Growing Your Social Media Channel Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Although I’ve been in this industry awhile, I still have to remind myself of this. It’s frustrating to refresh, and see the total hearts, likes, faves, whatever tick up at an insanely slow rate. Doubly so when I hear about all those seemingly overnight successes. How unfair that they get all these likes, hearts and faves when I’ve worked so hard!

Going viral is a lightning in a bottle deal. It’s ridiculously rare, and it’s not something that can be engineered. At all. It’s pure luck. A famous person happens to see a marginally interesting content, and boom, the entire world is talking about it.

Slight tangent: Once in awhile, I’ll see a job posting for social media manager/content manager/etc. and one of the requirements is “creates viral material.” That makes me roll my eyes. Because going viral is like hitting the lottery.

Your social media channels are increasingly important. More and more people are using them instead of coming in person, calling or emailing because it’s convenient. Because they want to talk to you in a public space without actually coming to your place of business. They want to have meaningful conversations in 240 characters or less. They want problems solved conveniently. Answers given.

And you should want that, too. It’s a chance to show off your customer service prowess. It humanizes your business. It’s a way to quickly and efficiently show people that you know your stuff and establish yourselves as an authority in your field. And most important: it’s a way to find new customers and convert leads to sales.

Here’s the secret to creating a successful, growing social media channel. It’s hard work. It takes time. A lot of patience. A lot of energy and effort. You can’t just “build it and they’ll come.” You need to be making great content and going, “hey, guys! I’m here! I have great stuff!” It slowly builds. One guy likes your stuff, and his friends see it. “Hey, this channel has an interesting Instagram channel, check it out!”

Depending on the type of business you have, sometimes it’s slow as snails. There are ways to speed the process along, but it’s not going to happen overnight.