It’s amazing how quickly things can get away from you. A year ago I was buying a new wardrobe because I’d lost 40 pounds after diligently sticking with an exercise program. Today? The exercise regimen is only occasional. Some of those skinny-guy pants are a little tight. And why? Because I allowed myself to get out of the HABIT of exercising.
The same thing can happen with social media. In fact, it just did. To me.
For several months after finally taking the social media plunge I’d sit at the computer and dutifully crank out several blogs a week. At first it was hard, but over time it got easier. Soon I could write multiple blogs in one sitting. Tweets happened naturally. My Facebook pages got updated regularly and people started to pay attention. Hootsuite helped me manage multiple accounts. Social media was becoming easier and easier.
Then I missed a day. No worries, I’ll blog tomorrow. Tweets can always wait, right? And Facebook is easy. I’ll get to that.
One day became two, and then two days became a week. I’d look at the computer and know that I needed to sit and write, but I put it off. The ideas were coming more slowly. The muse wasn’t musing.
One week became two weeks. I’d go days at a time without even THINKING about social media, and when I did it wasn’t for long because I didn’t like that growing feeling of guilt. Then the guilt drove procrastination. And the procrastination drove more guilt. And it was just so much easier not to think about it at all. And of course when that happened, people stop listening.
Many businesses make an initial commitment to social media marketing without realizing that it’s exactly that…a commitment. They write a couple of blogs, then they post nothing new for months. Facebook pages languish untouched until you can literally feel the cobwebs on the content. Twitter accounts lie dormant and ignored. If they do Tweet it’s a thinly veiled stab at creepy self-promotion.
These are the people who will tell you that social media doesn’t work.
Social media works all right, but it works just like running laps. You have to do it. Regularly, and often without seeing the immediate benefits of your efforts. You have to log the miles, one at a time, knowing that if you just keep plugging, then one of these days something is going to happen. And it will.
That is unless you stop plugging.
Jeff Whittle is Managing Director of Cogris Consulting, and the President of The Alternative Board – Metro Dallas. He regularly kicks around business issues on his blog, and you can follow him on Twitter @jeffwhittletx. Here’s the link to the Cogris Facebook page…we’d love for you to like us!