At the beginning of Full Steam, in my first initial conversations with potential clients I would mention that my brand development timeline for businesses has its eye on "12 months from now".
We would both cringe.
They would cringe because social media is "now" and one year is a "long time", and I would cringe because I knew that they'd react that way.
I don't cringe anymore. I'm convinced that the 8 to 12 month window of quality, consistent, human social media marketing work can be magical for a brand. But I also stopped cringing because the clients I've been meeting stopped, too.
The last person I met with even beat me to the punch. "I want a long-term game, 12 months", she said.
I'm connecting more and more with people who understand that, especially with small businesses, marketing takes time. There's creating an audience, finding a voice, developing content, developing frequency and consistency. We have to move through the stages of marketing - brand awareness and then conversion. More and more businesses are maturing in their view of how to use social media, moving past the "CAN YOU MAKE ME GO VIRAL???"into "Can you connect me with people?"
These are the businesses that make me giddy. They get it. They get that spending one year working to become the boutique with the most style, the party store everyone thinks of when they think "great beer", or the funniest (and most honest) plumber in the city limits is more than worth it
To some, brand marketing is a big, long endeavor, and a year is a long time.
But what a difference a year can make.
Yep, only a year.