We all know what it’s like to fall of the wagon. It happens all the time and the pattern looks like this: You take a class on a skill you wanted to learn, leave the class feeling inspired, zealously put your new-found skills to use, only to find that a month later your energy fizzles and your efforts fall by the wayside. If this sounds vaguely familiar to your social media marketing story, you’re not alone. It’s common for businesses to start a social media marketing campaign, because they know it’s the right thing to do, but put it on the back burner when things get really busy.
Coming out from social media hibernation can be daunting and arguably even harder than starting from scratch. Here are 8 things you can do to make your life a little easier when you decide to launch your social media comeback.
1. Get to the Bottom of It
Before you go barreling back into another social media marketing campaign, it’s important that you pinpoint the exact reason you failed with your initial efforts, so that you can avoid making the same mistake again. Try doing a root cause analysis. There are different methods of conducting root cause analysis, but the main thing is that you focus on figuring out the exact cause of your failure rather than simply addressing the symptoms.
Is it possible that the reason your social media efforts failed in the first place is that you bit off more than you could chew? Your social media marketing plan doesn’t have to include every social media network under the sun. If you try to do too much you’re more likely to burn out or lose steam. Instead, pick two or three social media activities or networks that make the most sense for your business and focus your energy there. Create a social media schedule based around these three networks and stick to the plan. Re-evaluate your strategy after a month and revise it accordingly. If you feel you can add another activity or network at that time, go for it!
3. Undergo an Environmental Change
If you have any doubts about your ability to maintain your social media plan once you start your comeback tour, try changing your environment. For example, carve out a slot in your schedule each day and dedicate it to your social media campaign. Instead of sitting at your desk during this time, relocate to a coffee shop so that you aren’t tempted by your other job duties. Soon enough you’ll start to associate that coffee shop with your social media marketing activities and it will become a regular part of your routine.
4. Stay Focused on What’s Important
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of a new initiative. The trick is staying focus and not losing interest the minute something more pressing comes up. Peter Bregman gives great advice on how to stay focused in his blog post in Harvard Business Review. Basically it boils down to narrowing down your priorities to a list of 5 things, and devoting 95% of your day to accomplishing them. That way you don’t get distracted by the million other options you have in a given day that take away from what is really important to you.
5. Define Your End Goal
In order to track the success of your social media comeback you must have a definite goal in place from the start. Watching your progress as you climb the social media ladder and knowing how far you have left to go will keep you focused and motivated to continue with your efforts.
Luckily you don’t have to take out a full-page press release to let your social media followers know you’re back on the scene. That’s what the networks are for! Make use of Facebook and Twitter to announce that you’re rekindling your social media flame and give them a reason to pay attention to you again. Chances are, your blog has been lying dormant for a while and the content may be irrelevant by this point. Go through and weed out or modify any stale content and focus on putting out great content to revamp your blog.
7. Have an Agenda
I briefly touched on having a social media schedule in Step 2, however this is deserving of it’s own step. Develop a publishing schedule that lays out exactly when you will send out tweets, update facebook, and post new blog posts. Be very specific about the type of content you’ll be posting and make sure that the schedule is within your limits. The last thing you want to do is to burn out again, resulting in another comeback tour down the road.
8. Start Fresh on New Networks
With the growing popularity of social media and the advent of new networks on a daily basis, I’d be willing to bet that there are a few new social media networks out there since your first social media stint. Figure out what they are and get a fresh start on one that fits in with your plan. The beauty of a new network is that most of the users are going to be just starting out too, so you don’t have to feel like you’re late to the party. If things are going particularly well with this hot new social media network, chances are the momentum will carry over to your other networks.
Staging a social media comeback isn’t something you want to have to do more than once (or ever ideally), so before you launch back into it make sure you’re ready and committed. If you try to get back into it before you’re ready, you’ll go crazy trying to learn everything there is to know and do it all. If you try to launch your comeback before you’re fully committed, you’ll end up reverting back to your old habits and letting social media take the back seat again.