By Chiara Wegener
You have to be a least partially insane to attempt to run a marathon. I don’t know how I picked 2015 to run my first marathon (Boston) – training amidst 70 inches of snow and frigid temperatures. I must be really crazy. But the training runs have given me time to reflect on the things I’m passionate about, including social media marketing.
Here are five things that marathon training has taught me about social media marketing:
1). It’s a marathon, not a sprint
If you start a marathon out too fast, you’re just going to hit a wall. Building a social community takes time. You can’t just start tweeting one day and expect to have 5,000 followers the next (unless you’re Alex from Target, but that’s a different story).
2). Don’t ignore the pain!
When you’re training for a marathon, you have to listen to your body. I have spent a number of weekends on my couch with an ice pack because I didn’t stretch or do preventative exercises. When you’re executing your social strategy, you have to figure out what’s working and listen to what’s not.
3). Set realistic goals and tackle them one at a time
I didn’t start out by running 18 miles on day one. Every week, I set goals for myself: 15 miles; 20 miles; 40 miles. Set new goals for your social strategy every week and reflect on them. Try to engage with three new people and see how that works – then try six.
4). Don’t run it alone
The only way I have been able to get through marathon training is from the encouragement and advice of my running group. They are seasoned marathoners, and have endless amounts of tips for me – everything from what type of socks to wear to how much to hydrate. When you’re planning a social strategy, don’t be afraid to ask the advice of those with more expertise. Join LinkedIn groups focused on digital marketing, and emulate companies that are doing it right.
5). Reflect, find out what works best for you, and try it again
Marathon training (especially training for your first) takes a lot of testing and tweaking. Your body isn’t used to running 26.2 miles – and it starts doing crazy things. You have to find out what works for you. Gatorade? Compression pants? Energy chews? It’s really all about testing these things out. The same goes for your social media strategy. Try sharing different types of content and writing in different tones. What works best for your company?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or board of directors of either organization.