There’s a lot of people in my social graph doing really active things like half marathons, triathlons, cycling … basically getting off their butts setting goals and going for it.Â It’s been both encouraging and disheartening to hear their stories. Encouraging because I’m really impressed with their commitment and achievements and disheartening to me as some of their achievements are things I’ve thought of doing too. I’ve tried to create a strategy to be more active but have got bogged down.
- Could I get up that early and go for a run/bike ride
- I have too much work to do to make time, how will I fit it in?
- I need to develop a training plan
- How far should I run to start?
It reminded me of the hours people spend creating extensive social media strategies and long term plans. It can be lengthy, frustrating and is often discarded months into implementation as social media moves way too fast.
Test small pieces of Â your strategies and adapt
This morning I got up and put on my running shoes and hit the road. I hoped to find answers to some of my running questions. Â I didn’t know exactly where I was going , but I ran and I learned some things along the way which I think apply to any strategy.
- Start small and test – If you’re creating any type of strategy it’s best to take a small piece of your strategy and test it out. Get up, go for it and see what you learn.
- Be adaptable – Â Just like I couldn’t know about those dogs that came hurtling out of the fields to chase me you won’t be able to plan for everything. You’ve got to Â adapt and run faster. The same goes for your social media strategy. You never know what’s going to happen next, be flexible.
- Set a goal – Â Create a target and make small adjustments along the way. This morning’s goal of five miles was a bit of a stretch for someone who doesn’t run. But three miles was still a good run and I now know what it will take to hit five miles next time. In your social media strategy create small goals that will help you achieve your long term goals. For example, Â respond to x number of customers, create x number of blog posts, start x number of conversations this week.
- Ask questions and reflect - When you’re done with the smaller test ask yourself Â “What did I achieve?Â Where did I fail and why? Is this a worthwhile strategy, what are the benefits?”
We can get bogged down creating long term goals, long term plans and complete strategies for our businesses. Take it in small chunks, Â the world moves too fast for you to always stick to the original plan.
There’s nearly always something you didn’t think of that will surface. I learned something this morning. I HATE running long distances, the only bit of the run I enjoyed was the sprinting away from the dogs. It was exciting (I’ve always been a sprinter at heart). I need to focus on that type of exercise if I’m going to achieve my goals, the same principals are relevant for a brand. Know thyself, and know your audience first.