Social media promotion – staying focused on the effort

Social media is a platform that is somewhat different from the traditional marketing ways; it is different and yet similar. And if the above statement sounds so common and confusing, I will hopefully provide some explanation in the next few paras where the above statement will become clearer.
Social media is another form of marketing, some of the rules are different; what works can be different from previous marketing methods and the speed at which it works can be bewildering for those unused to the dynamics of social media and the digital media on which it is based. A post (article / video / etc) can become viral and be seen by millions within a couple of days, and in another few days, totally fall of the map with very few views after that. But getting something to be viral is extremely difficult, some of it being luck, and some requiring a huge amount of effort (the luck comes in when somebody who is putting almost no effort finds that their post has gone viral – for example, something cute by a baby, or something intelligent done by a dog or another animal, or something stupid done by an adult, all of these are examples of stuff that has gone viral very quickly). And there are campaigns by regular marketing agencies that take a lot of sustained effort, putting dollars behind it on social networks, getting a lot of people to promote such post and so on.
But for most people, this concept of something being viral is not something that is easily achievable (if you have a regular post or article, the chance of it getting viral is very unlikely; if you consider the millions of posts that go on social networks, and how many of them go viral, you will have an idea of how difficult it is). What is more likely is that, over a period of time, you will be able to ensure your posts or articles or videos or whatever reaches a higher number of people, not with an explosive growth, but steady sustained growth. If you are able to get that to happen, then you should consider your strategy to have been successful.
And what is the strategy; well, in some previous posts, we have talked about how you need to track which social network works best for the users you want to reach, keep in touch with how social networks change the way they handle posts or articles and change your strategy accordingly. Another basic need of such a campaign is to ensure that you keep at it. Unless you have the kind of resources to suddenly pump money into your campaigns when there is a need, the basic premise of your strategy has to be regular at your promotions, treat it as a part of the everyday effort rather than something to be done in fits and bursts. This sounds something very simple to implement, but you would not believe the number of people who decide to have a social network promotion strategy, do all out for a few days or weeks, then sit back and think about the effort they are putting in and whether the returns are worth it or not. A strategy which uses social media as one of the key proponents for marketing outreach needs a sustained time to become successful, with some proponents arguing that it could take upto 6 months before some positive effects can be seen. And the concept of success through use of social media is about the number of people who start following your social media identities, and whether this number keeps on increasing. More people follow your campaign identity on twitter, more followers for the Facebook page for the business, and so on. If you put in a lot of effort for a few days and then go slow for a week or so and do this kind of irregular push, you are less likely to gain the increasing traction you are aiming to achieve.

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