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Lessons in Social Media Management: Slow and Steady

December 29, 2011 Leave a comment

                                                                                                

                           

I just finished a three month trial working with a local startup called Mikey’s Balloons.  It’s a one-man company started by balloon artist Michael Guerts.  The company is in its infancy so I decided to try to take this company through a social media campaign to see if I could get some momentum started for my friend Mikey.

The lessons I learned are worth sharing.  In short:  Slow and Steady, Client Involvement, and Budget.  This post will center on the first lesson invloved:  Slow and Steady.

Slow and Steady

You remember that bed time story of the Tortoise and the Hare.  The Hare erupted from the starting gate.  The turtle was soon so far behind that the Hare lost momentum stopped for a nap.  While he was sleeping the Tourtise slowly but steadily gained ground, passed the Hare, and won the race.

Social media fits that story to a tee.  We hear the Cinderella stories Social Media stories and we dangle them in front of us like a carrot.  We jump from the gate and sprint as fast as we can.  All too soon however, we have used up all our energy and we stop. 

As surprising as it may seem for so many, social media is not the end-all-be-all of next generation business. As far as I know there is no magic wand that magically triples business and turns a start up into a household name. Slow, steady consistant growth in social media is the only way to stay afloat.  This is a lesson I learned first-hand, thanks to Mikey’s Balloons. 

I came into the campaign ready for immediate, organic, self-perpetuating growth.  I know Mikey and believe in his skill.  A few videos, a facebook, twitter, and flikr account and we should be good.

Two weeks into the campagn I started to see the light.  After friends and family joined the Mikey’s Balloons facebook page, it lost all momentum.  The results resembled the behavior of a traditional brick-and-mortar company, not the instant sucess that online marketing touts.

So, we went back to the slow and steady approach, posting only once per day to every other day about things not necessarily related to Mikey’s Balloons.  We started building a community-oriented page and slowly we started gaining more followers.  It was a longer process than we expected and it took much more energy.  But such is life as the turtle instead of the Hare.

Meg Fligg, Senior Manager of Social Media at Georgia-Pacific, referenced the Tourtoise and the Hare analogy in a presentation at Blogwell this November.  Her presentation centered on Georgia-Pacific’s recruiting success using social media.  “Georgia-Pacific is a lot more tortoise-like than hare-like when it comes to social media,” she said. “Embracing my tortoise-ness helped me understand that slow and steady wins the race.”

Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten with SocialMediaClub.org also endorses the idea.  She writes, “Slow and Steady will Always Win the Race.”