With the London Marathon coming up on Sunday we all have marathon fever, so it seemed appropriate to learn some lessons from it in regard to social media too this week…
Very few people can just wake up one day and run a marathon. It takes training, perseverance and commitment. Social media marketing is the same:
In order to run a marathon you need to get a good training programme. Whether you get yourself a coach, buy a book or download a schedule off the internet, you need some kind of a strategy to make sure you can keep up the pace for the full 26.2 miles.
It’s the same with social media marketing. In order to succeed you need to find out what’s involved and then develop a strategy to implement it. Whether you attend a social media workshop, hire someone to train you or your staff, or swot up on it yourself online and in books, training is important to make sure that you are making the most of social media and not wasting your time. Once you know what you are doing and what you want to achieve, you need a social media strategy that will ensure you do what you need to in order to get there.
However good your training plan is, if you don’t put it into practice then it’s not going to be much use. Whether it’s training to run a marathon or engaging customers on Facebook, once the initial novelty wears off you’ve got to keep putting in the effort, even when you’re not yet seeing the results. Social media marketing can take a while to get going, and perseverance is critical if you want to get to the point where you start seeing returns on what you put into it.
Social media marketing is a long term commitment, just as training for a marathon is. You are going to have to set aside time to work on it consistently on an ongoing basis, and ultimately no one can do it for you. While social media marketing experts can help set you up and get you on the right path, at the end of the day engaging with your customers is going to mean you need to get involved too. If you’re not yet prepared to put in the effort and stick with it, then it’s probably better to wait until you are.
There is one way that social media marketing differs from training for a marathon though. Once you’ve run the race you are done, and don’t ever have to train again if you don’t want to. However with social media marketing there is no end point and you are never finished with it. The good news though is that the rewards are ongoing too!