Posted first on https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/gotta-crawl-before-you-can-run-social-media-maria-bereket
Welcome….please, be a fly on the wall and observe the world of the Social Media “Doctor” at your next networking event:
“Hey, you are that social media person, right? Let me ask you a quick question: How can I get to 1000 twitter followers?”
“Well, how often do you post?”
“Oh, maybe once or twice a month, but I retweet lots of great stuff from comedian Aziz Ansari, that guy really cracks me up.”
“You’re an insurance agent, right? Yeah I like Aziz too, but…well, do you blog?”
“Naw, those things are outdated. I really want to get followers on Twitter, and probably a lot more likes on Facebook too. How can I do that?”
“What do you post on Facebook?”
“Oh its linked to my Twitter, do you think I should post more on Facebook to get more Twitter followers?”
“Uh, yeah, maybe you should start posting more…..”
Yikes! You gotta crawl before you run people!
First of all: What is the obsession with Twitter followers? Why do you need 1000 followers when you aren’t posting anything relevant for them to read?
Second, and most important: Social media did not change anything about marketing… it only added a multiplication sign where a plus sign was before. (you know—3 who tell 3….well now its 3 x 3 who tell 3 x 3) So no matter what you do on social media, you are going to have a larger following–you just may not see them right away! The problem is that you do not have a strategy, a social media strategy. And isn’t it time you got one?
Here is how the social media strategy process goes:
OK, seriously, here is how it goes….
Crawl: You have decided that your business and/or career needs to have an actual social media program, and you are taking the lead and going through the ranks to get support. You have a LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. Maybe the company has one or two as well, but there is no one posting on a consistent basis. People think you are a little crazy because they are sure you are already “doing” social media. You know better and keep pushing.
Walk: Now you are having actual meetings about the social media program. Your leadership has given you (or someone authority) to get this program going and report back. Everyone is now aware of the current sites, the existing posts, the news, and the stats of the importance of having a program in place. Ideally someone is hired to coordinate the program with you, or at the very least, you will be given compensated hours to handle the program. And the program is walking more steady….
- The Social Media Policy is being drafted, reviewed and finalized.
- Specific goals of the program are being finalized and posted.
- Keywords, hashtags, and content themes are all being input onto an excel spreadsheet called “2015 Social Media Strategy.”
- A color-coded Social Media Calendar is being drafted and posted.
- A Workflow & Crisis Chart are being drafted up as the current comments and posts filter up the chain of command.
- Training is being set up for employees to discuss the program, review the policy, and set guidelines.
Run: This is the momentum stage, so watch your step!. The policy is created, edited and in operation. That Workflow & Crisis chart is now committed to memory. Training is ongoing and now includes everyone in the company because the leadership now realizes that having all employees as “brand advocates” on social media is not only good for sales and customer service, but employees are actually excited and engaged in your business.
Marathon: This is the sweet spot that you dreamed about in the beginning. Everyone in the company (and even on the board) is using social media consistently, effectively and with some confidence in their expertise and purpose. The goals and objectives you set out are now the benchmark of every new program, every meeting, included in every correspondence. And your customers are are now on board with your brand–posting all of your articles, quotes, white paper research documents, and cool Instagram images…some of them are even trying to work for the company because it looks like such a cool place. You are in a very good place and it feels awesome!
It takes a strategy and patience to really pay off, and yes, you are probably well over 1000 Twitter followers by the time the marathon portion begins, heck, most of the management now probably over 1000 Twitter followers in their personal accounts. So throw a “Twitter followers party” and then talk with leadership about getting someone full-time to head the newly created “Social Marketing” Department–and do it fast–because this is a process with multiplication signs, and you are going to need someone to stay on top of it.
I love horror stories, so share some of your strategy stories with me. At the very least, follow me on Twitter @mbear88 …I am trying to get over 1000 followers too!
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Maria Bereket is a Social Media Trainer, Designer & Small Business Strategist who helps busy professionals and small business owners learn how to brand themselves through Social Marketing. Design Bear Marketing is her Social Media & Design Company. @mbear88 www.DesignBearMarketing.com