SM Fundamentals: There are no quick wins in social media. It’s all about the long game.

I recently wrote an article for the International Association of Business Communicators’ CW Bulletin about the ten fundamentals of social media every charity and nonprofit should know. I am also sharing them here in a series of posts so that I can go into more detail about each than I could in the article and so we can discuss them individually. I should note that while my audience for the article was people involved with charities or nonprofits, these fundamentals are relevant to everyone on social media especially any small t0 mid-sized business or organization.

Here is the sixth post in the series.

There are no quick wins in social media. It’s all about the long game.

Fundraisers know that the first time you meet a potential major donor is not the time to ask for a five, six or seven figure donation. Significant gifts normally take time and result from using that time to build relationships.

Social media works the same. Only use it to make “the ask”—whether it be for a small donation or to recruit participants for a program—and you’re not likely to be successful. Selling can be a part of the mix but if that’s all you are in a space to do, no one will talk to you.

“Getting on” social media will not see any dramatic increases in your fundraising or participation in your programs. Spend some time building relationships and you can see incremental improvements over time. A post this year about a walkathon may not attract many if any new participants. But next year, if you have been building relationships, you can expect a better response—and there will be a greater sense of engagement that helps to increase the donations those individuals raise. You then have an opportunity to move the volunteer and the donors up the ladder to give more time, expertise or funds.

What do you think?

Do you agree that social media is about the long game? Do you have any examples?