SOCIAL MEDIA: NO ONE STARTS IN THE MIDDLE

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Networking, Social Media 13 Comments

Social Media - Where Do I Start?Are there days when you feel as if you’re brand new to Social Media?

Do you sometimes feel like you’re not gaining any traction?

Do you wonder what’s wrong, and why you’re not experiencing the growth you thought you’d have by now?

Do you feel like no one is listening when you post because you don’t get much response, thus making you feel kind of stupid?

The first thing you need to know is that you probably haven’t done anything wrong.

We all started at the same place, and that’s at the very beginning.  No one starts in the middle, or even 25% down the road, so we are all on equal footing at some point in this journey.  Actually, we are all on the same foot at many points in this journey, but it often feels like we’re the only ones going through it.

  • Everyone started with 0 Twitter followers.
  • Everyone started with 0 Facebook friends.
  • Everyone started with 0 LinkedIn connections.
  • Everyone started with 0 memberships in LinkedIn groups.
  • Everyone started with 0 Likes on their Facebook Page.
  • Everyone is starting with being in 0 Circles on Google Plus.
  • Everyone had a 1st day, month and year on their blog.

This marketing thing can be pretty daunting, can’t it?

Yes, it can.

Some wonder why they aren’t included in conversations they see taking place among so-called “friends” or “followers.”  This is an interesting phenomenon.

As in real life, there are established relationships that were going on before we got here.  It often appears there are cliques, when there are just people who have spent more time together, learning, laughing, sharing content, asking questions, and sometimes sharing emotions and challenges, so they look more comfortable talking in a group.

How do you infiltrate these groups you want to be a part of?

Well, you don’t start in the middle of their relationship and their chemistry. They have to come to notice, then know, you before they begin to engage in conversation with you. This isn’t mean. This is just the real world with very, very busy people who have tasks other than marketing on their plates.

First, make sure you want to be a part of them.  Is it just that they seem like the in crowd, or do they really serve a need or purpose you have for networking?

In a perfect world, if we were all good networkers, then when others appear in our stream to comment or say hello, then we would do what we should be doing in real life.  We would greet you, then introduce you to others.  This doesn’t always happen.  Sometimes people just don’t take the time for whatever reason.  Don’t give up.

If they are that important to you, keep finding ways to genuinely connect with them.  If they continue to ignore you, then shame on them, but move on.  There are millions of others out there with whom to connect.  Keep in mind that sometimes it takes years to make an impression on our desired audiences.  This is no different in Social Media than it is in actual, face-to-face networking, marketing, sales and business development.

Try to remember that, just as in advertising when it takes at least 8 times for someone to see your ad before you begin to leave an impression, it often takes many attempts before someone will notice and acknowledge you in their thread on Social Media.  I’m sure it’s more than 8 these days because of all the messages and interference we are confronted with throughout the day.  I heard more than 20 somewhere recently, but I can’t recall the source, so take that for what it’s worth.

It’s also important to note that people will forget us if we stay away too long.  I always tell people that it’s not anyone’s job to remember me when I’m trying to make an impression, or form a relationship.  It’s my job to stay the course, and to stay in front of people frequently enough to stay on their radar.  Again, virtual and actual life are the same in this respect.  There will a few exceptions as our special friends will check on us when they don’t see us, but it’s not as common as we wish it was.

We can’t start in the middle.

We have to start at the beginning with every relationship we want to develop.  This means that marketing starts over for us countless times every day.  We might have connections we can take advantage of to meet people, and we should, but we still have to start at the beginning.

My Advice To You:

  • Don’t give up.
  • Be realistic in your expectations of what these relationship tools can do, and how fast they can do them.
  • Understand that everyone started exactly where you are or were…the beginning.
  • Decide you are going to start over every day in the attempt to develop relationships and build your practice.
  • Decide that if you are really serious about being in business, you have no choice but to start at the beginning, then stay the course.

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12 comments
LauriePR
LauriePR

Good work on this post--says it all for about 90% of the population! This is "new media" -- we cannot be afraid and we must embrace it no matter what age/what business.

bdorman264
bdorman264

What if you still don't have a clue what you are doing? Ok, maybe that is an overstatement, but not by much. The networking I can do, but now the question is, what do I want to do with it? If I reach a certain level of popularity, what does that mean? Can't I enjoy that just for what it is, or do people think I have under-achieved because I didn't capitalize on it.

One thing I do know, this social media world is VERY fickle. One day you might think you have it figured out and you're 'all in' and the next you are thinking 'what happened, where did everybody go'?

If you see me acting flaky it is because I do take it personal and no, I don't have thick skin. To me, it is a real relationship.

I'm ok with just being your friend. I'm already a richer person just because of that. If there is an opportunity for me to send business your way not only would I be totally comfortable in doing so, but would love to be able to do so.

Been there, done that and have seen that; I know exactly what you are talking about. Thanks for sharing today ma'am.

FrankKenny
FrankKenny

Well written and thought through post Nancy. It can be frustrating reaching out and not getting any "return on that emotion" but that is how life works. I think starting out a blog is especially frustrating. All that hard work and no comments? Grrrr.

Thanks for the reminder to be patient.We all need that from time to time.

Frank

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

I can just envision you giving a nice warm hug at the end of this! I participate on LinkedIn a lot and see all types of people asking 'how do I get followers' 'how do I get subscribers' and they see people like Chris Brogan, David Meerman Scott, Seth Godin, all with thousands if not hundreds of thousands of subscribers and just try and find ways to get there. Its not a race. You are so right - we all start at 0 and there is no value to anyone if you have thousands of subscribers but that's all you have.

Don't give up!

DebCE
DebCE

I had this very conversation with someone yesterday! I'm sending her this post.

NancyMyrland
NancyMyrland moderator

@LauriePR Hi Laurie! Thank you very much. I agree with you...we must embrace it. Have a nice weekend!

NancyMyrland
NancyMyrland moderator

@bdorman264 Bill, I love your honesty. The challenge is in figuring out why one is here in the 1st place. If one has a Marketing Plan in place, then fitting Social Media in to how to execute the goals outlined in that Plan becomes just another part of the Plan.

If one decides s/he has a goal of connecting, finding some sanity and making sure there are great sources for inspiration and education, that's great too! There don't have to be mega-lofty reasons for being here if that fits in to the Business Plan. If it doesn't, then creating or revisiting that Business and Marketing Plan is one of the first tasks I'd tackle. It's easy to get frustrated when we don't know what it is we're trying to do on a daily basis...trust me! I'm as human as you are. :-)

NancyMyrland
NancyMyrland moderator

@ChipClarkIndy Hi Chip...welcome! I think we can all remind each other to stay the course, right? Thanks again for being here!

NancyMyrland
NancyMyrland moderator

@FrankKenny Frank, you're right! I often need that reminder to be patient as I'd love to see a high level of engagement in everything I do..it's natural. I then have to give myself a pep talk similar to what I wrote in this post. Thanks for stopping by!

NancyMyrland
NancyMyrland moderator

@C_Pappas Thanks Christina! I remember thinking numbers mattered at first, and wondering when my numbers would increase, but (thank heavens) I soon realized that is completely opposite to the focused, targeted marketing we should all be more concerned with in our marketing plans. Watching the Social Media superstars you mentioned can play horrible tricks on one's mind! Thanks for adding your wisdom.

NancyMyrland
NancyMyrland moderator

@DebCE Hi Deb....and THANKS so much for stopping by, and for sharing it with her! :-)