January is a month known for setting fitness goals and related resolutions for the new year. It is traditionally the busiest time for gyms and health clubs too.
With all this talk of fitness in the air, I thought it would be an appropriate time to use this as an analogy for putting together a solid social media marketing campaign.
Believe it or not, there are more similarities between seeing results in the gym and seeing results in your social media campaign than you might think.
So, without further ado, here are seven tips you can use to whip your social media marketing campaign into shape:
1. Set realistic and measurable goals
If you walk into any gym and tell them you want to get in shape, they’re probably going to ask you to define your specific goals. You need a starting point. Whether it is to lose 10 pounds in the next 90 days, or increase your vertical jump distance in the next month, these goals need to be realistic and measurable.
The same can be said for your marketing goals. Don’t expect to be an overnight success with 1000 new fans or followers by tomorrow. That’s not realistic.
Also, you have to know where to look in order to know what is working. For example, if your goal is to increase social media engagement, don’t obsess over your fan or follower count. Rather than that metric, look at the number of likes, shares, retweets, comments, mentions, etc.
2. Make it a habit
Many fitness experts say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Similarly, the correct approach to social media marketing is to make it a habit.
Of all the folks who give up on social media marketing, most do so simply because they either didn’t give it enough time, or they engaged in what I like to call “sprint marketing.”
Sprint marketing is as simple as it sounds. It is marketing in short sprints or surges of activity and then doing nothing for a while. You might see this often on various Facebook pages, where brands will have a deluge of activity for a day or so followed by months of inactivity.
Don’t do that. Let your campaign be known for consistency. One post per day across all of your social channels is better than ten posts in one day and then a month of neglect.
3. Take some time to rest every now and then
Just as it is important to rest after a tough workout, it is important to occasionally take a short break from social media so as not to get burned out. Here at FastBlink we tend to take Sunday off. While we’re still continually monitoring our campaigns and we’re available for our clients, we’re not as active as we are during every other day.
The idea here is to prevent burnout. Social media marketing done properly is an intense activity, because the amount of content that is continually being produced and shared is overwhelming. Give yourself an occasional break. You can thank me later.
4. Switch things up
We all know that some of the most successful fitness programs work by changing things up. You don’t want to do the same workout every single day of the year. That would not only be boring, but eventually you’ll reach a plateau.
To translate this tip into marketing language, try to keep your audience guessing. For example, don’t share exactly the same content on Twitter as you do on Facebook. Fit your content to the unique characteristics of each platform.
Furthermore, try something different from time to time. For example, Chris and I have recently been experimenting with Vine, the new(ish) six-second video platform owned by Twitter. While we haven’t produced that many videos yet, we’re working on it just because we want to do something different.
5. Consume the right type of fuel
You don’t want to run a marathon on an empty stomach. Obviously you need to consume the right types of food prior to the race. This gets you ready for what is ahead.
In much the same way, you need to understand your industry like the back of your hand before you embark on your social media journey.
For example, we try to read as much as we can about the latest social media trends every day. This allows us to keep our tactics and strategy current and relevant to our clients’ needs.
In much the same way, you need to keep up-to-date on what is happening in your industry, and what is interesting to your audience. This way you can provide that audience with the highest quality content.
6. Find the right partners
Working out always seems to be more enjoyable when you have a workout buddy. Or maybe you can make it a group effort by trying a fitness class. Either way, there is something to be said about attaining your goals with others.
Similarly, social media marketing done right involves many strategic partnerships. Maybe it’s a guest blogging opportunity that you regularly take part in or an online group that you engage with regularly, or maybe it’s as simple as making sure every member of your organization contributes in some way to your social media campaign.
Whatever the case may be, having the right partners can make a world of difference in achieving your overall marketing goals.
7. Walk before you run
Last but not least, here’s one last tip. It’s a simple one. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. By walking before your run, you start slowly and work your way up. This can be said for both achieving your fitness goals as well as your marketing goals.
Social media can look intimidating. Where do I begin? What do I say? How do I get noticed? These are all valid questions, but don’t let them intimidate you. You just need to start somewhere. Maybe you’ll chose just one platform to focus on for the first 30 days and really dive in. This way you won’t be spread too thin.
As the old saying by Author Ashe goes, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself.
That’s all for this analogy. Did it make sense or was it just too silly? Let me know what you thought. I’d love to hear from you.
Best of luck in reaching your social media marketing goals for 2014!