Typical lifespan of a social media campaign: You get on Twitter. You put up a company Facebook page. You blog. You update your LinkedIn profile. You wait.

A week goes by, nothing. A month, some activity, but no results. You quit.

The problem is that you can’t quit. Heck, you can’t even slack off and just post once a week. Social media is a medium you have to feed every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

People ask me all the time how I actually find time to work social media. I literally check in and post after breakfast, lunch and dinner and then I quit for the day (unless I see someone like Ashton Kutcher filming a movie in my friend’s neighborhood which really happened to me the other night!). 

I also find tools to streamline the process like http://www.ping.fm which allows me to post the same 140 characters to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (and many, many more). 

If you don’t have time to build your brand awareness, at least once a day for about a year, then don’t even think of stepping into the pool. It won’t work. Just as you can’t rush a new friendship, you can’t rush the contacts you’ll make (and you will) on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Think about it this way, let’s say you join your local chamber of commerce. You start going to meetings every week for a month. Then you go maybe once a month. Then you stop and you say, “That was a waste of time, I sure didn’t meet anyone interesting or get anything out of it.” Well, you quit. You didn’t even get out of the starting gate. You wasted your money. With social media, platforms are free so you’re not wasting money there. Wasting time? I don’t think you are if you’re participating in conversations and helping people learn what you know about your given subject. Having fun? That’s up to you.

If you plan on using social media this year to build your company, brand, service, or product you need to give it at least a year committment with daily usage before you’ll start seeing results. I would say things will start to happen within a few months, but a solid year is best. We’ll talk about how to measure those results next week.

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