After a year of serious dedication to Twitter and 8 months of blogging at least twice a week I have racked up 3899 tweets and 76 blog posts.
I have 1276 followers (909 of whom I follow back) and have built up a reliable, knowledgable and friendly network by visiting events like #EdCM and #themeet140. I even have my own #smclinic which always draws a modest crowd.
I bang on about engagement and tone-of-voice. I pontificate about the best way to manage your relationship with followers and advocates. Sometimes I even tell you what I don’t think you should be doing.
I get comments, retweets and #ffs on a regular basis from people whose work I greatly respect. People’s whose opinions count in my line of business.
With all that said, I bet it’d surprise you to learn that I am only just, now, beginning to get business off the back of my social media presence. Before now I have relied on my previously existing network and channels. Now I get enquiries from people whose only contact with me has been online via this blog or my presence on Twitter or LinkedIn. They are comfortable approaching me because everywhere they check me out I am coming up trumps. Finally.
So what does that illustrate?
Well, not much other than the glaring fact that despite all the headlines, the glitz and the buzz, achieving success with social media doesn’t happen overnight. Unless you’re Old Spice and have a massive machine behind you, cranking the wheel, then you’re just relying on a slow build.
Networks don’t grow overnight. Every little extra piece you put into the jigsaw creates more interest, and after a while that does begin to take on a momentum of its own, but it’s no magic pill. If you are serious about harnessing the power of this stuff then you have to understand that you’ve got to stick at it. Work on it every day, think about it all the time. Eventually it’ll pay off.
Trust me. I’m a Social Media Consultant.