Just like anything else in life, social media has a definite life cycle. That life cycle has several critical elements and one feeds off of the other. It goes around and when the life cycle has reached its end, it starts all over again. Your responsibility is to understand how it works and to maintain the momentum indefinitely.
The cycle and how it works
From everything you have read and everything you have experienced, social media works because it involves human beings who interact with each other and each person reacts in some way on an emotional/human level. Additionally, the goal is to compel your target audience members to take the content that you are sharing with them and share it with other people whom they know and trust. Interestingly, you are the only person who holds no credibility when it comes to singing the praises of your content. If you talk about how wonderful and valuable your content is, it means nothing. On the other hand, if someone else (anyone else) does the same thing, you can get a great deal of mileage from it.
When it comes to the social media cycle, it is extremely important that you understand exactly what is involved and how it works.
The initial interaction: The absolute first thing that you will do when it comes to your content is interacting with other people online. You will discuss your content, engage other people, ask questions, gather valuable information from them, etc.
Ensure the relevance of your content: Whichever need you are attempting to fulfill in your target audience, this is exactly where you will fill it. It is critical to your success that you listen to what the other person wants and needs and that you do your best to give it to that person.
Focus and pay attention: One extremely way to achieve success is by paying full attention to the other person and what they need from you at all times. Make that person feel as though he or she is the only other person in the entire world who actually matters.
Prove the validation: It is of the utmost importance that you are able to validate the purpose and feelings of the other person. If you can show that, you will be able to forge a solid relationship.
Proving trustworthiness: One of the building blocks of a strong, lasting, meaningful relationship is trust. You must be able to trust each other beyond any doubt. It is important to understand that trust is not going to develop overnight. It will take time and a great deal of effort on both of your parts.
Proving credibility: This is another giant one. You must prove that you are credible to the other person. That is another quality that will take time and nurturing. It will call for a large amount of interactions between the two of you and a great deal of meaningful discussions over time.
Ask to be evaluated: You should never be afraid to ask for an evaluation from the other person. If you believe in yourself, your business, and your knowledge, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. The other person will sing your praises.
Demonstrate a feeling of affection: Now that you have developed a solid relationship with the other person, there is no reason that you shouldn't feel affectionate toward that person. It is more an emotion than an action.
Strengthening your reputation and exposure: The way to accomplish this is by continuing to deliver top-quality, valuable content that benefits other people. If your content is what it should be, it will accomplish this.
Now that you have gone through the entire social media life cycle, you will start over again with the next piece of content and you will go through that same cycle a million times. The more you do it, the better you will get at it and the more positive your results will be over time. Considering that social media is definitely here to stay and has been for quite a while, you need to understand the life cycle thoroughly and really make it work for your business. Of course, you will also want to track result and gather analytics as you go so that you can make improvements as necessary but if you understand and follow the course, you will do extremely well.