Anyone who works in social media will tell you that there is absolutely nothing more disappointing than a client who curtails his or her own success by deciding to stop investing in social media too soon.
Professor Ted Huston studied 168 couples for ten years to find out the key to making marriages last (and if you’re interested in the findings, you can read more here). For both good marriages and the ones that didn’t last, the average courtship length, or time the couple spent dating before marriage, was two years and four months. That’s the average, meaning that it includes couples who headed to the altar in Vegas after knowing each other for a month and got divorced two weeks later.
Additionally, Huston found that all marriages, even those that are happy in the long run, show declines over the first two years in marriage in the following categories: sex, overt displays of affection and leisure activities spent together. This reads as after the honeymoon period comes the moment of truth, when you either work through your problems or run away from them.
Shauna Springer, Ph.D, finds that well-educated people with successful marriages have a higher level of intentionality in all areas of their life, instead of leaving their future up to chance. Springer’s “well-educated” sample of women actually spent longer than the average dating their husbands before marriage (3.6 years). Additionally, this sample was committed to completing personal and professional development before marriage.
If you found this post when looking for tips on how to have a successful marriage, you’re in luck! However, it’s important to understand that social media is like a relationship in so many ways, and you’re selling yourself and your company short if you make decisions under any other impression. Social media is not a magic wand, and waving it over your marketing plan will not make every post viral and will not increase your revenue by billions of dollars a year.
What it will do is help to build strong relationships with your customers, increase your relevance to generations that you just aren’t reaching with other mediums, strengthen your recruiting process and potentially increase sales and define your branding. However, CMO’s and CEO’s need to be aware that this takes time.
There’s a reason SMC places high levels of importance on analytics, and that’s because if your social media is not working for you, it’s important to change it, not cancel it. Instead of assuming that if it didn’t work in the first two months it won’t work ever, assume that it will work harder for you the longer you work on it.
Remember when I mentioned that happy marriages are a result of intentionality on the part of the partners? If you have intentionality when it comes to your social media and strategy, have reasonable goals and know exactly what you want rather than having vague conceptions, it will make all the difference. Additionally, your results from social media may be short-term and tangible, like a purchase, or long-term and ultimately useful to company goals and relationships.
And like with happy marriages, it will take time for your customers to know you and trust you and share your posts on social media. With more digital mediums than ever before, users have to be picky about what they incorporate to their pages, which are truly their own personal branding. Stick it out, and share relevant content, and you will see results.
Image credit: CC by Jimmy and Sasha Reade