Starting a social media program is like joining a gym.
Before joining a gym, you have a lot of thoughts running through your head: I know I should do this. I know it will cost me money. I’ve done this before and it didn’t work out. How will I stay motivated? I don’t really want to do this but I need to…
But despite your concerns, you join the gym. You choose the least expensive package. You don’t hire a trainer. You figure you can make this happen on your own. You’re excited and eager to hit the gym!
So you run out and buy new workout gear, maybe a pair of expensive running shoes and a snazzy new gym bag. And for the first week you’re at the gym every day. You try to figure out how to work the machines on your own, but end up walking on the treadmill. But hey, at least you’re there, you’re working out!
The next week you drop off to three times a week. The treadmill is getting a bit boring. You see other people taking advantage of all the facilities, but you’re not really sure how to go about it.
Now you’re only going to the gym once a week, and soon not at all. You say to yourself: Why did I spend my time and money on the gym? Why am I unmotivated to continue? This was a stupid idea to begin with. Your sneakers and gym bag are now collecting dust in the trunk of your car.
I see this scenario all the time with social media. Companies know they should have a social media program. They don’t really know how to do it, and they don’t want to devote any resources to it. Nonetheless, they will delegate an intern or admin to get it started.
This person feels the pressure, and in most cases will rush to establish accounts on every social media platform out there, with no plan and little support. For the first week it goes great. This person is attentive to the accounts and posts each day. Everyone is happy because now we have a social media program. But it’s hard to keep up, and after a while the posts dwindle to three a week. Then it flatlines.
I can’t tell you how many times I have visited a business Facebook page with an anemic 12 fans. Or a blog that hasn’t been updated in six months. Don’t let your social media program become like joining a gym. Here are a few tips to help you get with the program:
- Before jumping into social media, ask yourself: Do we have the resources to be successful? Social media is inexpensive, but not free. There are services, such as Hootsuite, that you might want to invest in to make the process easier.
- Dedicate the appropriate manpower to administrate your social media platforms. It requires time and individuals who know your company, products, audience, messaging and goals. A summer intern is not going to cut it.
- Make sure your team is trained. Remember the gym? Would you have been more successful if you had hired a trainer to help you get started? As a social media trainer, I can tell you that with some basic training, your team will be more efficient and productive.
- Make sure your team is motivated. What if you had to meet your trainer at the gym for workout sessions? I guarantee you would have realized the results you wanted. As a social media strategist, I continue to work with and motivate my teams after the training is over. We keep it fresh and add new components to our social programs all the time – that way it never gets boring.
Don’t let your social media program sit in the corner collecting dust. With a little training, motivation and innovation it will be easier to get with — and stick with — the program.