Intrigued by the title of this article? Let me explain! We all know someone (it could even be you) who’s taken out a gym membership in a fit of enthusiasm, gone along once or twice, or for the odd sporadic workout – and then never goes near the place again. In my experience, social media can be just the same for many business owners.

Just like committing to regular workouts, social media needs time and dedication to get you the results you want. I often speak to clients who’ve attended a free or grant-funded workshop on social media which has fired their fervour but, unfortunately, not furnished them with anything beyond the most basic skills and knowledge. When they’re left to fly solo with their shiny new social media accounts, they run into problems.

Typical issues include:

  • No social media strategy or plan
  • No clarity around what they want to achieve from social media
  • No integration or cohesion with other online and/or offline marketing activities
  • No idea of the audience they need to target, or who their ideal customer is
  • Little or no knowledge around effective content creation

In short, it’s a bit like turning up to the gym wearing a business suit!  Anyone in this situation will be completely unprepared and unequipped for success. And when it comes to social media, the chances are that after a few unhappy forays into the world of online marketing, they’ll give up. After all, just like working out, it’s sometimes easier to not make the effort.

Here are a few reminders of just how similar social media really is to joining a gym!

  • You need time and commitment. Think that amazing six-pack will appear by itself? It won’t…and neither will your online customers unless you post regularly on social media! If you genuinely don’t have time to manage your accounts effectively, why not consider outsourcing your social media management?
  • Variety is the spice of life. If you’re a gym-goer, I imagine you use a number of different exercise techniques, from running on the spot to swimming and lifting weights. The same principle applies to social media. By posting varied and interesting content, you’ll build loyalty and engagement with your target audience.
  • Don’t over-egg the omelette. Unless you want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger (in his prime, I hasten to add), you wouldn’t want to overdo your visits to the gym. Similarly, your social media audience probably doesn’t want to hear from you 50 times a day, so get the balance right and don’t bombard them with content.
  • Learn from your mistakes and successes. Exercising is like any discipline: sometimes things go right and sometimes things go wrong. Take time to evaluate your social media activities so you can keep doing what’s working and tweak what isn’t. And when something does go well, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve earned it.

Karen Cureton
Social Media Coach
www.curetonconsulting.co.uk