Why Success in Social Media is Slow

Success in Social Media the Slow Way

Success in social media doesn’t happen overnight.

We don’t create a Twitter account and instantly gain 5,000 connections…

Success in Social Media the Slow WayIt’s not intuitive to put an “@” symbol before a friends name so you can give them props.  Nor do you necessarily understand the importance or significance of giving your friends props.

LinkedIn connections don’t just happen, you have to actually know people.

Google+ simply doesn’t make sense (at first)

…and don’t even get me started on Pinterest (I mean seriously what are you supposed to do with all those pictures?)

Understanding of these tools simply does NOT happen overnight…

If you’re reading this blog then based on my unscientific demographic analysis you most likely believe that social media is important to your business but still struggle with achieving some form of success…

…and it frustrates you!

Fear not…

…take a deep breath

…and realize that success in social media is slow.

“Ryan..WTF! I’m trying to run a business here…”

I know… I’m a marketing blogger and I’m writing an article that isn’t “Get Successful Quick“. (Does that mean I’m honest or a bad marketing blogger… probably both)

Believe the simple fact that your reading of this blog (and others such as traffic generation cafe, social mouths and Danny Brownmeans you’re on the path and success will happen.

Success in Social Media Takes Time

But you don’t have time for me to teach to you become a success in social media the SLOW WAY!

Leave if you want.

I understand.

No hard feelings…

You want results and you wanted them yesterday…

Except they didn’t happen yesterday.  Whatever you were doing yesterday didn’t work.  So now you’re reading this blog for a solution to your social media success problem that will work tomorrow.

But I am unfortunately going to disappoint you again.

Cast off the idea that success in social media can happen for you tomorrow! Click to Tweet

It can’t.

Even if you “Go Viral” it won’t.

Take Paul Wolfe, who to a certain extent already is a success, even he didn’t become a social media celebrity when his blog went Viral

Do me a favor…

Go dig a hole…

Now take the idea that one Viral article or one trick or strategy will change everything for you and throw it in the hole.

Now pour about a gallon of gasoline in that hole right on that idea… Light match… Drop in hole.

Why Can’t Success in Social Media Happen for You Tomorrow?

Let’s be honest…

…No one knows who the hell you are!

There’s the truth bomb.

How’s it taste? Bad… No shit.

It tastes bad… It hurts your ego… You don’t like it.  I get it.

I want to have the most dominant independent insurance agency web presence in the entire country… I don’t… some days it feels like I’m getting there but more often than not it doesn’t.

It tastes bad to not yet be the best.

I’ve been working at it everyday for 8 months.

And yes today after those 8 months I’m learning how to win, how to be a success online through social media and how to drive revenue.

But that’s 8 months of work.

Are you willing to put in 8 months before you start to see the fruits of your efforts?

Are you willing to answer every comment left on your blog?

Are you willing to respond to every @Reply on Twitter?

Are you willing to Thank every person that likes your articles on Facebook?

Are you willing to research every keyword phrase essential to targeted search traffic?

Are you willing to build relationships one by one by one by one and slowly increase your network?

No… you’re going to struggle my friend.

YES… Yes… yes… I applaud you.  You will find success… Because one relationship will lead to two and then to four and four relationships will turn into eight and then 16 and then 32…

…then you’ll start to forget what it was like to NOT be a success online.

Start with the Tools

It takes TIME to become a success Online, social media or otherwise, because you build your success through relationships one after another after another until EVERYONE know who you are and understands what you’re all about.

The Social Tools BookFirst and foremost you must have a functional knowledge of the social media tools you’ll be using.

To acquire a functional knowledge of social media tools:

  1. Read this blog religiously… by subscribing to updates.
  2. Buy the Social Tools Book (I wrote it so I obviously think it’s valuable)

And yes those are both my resources… Don’t care… I take a lot of pride in teaching social media tools (see example)

Once you have a functional knowledge of the social media tools you’d like to use it’s time start achieving success slow.

Whichever social media you decide to start with I recommend Google+.

Next week we’ll talk about HOW you become a success in Social Media slow…

Thank you and Good luck.

Ryan Hanley 

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About Ryan Hanley

This blog was created to help brands grow their audience, to grow their business. When I'm not writing, podcasting or creating the videos you'll find on this site, you'll usually find me watching baseball with my son Duke and a cold beer in my hand.

  • http://marketingmovers.com/ Jamie Winfield

    Social media success is possible if you approach it in the right way. The use of social media can be effective in building relationships with your customers, it should not be about about selling your product.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      I could not agree with you more. If you’re building relationships with your customers, doing the right things, people will buy your products because they like you.

      Trying to get right to the sale will not be productive.


  • http://www.antonkoekemoer.com/social-media-marketing/ Anton Koekemoer

    Hi Ryan,

    Great post – and yes , Important to keep in mind that success in social media takes a lot of time and effort – but negative mentions etc. in social media can bring down success (or damage it greatly) in a very short time compared to how long it took to build authority and success.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      You are very right… Too much negative can hurt.

      Appreciate you stopping by!

  • http://www.guideandnews.com/ Ehsan Ullah

    You are right on this Ryan. Social media success doesn’t happens in one day, not even in one month. It takes a lot of time to build relationship on social media and increase the engagement with readers.

    It has been 4 months now I’m trying to increase my social media presence and I’m responding to every @reply on Twitter, thanking everyone who likes my article or my fan page on Facebool. Now I think I’m on good standing but I still have long miles to go.

    After spending a lot of time I’ve found that there are a lot of social media websites which doesn’t works for me like Delicious, Reddit and Digg. I know other peoples have success in these sites, but that didn’t work for me. I don’t know why!

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      I find that many people, especially people building their social presence on relationships struggle to get traffic from sites such as Reddit and Digg. Don’t sweat it… Keep doing what you’re doing and all we be well my friend!!

      Ryan H.

  • http://www.yourlifetube.com Elena Anne

    I agree it usually takes time. But with a clever idea and some form of grace you can become successful quite quickly. This is not exactly something you can make happen but you must be open to it.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      You can definitely catch lightning in a bottle Online but building your web presence for such an occurrence would seem equivalent to planning your retirement on hitting the lottery…

      Thanks for the stopping by!!

      Ryan H.

  • http://inspiretothrive.com Lisa

    Great piece – it really does take a LOT of TIME. I’ve made most connections for a business via Twitter and made friends on my personal Twitter as well. Google+ is getting better and takes time if you don’t understand to get used to. Nothing good is easy, right? On Facebook, I find you already know the people.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      You’re 100% right when you say nothing good or worthwhile is easy or quick. To build the quality connections that will grow your business you must be willing to spend the time to do so…


      Ryan H.

  • http://www.dacesita.com Dacesita

    Hi Ryan,

    excellent post! You nailed it! I’ve been thinking about the same stuff recently. Why did I think about it? Well, in March I started to take an online course on social media for musicians. The 9 week course stretched out a bit longer – till June, but the stuff was awesome and has changed my perspective upside down. The course was going through Ning network set up for the class and webinars. Anyways, it covered all you need to know about social media, industry optimized and also teaching a lot about how music business works, not just social media. There were 30 people, who paid money and took the course. You had assignments with each lesson and you were supposed to report your results in comments and were encouraged to post questions. First class about Facebook got almost 100 comments, the last class – none. That’s right, none. I met up with someone from online course who lives here in NYC and he said he’s not planning to apply everything they said. (and the course was held by two PR agents with 20+ year experience.) Basically, his online presence almost didn’t change as far as before and after goes. He does what he did. Similar thing about others from the course. The course said, for instance, make a united look all over Internet and add your elevator pitch describing music for all your profiles. Most did it while on course and now two months later they’ve dumped the idea. It was really shocking. I, however, am still working on lesson 6 and 8 HAHA. I did not ask the questions on last lessons because I was working on the first ones. lol.
    Which brings us to the next point/ problem. Now, I paid for the course, they got my money, however, whenever I post or comment on their Facebook or Twitter pages it’s being ignored. Will I be spending $ there again? What I will do is unfollow and unlike them, subscribe to their news via RSS and when a new idea comes out or a course, I will spend my money at their competitors. Let’s face, they’re not the only PR agency offering great stuff, and not the only leaders in field for music business.

    Yes, it all takes forever. I’ve been living without a regular “dayjob” since February and building this thing up and only now I start to see the end of it. Only now I have seen the big picture of ‘what it takes to make it on the Internet’. It could have been faster, but I also need to work on creative stuff, such as songs and my voice. Knowledge comes first though. I will set up this thing and then get a dayjob to have $ for advertising. I agree with the above comment – when the whole system is set up it takes a lot less time and we can then concentrate on more important things.
    Speaking of viral posts. I posted this on Monday on my FB and it went a little viral: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=448570065183424&set=a.201836136523486.46871.191011754272591 It did not profit me anyhow though. What does profit is truly when you engage in conversations with everybody.
    I remember how a year ago nobody liked my posts or commented on them and I had 50 likes on Facebook. Now I have a core fan base there who likes my every post and a bigger one that likes my important posts. I also remember wanting to throw in a towel. So glad I did not. It’s gonna be outta control awesome in a year. :)

    I started to customize my blog last night: check out http://blog.dacesita.com and http://www.dacesita.com Hope to finish it over the weekend. ;)

    Cheers and fab weekend!

  • http://www.blognetworking101.com Jeevan Jacob John

    Social media have taken a lot of time from me in the past.

    As of now, I only spent 30-40 minutes per day on Social media (this allows me to be focused and get important things done like thanking everyone and posting tweets/status updates).

    You are right, Ryan. It takes a lot of time and patience to bring forth a successful social media presence (I have been working with my Twitter account for 8 months now, and all I have got is around 300 connections; but, I am glad that those 300 connections are real instead of 1000 to 2000 unreal or fake connections I had with my previous twitter account).

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      It’s very easy to stack up useless connections on Twitter. Yes it might seem like social proof but really it’s just an ego trip.

      Thanks for stopping by buddy!!

      Ryan H.

  • Brent Kelly

    Ryan, this is so true and I think is why most people quit. Although I didn’t expect the phone to start ringing off the hook when I starting blogging, tweeting, etc., I was constantly frustrated why my response was so slow. Just like any relationship, social media takes time to build trust and value. Thanks for a much needed post.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      No doubt buddy… No doubt and you’re doing it the right way so don’t you go quiting on me. Because of these days you’re going to blow it up.

      Thanks dude.


  • http://www.buildafreelancebiz.com David Sylvester

    I think I hate Twitter. I know I shouldn’t hate Twitter, but the more I play around with it, the more I dislike it. At first, I thought the idea of telling people what you had for lunch in 140 characters was ridiculous. I’m past that. I know Twitter is more than that. However, the only thing I have found it useful for is communicating directly to people I know. Plus, sometimes people post some funny one-liners.

    Here is what I really don’t get:
    1. There are people with thousands of followers who communicate almost entirely with people they seem to know. Their tweets are incomprehensible because they are filled with #hashtags, @mentions, abbreviations, and personal info only their friends would care about. These should be Direct Messages, as far as I’m concerned. Their hundred thousand followers must disagree.
    2. Some people follow thousands of other people. I can barely keep up with little over a hundred. Twitter is supposed to be a communication medium, but no one is truly engaged with more than a hundred people, let alone thousands of people.

    Then I think that maybe the problem is that I don’t have many followers. Maybe I’m doing a Twitter version of the kid in high school who says “I didn’t want to be friends with you anyway”?

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      Try using Twitter Lists… I follow over 7,000 people and I have probably 3,000 of them in Lists that I can segment based on the information or conversation I’m looking for.

      Try that and see if it helps you with Twitter a little…

      I enjoy Google+ the most…


      Ryan H.

  • http://johnhalquist.blogspot.com/ John Halquist

    Why do you recommend starting with google+? Even mom and pa, grandma and grandpa, etc are on facebook, and twitter is gaining more mainstream usage as well. So why G+?

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      SEO and Social Search…

      I’m not saying that G+ should be the only social network you start with but it should certainly be part of the program.

      Here’s a great resource… http://unbounce.com/social-media/7-useful-google-plus-infographics-for-business/


      • http://johnhalquist.blogspot.com/ John Halquist

        SEO through google makes sense. Great resource as well. Thanks for the info.