When businesses approach me about running their social media marketing, one of the things I make sure to talk about is the six to eight-month Window of Magic.
What is the magical window, you ask?
With a strategic and consistent brand marketing plan in place, accounts will see early-stage growth and benefits to their business, but the magic really starts to happen around the six-month mark. I've seen this play out time and time again time play out often enough to be true...but why?
At that length of time, we've grown an audience large and targeted enough to be able to make things happen. New social feeds start out with an audience size of zero - they're the new kid in class and it's going to take some time to make friends. If existing social accounts have been dead for a while, it'll take some time to signal to followers that it's worth their time and attention to come back. If current social feeds are great, that six-month mark is where a business can really cement itself as a high-quality business that deserves people's long-term loyalty.
This length of time is a rough estimate, and will vary depending on the business. A business that has built a rabid following apart from social media can look forward to more rapid growth when the word gets out that they've joined Facebook or Instagram. A new business, a business doing some PR damage control, or a business that has previously not done a great job with their social media account can and will definitely improve, but they will need to accept a longer timeline to success.
"Yeah, but why not..now?"
Because that's not how brand marketing works. "Now" doesn't work. Your brand is everything people think about when think about "you", and when that "getting to know you" comes in the form of 2-minute or faster posts, typically only once a day, it's going to take some time to develop a meaningful relationship with the people that follow you.
Marketing isn't about instantly going viral or immediate gratification...especially for local businesses. It's about human beings figuring out how they can help other human beings, and then communicate that in an effective way. Good marketing is like running a good business - commit to quality and consistency with a strategic and long-term plan, and the pay off will be huge.