Just like health clubs and weight loss centers are overrun with new recruits each January, social platforms also get flooded this time of year with brands who have decided that this is the year to “get social.”
And, while adding social media to your marketing mix should be commended, just like kicking off a personal resolution, pacing and patience are critical when you're starting in social media, too.
Because, come March, many of those same health clubs and weight loss centers will see a sizable drop in members and the web will be littered with thousands of abandoned social accounts from over-eager brands.
We don't want you to join them.
If you want to make sure the new social initiative you are launching has staying power, remember these words of wisdom...
Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
Here’s how you can cross the finish line:
While companies love to make announcements when starting new ventures, consider skipping that step when you're starting out with social media.
(These may seem like no brainers, but you'd be surprised how many companies make these mistakes.)
Start slowly, grow organically, learn from your mistakes and -- when it feels like things are rockin and you look awesome -- THEN make a announcement to your stakeholders.
The social party has been in full swing for a few years now and you’re walking in late. Engage accordingly.
Before you start making sales pitches in your new social platforms, case the joint, hang out, listen to the conversations in progress and figure out where you fit in, first.
This kind of active listening doesn't make you passive and meek. It makes you wise and strategic.
And when you do start talking, be "pro-actively reactive." Share your insights, give advice, jump into conversation and establish that your brand is an all around solid addition to the community, worthy of everyone’s attention.
The number one mistake that excited companies make when they start social media is to quickly fill up their new account with content...
From the outside, all of that activity adds up to a whole lot of spammy noise in the social feed, turning their introduction against them before they've even said a word.
Again, it’s a marathon, here. So, set a slow but steady pace for engagement and content. Plant your seeds a little bit, every day, for days and then weeks.
Yes, you have business objectives your company needs to meet. And yes, social media is going to help you meet those goals. But that’s not going to happen on day one.
You will get out of social media what you put into it. (Just like you will get the most from that new gym membership if you actually drive to the gym a few times a week to work out…and then do that for many, many weeks in a row.)
Do the homework, make a plan, stay consistent, keep at it and measure your progress along the way. You will get there. Just maybe not today.
Slow and steady may not always look glamorous. But, in social media -- and in life -- it will win you the race.
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.