By: Susu Wong, Owner of Tomo360
One of my hobbies includes training and participating in triathlons. I love to train for triathlons because it is a great way to cross train and avoid injuries from repetitive training. I also like it because it allows me to work on a variety of exercises throughout the week, instead of focusing on just one type of activity.
I have trained and participated in multiple triathlons and century bike rides. As I trained for a race, I couldn’t help but identify many similarities between my triathlon training and the work that goes into developing a social media campaign.
The triathlon itself takes place in just one day, but there are months of training that lead up to it. The training and race itself compare to the laborious process that takes place within the first year of developing your business’ social media presence.
Similar to a triathlon, there are multiple short and long term goals to achieve a strong social media presence. You need to develop a well-thought-out training plan ahead of time, and you may want to seek advice from the experts. For example, I joined Breakaway & Cycling Triathlon, a Merrimack Valley based training center from a highly experienced group of USAT certified coaches and internationally ranked Ironman that help coach aspiring triathletes and top pros, and I quickly learn how to improve my speed, endurance, and strength from taking their Computraining bike training. Your plan must be conditioned for multiple challenges, lengths, and endurance. and hours to reach various checkpoints, and unforeseen obstacles will appear, and you have to prepare yourself for the challenge.
Most importantly, when training for a triathlon you must understand your personal strengths and weaknesses, similar to how when developing your social media strategy, you must be acutely aware of your business’ strength and weaknesses.
Entering the cold ocean of a triathlon swim can be as demanding as breaking away from the internet’s traffic funnel. You may find yourself flailing through the waves of traffic, making impulsive actions, and not being able to separate yourself from the pack. Knowing where to start and position yourself away from your competition can help you avoid colliding with the pack.
At first, it may seem hard to keep your head above water, but understanding your audience and basing your content around their needs will keep you swimming.
In the swimming portion of a triathlon, buoys are put in the water to help guide swimmers along the swimming path. Marketing goals are similar in this sense. It is easy to become easily overwhelmed and intimated by all the swimmers around you, just like it is easy to become distracted by all of the other marketing noise out in the world. It is important to concentrate on your marketing goals and stick with your strategy.
To succeed, you must not frail in frustration, but instead maintain your technique, nimbly adapt to your audience, and make consistent, strong strokes to ride the waves.
Ever watch the Tour De France? Every year you see the bikers harassed by opponents’ fans as they bike the hills.
These bikers know their course in the same way you must know your audience to develop a high-quality social media presence. Just like the bikers, you have opponents and competition, and they are going to distract you at the most challenging times on your course.
You must keep your head glued on the course the way the biker does, pedal the same motions, keep a consistent cadence, and not let them interrupt content plan.
The best way to combat competition or negative social media feedback is to maintain high professionalism in all communications, postings, and interactions. Instead of giving into the distraction, rise above it, and bike past them to reach your goals. Don’t be discouraged if other bikers pass you by.
Running is you against yourself. At the end of the day, so is social media.
There will be market competition, times when you sprint by competitors and required mental toughness to keep from gasping in frustration because you must keep going! Consistent posting and the flexibility to adjust content are both needed in order to increase followers and engagement.
Just like how you must accelerate or pace yourself in the running portion of a triathlon, you also must effectively pace and push yourself upon implementing social media campaigns. It is on you to control the marketing pace, post that extra blog when you’re exhausted, and endure extra time communicating with your audience.
You dictate the pace of your content, how opinionated you want to finish a blog series, or how you hit your analytical goals. Be mentally tough, put the time into social media, and your hard work will reach more audiences than you ever expected.