, blog posts, e-letters, whitepapers, e-books and more.
  • Finding people/companies representative of your target audience and engaging with them. This could include having guest bloggers on your website or cross-promoting via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Social media marketing is a great low-cost way to get your message out, and when it’s done right, it can have some real staying power over the long term. It does take some patience to get going, but the cost efficiency and customer loyalty can be well worth the wait.

The key, again, is committing to be in it for the long haul. Brands that start, stop or stall fail to send a positive and consistent message to their audiences. That can be even more detracting than never engaging in these forums in the first place.

Consider how social media and other online marketing practices can be tied into your other ongoing communication activities. All of your communication efforts should work together, in concert, to achieve the results you desire.

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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