little, and often

The line is hardly revelatory, but it is apt in so many ways, particularly when it comes to social media.

The problem with social (digital) media is that the field of endeavour is replete with one platform after another, all vying for your attention and all (supposedly) offering the silver bullet of sales-led success.

Before you know where you are, you have clambered down one rabbit hole after another, and all you have to show for it is a lot of unsociable hours, and a rag bag of numbers.

It is important, like any business enterprise, to understand your market and don’t assume that the more places you appear (Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and a blog) will result in greater success. Your time would be much better spent on one or two platforms where you earn the trust of your followers by creating remarkable content (no more marketing ‘sizzle’ please).

But the critical component is making sure that you show up.

Too often you see people come and go as if they are aloof from the action. Being consistent is key, as well as being focused on the value added or better still asking yourself each and every time “How can I help?”

One of my old mentors, who was a canny businessman, always used to say to me: “softly, softly, catchee Monkey.” At the time, as a thrusting 20 something, I didn’t really it. But, just like the old Aesop fable of Messrs Rabbit and Hare, success doesn’t always go to the fastest or most slick but the person who is prepared to persist in the face of extreme odds, even if it means said victory takes a lifetime.

If you want to be successful with social media then showing up every day is far more important than entering the fray in a blaze of glory, and fading out after a couple of months. You only have to look at the number of redundant blogs and Twitter profiles (those bloody eggs) to understand the point.

Of course asking ‘Why’ social as opposed to something more profitable is a perfectly good question, particularly if you are still waiting to land that monster deal, but it is the ‘Why’ of your business (your belief) that should fuel your endeavour, not the other way round.

I will leave the last word to Calvin Coolidge:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Quote from a program at a Coolidge memorial service (1933); cited in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999)

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