(Gary Vee has put in and continues to put in the hard work which allows him to reap the benefits of engaging on social media.)

Social Media Engagement is like Exercising

“When I hear people debate the ROI of social media it makes me remember why so many businesses fail. Most businesses are not playing the marathon. They’re playing the sprint. They’re not worried about lifetime value and retention. They’re worried about short-term goals.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Social media engagement is like exercising, you get out what you put in. We know that eating healthy and exercising are integral parts to living a productive life. We know it is good for us and yet we perceive it to be such hard work that we likely do the bare minimum. We justify to ourselves that we are living healthy because we are doing something even when we are barely doing anything.

The same is true for the way in which we engage our followers online. Exercising, like social media engagement, is about how consistent we are with what we do and how we make every second count. If we put in the hard work now we will reap the benefits down the line. Nothing great in life happens overnight; we have to be willing to consistently work towards the goals that we want to reach.

Growing a brand, whether it be personal or business, is all about the long run. Every positive interaction that we make gets us one step closer to building something that other people are interested in, interested enough that they are willing to share it with their friends. Every post we create, every comment that we share, every direct message that we send, even every like that we click on is part of the branding process.

If we go big and engage immensely one day, and then take multiple weeks off, the effort that we put in will go to waste. The same holds true for exercising in that working out vigorously one day does us no good if we are unable to follow it up. We often get burnt out by not pacing ourselves for the long run. We are only able to see a change in the way we look and our overall health if we are willing to commit to a consistent program.

That consistency needs to bleed over into the way we market ourselves on social media. We can’t become frustrated when we don’t see the views, comments, or followers increase as the days go by. We need to keep our heads down and continue to create high-quality content that engages our customers. Yet at the same time, we need to keep our heads up so that we can learn from those around us.

When we are at the gym it is not only understandable, it also increases our efficiency, when we look at what others are doing and emulate those who are working the hardest and smartest. We need to follow suit of those who are reaping the most benefits so that we too can do the same. We may learn a new technique, a new way to lift, or even a brand new exercise when we learn from those around us.

The best way to learn how to engage on social media is to keep a close eye on those who do so on a continuous basis. The access that we have to our customers through social media is unlike anything we have ever had before but that access is only beneficial to us if we consistently tap into it.

Content is king in that we need to create such great work and share it each and every day so that our customers keep coming back for more. Nothing has changed, content has always been the most important way in which we can create a brand and reach our customers, it is just that now we are able to create it by ourselves and with little to no capital.

There needs to be less preaching about how amazing our product is and more about how amazing this world is. We need to share ideas, help other people spread the word about what they are doing, and provide our followers the type of information that makes them ask who we are and what we are all about. You have an unlimited amount of content within you but only if you aren’t willing to share who you are with the world.

We have the ability to provide our followers with a sneak peek into what we do and into what we are attempting to create for them. Let’s not forget that it is our customer who will be buying our products, why shouldn’t we be giving them what they want? The only way to know what they want is to engage them efficiently by asking about what interests them, create a dialogue, and then start to ask what kind of product they would be willing to buy within your specific industry.

We are able to focus on what drives customers to buy from us when we co-create with them. We need to allow our followers to be the one’s creating our products and then we can just manufacture it for them. Instead of guessing at the solution our customers want and then spending an immense amount of startup capital trying to solve a problem for them, we need to tap into the resource that is them.

Social media engagement really boils down to how much we are willing to help others before we ask for anything in return. The best workout partners are those who spot you before they ask to be spotted and we need to have the same mindset by first helping other brands grow. Our ability to co-brand with other personal brands and businesses allows us to spotlight what someone else is doing, which will inevitably make them want to return the favor.

The world wasn’t made in a day and so too should we realize that a strong brand is not built on social media overnight. Remember that every action that you take gets you one step closer to success. If you haven’t already, start the branding process and do it efficiently. Whatever you want in life depends upon the network that you construct allowing you to tap into the intellectual capital of those around you. There is no better access point that provides us the ability to create something great than through the social media channels we now have access to.

The first step is realizing that it will take many steps to get you to where you want to be, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun along the way. Keep your eyes on the prize of building a brand others want to be a part of and all of your hard work will pay off along the road less traveled to success.