Are You Managing Your Expectations with Social Media?

The toughest part of my job sometimes is managing clients’ expectations with regards to social media.

I call these sessions with clients the “Three How’s” as in:

  1. How much is achievable with as little participation from me as possible?
  2. How much effort is involved and do I really have to do it?
  3. How long will it take before I start making money?

Get the picture?

In this article, I’ll discuss managing your expectations when it comes to your social media program.

Now, don’t get me wrong, not all my clients think like this.

But, interestingly, the small minority who are could gain the most from social media.

(I really hope they read this one!)

My clients come to me seeking solutions.

Fair enough, that’s what I’m in the business of providing.

But, that small minority seem to expect me to work magic on their behalf.

(I actually think a couple were disappointed that I wasn’t wearing a pointed hat; a long, gray beard; and carrying a staff when we finally met.)

These clients forget that old Smith Barney advertisement, “They make money the old fashioned way, they earn it!”

Here’s their problem.

Clients hear about this latest, new, shiny object called social media from friends and family, the media, or, worst of all, their competitors!

They don’t know what to do about it so they come to me.

Like I said before, nothing wrong with that!

At least, not yet!

These clients have no expectations set from their goals and objectives for what they wish to achieve from social media.

When it comes to what effort they expect to put into their social media program, they suffer from three fallacies.

The first is that there is a fully automated, fire and forget social media system out there waiting for them.

(No such thing exists and if anyone tries to sell you one, run away with your checkbook as fast as you can.)

Next, they think that I can do it all for them.

(No go here as well.  I’d be too expensive and I’d never be as convincing and genuine as they would be themselves.)

Finally, they think that they can achieve all they want from social media with just a trivial amount of effort on their part.

(These are the ones that I really worry about.)

When it comes to how long will it take to produce results from a social media program, another set of fallacies kicks in.

The first fallacy is that social media is a silver bullet that will solve all their problems.

(Sorry to disappoint but a bad product or service is what it is and social media won’t help.)

The next fallacy is that social media will begin to produce results overnight.

(I like to point out to these folks how long it took and how much it cost Fedex to be able to deliver packages overnight.)

The final fallacy is forgetting about their sales funnel.

(Getting hits or followers on social media doesn’t typically translate into conversions.  The sale still has to be closed.)

I write this not to show up a few misguided clients but to help you set your expectations for your social media program.

Before you launch into social media, do your research.

What’s out there, who’s doing what and why?

Seek out people with subject matter expertise (i.e., me) and ask their opinions.

(Hint: Run away from anyone who wants to charge you for these exploratory discussions.)

Listen, ask questions, get a second opinion!

Social media is powerful and useful.

But, like anything else worth doing in life, it requires effort!

If you don’t set the proper expectations and be ready to make the appropriate effort then you’d be better off not going into social media at all!

If you need help then don’t be shy about asking for it!

I’m always willing to help you out with your social media program!

That’s it for now!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

I look forward to any and all comments that you may have.  I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.


I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me.  Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.

I can also be reached at

My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!

Leave a Reply