Later this afternoon, over 12,000 runners from over hundreds of companies will meet at Boston Common to run in the annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. With Mr. Marathon Man Ty Velde at the helm, and the up and coming sensation Mike Nelson (along with his illustrious calf muscles) joining the team, this years Overdrive 5k squad is a force to be reckoned with.
In a lot of ways, preparing for and running in a road race is a lot like planning and managing social media. Besides, can’t everything be related to social media nowadays?
Before you take to the starting line, you’ve trained for the race at least a little bit. Before you launch a social media campaign or new social channel, you take the necessary planning steps before you start posting away. What’s your strategy? If it’s to go for leads, think about how you want to integrate lead gen tactics into your channels, Facebook tabs, and content. If you’re goal is to build more of a customer service/PR platform, think about the number of resources and team members you’ll need because someone will have to be watching 24/7.
Building up a social media presence, especially from scratch, can take a while to grow and mature. You’re also not likely to go out there and run a 6 minute mile pace on your first 5k. I remember my first Cross-Country race in High School, I clearly thought I was like Usain Bolt out there (I was wrong). So just remember, Fan/Follower growth and overall engagement will come! Overtime you’ll find which posting tactics and content your audience reacts to, you’ll build off that until you eventually hit your stride.
Make Your Move
While it’s important to pace yourself during a race, it’s also important to make your move at the right time. Laying back in the cut won’t improve your time, just like not reacting fast enough in the social media space can lead to missed opportunities. When I talk about reacting, I’m talking about 2 very important things. 1) Be Opportunistic – Be prepared to report on breaking news as it relates to your organization at a moments notice. 2) – Be Responsive – Reply and engage with your Fans and Followers in a timely manner. Don’t let questions or comments marinate for a few days without addressing them. If no one’s there to engage, what’s the point?
One of my favorite things about running in races is the kick at the end. You can see the finish line ahead and all your hard work has paid off. But it doesn’t end there. After the finish, you take the necessary steps to recovery and then get back out there again to constantly improve. While managing social media, the goal is obviously to constantly improve on your KPI’s, whether it’s to build leads, grow Fans, or respond efficiently. Use tools like Radian 6 or our own social media dashboard and content management system, SocialEye, to monitor, track performance and optimize accordingly.
Running in the Chase Corporate Challenge tonight? Work in social media? Share any additional thoughts you have with us!