Social media failure is not an option

I know lots of people who are social media veterans and just as many who are newbies. I try to encourage the rookies when I see them getting frustrated because I know that all this social media stuff is worth it. Lots of people quit, though. Too many.

When I first started tweeting and blogging, I felt like I was on mute. Hello? Is this thing on? It's easy to get discouraged when you feel like you're putting in the effort, but no one cares. Here's where the words of wisdom kick in: you have to believe in yourself and the tools. They work. You just have to use them correctly.

When you first get started, you're probably right. No one cares about your blog post or about your carefully crafted tweet. If you start to engage with your online communities, though, people will begin to notice you. They will come to recognize your avatar in their Twitter streams, notice your profile picture on their Facebook News Feed, or grow familiar with your photo in a LinkedIn discussion group. That's where the relationship begins. But, it is up to YOU.

Don't wait for someone to say, "Hey, come join the cool kids' table. We've been waiting for you!" It's up to you to reach out first. Yeah, I know, not everyone is comfortable doing that. But, get over it. It's how social media works. Sure, there are some nice folks who send a tweet to welcome newbies or who will introduce you around. Unfortunately, not enough people do that. Again, the power rest in your hands. Make it happen!

Persistence is the key word here. Keep at it. Don't give up because you feel like you're an audience of one. You know the saying, winners never quit and quitters never win!

Keep blogging!
My early posts got very little traffic and it took me awhile to get my first comment, but this week I was excited to earn a spot on's "LA's Top 100 Bloggers You Should Take to Lunch" list! No, I haven't hired a virtual assistance to handle all my lunch bookings yet, but it was neat to be recognized. Think that would have happened if I had thrown in the towel? Not a chance.

Keep tweeting!
Remember, Twitter is a TWO-WAY platform! If you talk at people you'll go nowhere fast. If you talk with people, Twitter will change your life! Listen to the discussions, chime in with your opinion, be encouraging, answer questions, provide guidance, lend support--become a contributing member of the community!

Keep connected!
Too many folks abandon their blogs for months, and even more people open a Twitter account and then forget about it after seven tweets. Don't do it, my friends. Stay active! Maybe you can't live and breathe this stuff like the social media addicts, but stay in touch with your online network. These aren't websites we're talking about; we're talking about people! Work to establish those connections, then feed and water them. They'll only grow if you give them the care they need.

Alright, that's the end of my rah-rah, cheerleader speech. But, trust me, these online communities are powerful. They can grow your brand, develop your professional network, and help create wonderful, new friendships. The only trick is you can't give up. Let me repeat, failure is not an option.

Have a social media success story to share or a challenge to overcome? I'm all ears...


  1. It can be really discouraging when you feel like no one is listening. Why keep posting if no one is reading (at least it feels that way)? Why keep talking if no one is responding (Twitter)?

    The key thing to remember is it only takes one:

    One comment to build some momentum...

    When you write: Seek to be helpful first. When you tweet, just be yourself (it's too hard trying to be something you're not). Care about people, let down your guard (it's ok). And everything will start to take off :-)

  2. Good advice, Ricardo. Thanks for chiming in. You're right, If you can start to get some momentum, that's usually all the encouragement one needs to keep it going. Important to stay strong until that time comes and then the sky's the limit ;-)

  3. Congratulations on the Top 100 list! Impressive and so well-deserved, Amber. All someone has to do is read your posts and they will understand why you are at the top of the game. And we really need encouragement in the beginning, being on social media is like being the new kid at school, wondering if the others will like me. All good things take time and as you said social media is a good thing!

  4. Hi Dee! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind and generous words are greatly appreciated!

    Yes! It's exactly like being the new kid in school. Great analogy! If you were in grade school, at least you usually got assigned a buddy to show you the ropes. But if you were older, you were on your own.

    You're right, all good things to take time. And, as is the case with most things, you get out of it what you put into it. Thanks for adding to the discussion, Dee!

  5. Thanks! Just the motivation I need to hang in there:-) Follow me!/aliciamfranks

  6. Alicia: Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate that a bunch.

    So, I went to click on your "follow me" link, thinking you were already following me and I just hadn't followed you back yet. Nope, not the case. You're not following me at all. So here's the social media conundrum.

    No, there aren't rules to any of this. So consider this free advice. Ignore it if you choose (you won't hurt my feelings). You're not going to win any friends by saying "follow me" if you haven't already followed them. Maybe others will disagree with me on this, but I doubt it. The thing about all this social media stuff is it's not about getting people to follow you, it's about connecting.

    I almost always follow the people who comment on my blog, simply out of gratitude and appreciation. Had you not said "follow me" I'm sure I would have automatically. But when you ask someone to do that without making that first step and following them, well, it may have mixed results. At best, it's off putting. At worst, it's ineffective.

    Please take my comment in the spirit it's intended. It's meant to help and broaden your perspective, especially since Twitter is one of the most misused tools out there. Feel free to disagree or tell me to stick it, as I said there are no hard and fast rules. Just my two cents on what I, and the people I know, respond to favorably.

    Thanks again for stopping by, Alicia! Good luck and hang in there.

  7. I liked your rah-rah, cheerleader speech! It is a great way to encourage people...where was this a year or so ago when I was starting :-) Congratulations on your Top 100 Blogger in LA recognition. That is HUGE! You go girl!

  8. Hey Jenny! Oh, if I could only go back in time. I would have been happy to write this for you then (and I'd make a few other changes, as well!).

    Thanks for the words of support. It means a lot ;-)

  9. Thank you, Amber, for the pep talk. Yes, there are times I feel like the tree falling in the forest, but I can see great improvement and positive results in the short time I've been doing social media. And I'm grateful for people like you who are so willing to share their experiences.

  10. Thanks for writing this. I feel as if I do really well out of the gate getting people to follow but then hit a plateau and wonder what I am doing wrong and stop to reevaluate. Your post makes me realize that I just need to keep going.

  11. Oh, my pleasure Jean! I know the value to it so I'm always happy to lend a hand. So glad our paths crossed on Twitter! A perfect example of the great connections that can be formed online with fantastic people! ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion.

  12. There will always be highs and lows. Momentum, then nothin'! It's natural and happens to everyone. Just be yourself, add value to the community, be consistent, converse, and the rest will all fall into place.

    Thanks so much for chiming in on our lil' discussion, Suellis. :-)

  13. Really liked this. Should be required reading for anyone tyring to create a social media presence. I have found that it even takes some time to really find your voice. Only biz stuff, personal, passions? After trying to be what I thought my presence "should" look like, I have finally decided to just be me. (Might be a life lesson in there somehwere :) )

    So now instead of trying for numbers, I am connecting with fewer. Growing slow and funny thing happening. People are finding and connecting with me. Slower, but so much more fun and low stress level. Glad I found your post.

    Now to find and click your follow button ;)

  14. Barry, thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

    You are sooo right. Finding your voice is important and being who you really are is crucial!

    As for numbers, I'm with ya! A long time ago I opted for quality. This means if I don't follow back every spammer, porn star, or aggressive business with a megaphone, I lose their follows. But that's fine by me. The people in my network are REAL and that is worth more than artificially inflated numbers.

    Thanks so much for connecting! I see your follow and I match you a follow back! Oh, and since you have pet rescue in your bio, I know we'll get along just fine ^..^

  15. Thanks so much for sharing this, Amber! I'm finding it very interesting to learn how many people refer to social media tools/systems and really use them. Even though our NPO still engages a lot in the more traditional in-person "networking", it's amazing how often I've been able to maintain or continue enhancing a contact relationship by following up through various social media tools. I agree that persistence is definitely key, as well as overcoming the intimidation factor due to lack of expertise. Thanks again for sharing!

  16. Nancy: Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the conversation.

    YES! YES! Nonprofits are making a lot of ground in the social media space. And, social media is a wonderful tool to take traditional networking to the next level. Nothing like meeting someone at an event and sending them a "nice to meet ya" tweet afterward.

    I think everyone feels a little intimidated when they begin, but don't give in to the fear. Honestly, there's nothing to be afraid of and the opportunities are limitless.

    Stick it out; you'll be happy you did!

  17. Thanks for the inspiration! I come cross a lot of encouragement now that I started looking for it! I am in-charge of the social media presence in my company and I used to feel its not so effective. I used to get dejected soon. I am starting again :P Hopefully, I do enough to get results this time around! @aieseciitkgp

  18. Nikhil: Glad you're hopping back on the bandwagon. Don't get discouraged, social media does pay off if you're consistent and provide value. The mistake most people make on social media is they treat it as a megaphone. It is not a soapbox; it is a platform for dialogue. As long as you remember that you'll do fine.

    Now, go get 'em! :-)

  19. Great post! Thank you so much for the reminder and inspiration.

  20. Thanks for such a great post - persistence will be rewarded.

  21. Thanks, Capability Mom! Happy to oblige! ;-)


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