A Tale of Two Social Roads: Starting From Scratch

There are really two starting points of a social campaign, even though no one really talks about it.

How everyone thinks – Big brand Big Audience

360Social talking about social inertia in picture form

Inertia is something like this…

Everyone sees the big numbers on social networks, Facebook came out of nowhere.  Coke can start a fan page one day and have a million fans in a week.  Dell made $3 Million on Twitter.  Old Spice had the greatest campaign in online video history.

Why can’t you do it?

To get to an appropriate answer, you have to ask the appropriate question.  Are you really comparing apples to apples?

There’s a huge difference between Old Spice, which sank millions into a TV campaign before their online success, and you.  They have an audience already.  You don’t.

The Reality – No Audience – No Momentum

Not be a drag, but social is all about momentum, and when you decide to enter the world of social media, you have none.  It’s much easier to add an extra set to your workout in the gym, than it is when you’re sitting on the couch. Momentum matters

So what, you say, I’ll get some momentum.  How hard can it be?

Well, let’s take Twitter, for example.  There may be about 30 million marketers with the exact same goal as you. Everybody wants to be a Brogan, or a Howes, or a Stratton.  How hard is it to get some motion going?

Imagine trying to stand out from 30 million people.  It’s about the same as 5000 people trying to cram into a gym through the same door.

More and more campaigns are failing because they lack the patience, and ability to create momentum.

Social media will be difficult in the beginning, but that will fade over time.  You just need to have the patience and persistence to get to the plateau.

The 2 ways to get social momentum

Make a splash – Get crazy.  Take a risk.  Do something profound, and do it quickly.  It may work, or it may ruin your reputation.  That’s why it’s a risk.  You’ll also have to try to come up with something that others haven’t thought of before…not my forte.  I’ll leave that to wiser men/ladies to address.

Slowly grow – Booooooring.  Slowly doesn’t mean 30 days, or 60.  Unless you’re selling out and living on Twitter during that time.  Slowly means being small for a while, and dominating small groups.  Then leverage that to larger groups and so forth…sound hard. It’s not uncommon for a campaign like this to take 6 months to gain traction at a part time rate.  Want to know how? Here’s a blueprint:

360Social says, "Slow Down!!!"

Best speeding sign ever…slow down guys :-)

1. Have a realistic goal

What is your goal?  Know this or else you’ll be floating in the wind and no one will be able to help you.  Even worse than having no goal, is having a goal that doesn’t match with your ability or place.  Any goal based entirely on sales is a flawed logic.  Social media can’t sell for you.  Only you can.  Social media is a tool.  Having a sale-oriented goal when you begin is suicide.  It’ll only frustrate you, and sour your opinion of social media as a whole.  Start slower by correctly identifying the sandboxes that you want to play in, and play I them.  Then go from there.

2. Make a list of targets

Who is your customer?  Just because you’re online now, doesn’t mean that you can ignore the basics.  Know who you’re going after, so you can know if you’re talking to the right person…make sense?

3. Borrow Influence

Accept that you’re a fresh fish, and get over it.  You can’t be head cheerleader or prom king on the first day all of the time.  It may make sense to identify who is though, and make nice. Their influence will   rub off on you, and then you can actually wield some power.

4. Stand out

Remember when I said 30 million?  Yeah, I said 30 million.  It’s even worse on Facebook.  Be you and if you aren’t interesting enough then have someone else be themselves.  Either way, you’ll need to be different to really make an impact.  Good thing the bar isn’t too high for some platforms.

5. Prove it

Ok, I’m listening…now what?  Do whatever you said you would do.  Don’t get the match you requested and get knocked out in the first round.  Make sure you’re prepared to do everything you can to earn your place.  If you fail a couple of times, its ok, we all have…some more than others.  Dust yourself off and try it again, the good thing about the social world is that most of it has the attention span of a fruit fly…for the most part.

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