I heard this quote from the late Steve Jobs at a conference I attended last fall. I love it for a number of reasons, but it is perfect in the context of your social media efforts.

People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing, and it’s totally true, and the reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up. It’s really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, and you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up. And that’s what happens to most people, actually. If you really look at the ones who ended up being “successful” in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t, often times it’s the ones that are successful loved what they did so they could persevere when it got really tough. And the ones that didn’t love it quit. ‘Cause they’re sane. Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it? So it’s a lot of hard work. And it’s a lot of worrying constantly. And if you don’t love it, you’re going to fail. You’ve got to love it and you’ve got to have passion.
-Steve Jobs

Social media requires time and effort. You have to put in that time and effort – a lot of it, actually – consistently over a long period of time.

Also read:
Identify your goals
Ways to get started on Twitter
Exhausted doctor at computer
You won’t be an overnight sensation in social media. Unless you’re a celebrity or famous athlete, your exposure will grow very slowly at first. You have to stick with it, putting in hard work and time listening to your audience, before you start growing. If you keep plugging away, little by little, results will come.

With our busy schedules of patients and family obligations, social media becomes a challenge. It would be easy to skip that weekly podcast or two or three blog posts. So many obligations seem more important than replying to blog comments or Twitter mentions.

That’s why identifying your goals, which I discussed last week, is so important. If you have a bigger purpose in mind than just growing your Twitter followers or Facebook fans, you can be motivated to persevere. With each post, you’re educating the public about diabetes, or arguing for healthcare reform, or trying to protect the health of young athletes. That purpose will keep you going.

Also read:
8 tips to find time for social media
How can you pick a theme for your content?

Knowing your “why” and consistently devoting time and hard work are the only real paths to success in social media.