rules for social media social marketing best practice

I speak to groups of business owners every week and it never fails, someone will come up after and comment on how things used to be so easy before social media came on the scene. They say they don’t have time for social media marketing. I smile politely and say, “I’m sorry.” As if I, and not Al Gore, invented the Internet.

Running a business has always been hard. 20 years ago when I left corporate America to start my business it was hard trying to design and print my own brochures and business cards…I spent hours upon hours at Kinkos (now FedEx stores) pretending to be a graphic designer. It was hard making cold calls and getting past the gate keeper to get appointments….especially with a toddler running around. I had to learn to use web design tools as I created our first website to try and compete with larger firms that looked GOOD online.  I remember those early days. They were not easy. They were long, grueling, and very hard.

I could have hired someone to do those things for me, but as a start up, I had more time than money (not much more…but more). Once we grew the business, I could spend money to hire help. I look back with fondness on the perseverance I had to stick it out, or the boldness I had to submit my sad looking proposals to large clients, but never do I look back remembering how easy those times were.

If you are stuck today only remembering how easy times were to build your business, you were either one of the lucky ones or you have a warped romantic view (kind of like remembering the wonderful old cabin but forgetting the outhouse). Maybe business was great the way it was, but you have a new customer to serve. They are tech-savvy and have very high expectations.  It’s time to take off those rose-colored glasses, and sharpen your skills, because there is a new law in town and that law is written in 140-character tweets and has a Klout score of 85 and is kicking your butt on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.

Success does not come easy, so stop looking for the easy button. It takes hard work. It takes learning new tools. And it takes time.  When you complain that you are not getting the engagement on social media sites after 2 weeks of posting, just remember, you have ignored this community for 10 years, and NOW you have to do some time! If you’re not willing to do it, just know that someone else is.

Commit for the long haul. Commit to continuous improvement and life-long learning, and commit to starting today.

@GinaSchreck