Musician John Mayer announced last week he's having a 'digital cleanse'; going cold turkey on social media for a week. This is notable as Mayer is one of the most rabid tweeters in Hollywood. He even got dumped by Jennifer Aniston for it. (Now that's a habit!)

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So will your own social media program face a similar burnout down the road?

This is important as marketers face challenges in 2010 like:

  • How do I get people in my company to adopt social media?
  • How do I prove to management it's worth the time?
  • How do I integrate it with other marketing programs?

The answer is to make sure your social media is on a mission. It's important to establish this at the planning stage for two reasons:

One, like any other relationship, customer relationships built through Social Media take time.

Clock

And in the business world, time is money.

Second, passion is contagious. And the key performance indicator of any social media program is how wide it spreads.

So here's 3 simple questions to ask when trying to develop a social media program that doesn't burnout:

1. What is it that your company is really passionate about?

    You should be able to find this in your company's mission statement. Mission No, not that mission. I'm talking about that thing that truly drives your company. The thing people are obsessed about. That they would talk about all day if you let them. Google's is to organize all the world's information. Wal-Mart's is to deliver every day low prices. Here, at Search Engine People it's to help businesses get found online. What's the obsession your company has?

2. Who in your company is really passionate about it?

Here's the shocker. It may not be you. 858531_45466427

The better you can find the passionate voices in your company the more you'll position your company as a credible authority, the more effective it will be and therefore the more sustainable it will be. Caution: they may be social media wallflowers you have to drag kicking and screaming online. Rick Short built a small army of bloggers for Indium tapping into the experts inside the company that were already creating white papers. Dell has a platoon of over 100 subject matter experts with Twitter accounts. And we're working with a major food marketer that will bring their farmers from the field and onto Facebook. These marketers are building a competitive advantage by creating a strong team of social listeners and sharers.

3. Is there a natural audience of people who are also passionate about this topic?

You better make sure that what the community is interested in matches the content you create.

Social Bounce

Otherwise, like a website that doesn't match the searcher's intent, your content will 'bounce' and and not get clicked on and shared. If you're not a major retail brand it will be more difficult to find those communities but take heart as the revolutionary part of Social Media is how it is allowing niche businesses extend their reach. Louis E. Page put their 116 year old passion for fencing online and increased sales leads by 850%. And the average b2b marketer has 200 Facebook fans; only 100 less than the average b2c company. There are literally dozens of social media tools that can help you find your community from more elaborate ones like Radian6 to do-it-yourself tools like WeFollow.

Final Note: While you're spending time on missions and passion, don't forget to lay one down for your own Social Media program. It should be tied to your company's business goals and measurable on the basis of ROI in a 'we're-going-to-take-that-hill-achieve-X-by-Y' sort of way. That way management knows that those passionate people you found are spending time on something that moves the needle.

In short, unlike Mr. Mayer, don't make your tweets just about your life. Make them about your passion.

braveheart4606

That way your Social Media program won't end up like a New Year's resolution in June.

Photo credit for shock image to ramzi hashisho
Bob Nunn

Bob Nunn is an Internet Marketing Consultant in Toronto and the founder of BrandMechanics. Bob has a successful track record of helping companies fine-tune their online marketing and getting their brands revved up. He has won over 40 marketing awards for his work in advertising, new media, email and more for clients such as Yellow Pages Group ‘The Find Engine’, Blockbuster ‘Guaranteed To Be There’, FutureShop ‘You’ll like what the future has in store.’ and 3M ‘Innovation’ among others.

Brand Mechanics

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5 Responses to “Is Your Social Media On A Mission? 3 Questions To Ask”

  1. Data Entry says:

    Love the image – no that's social media!

  2. Derek Rudnak says:

    Along with those questions, I think it's also important to reinforce the notion that a marketing strategy that truly integrates social media is a marathon, not a race.

    As cliche as that may seem, it's a valuable concept because burnout (read: not maintaining a consistent social media engagement) is nonproductive.

    It's also worth nothing that people like John Mayer probably don't use social media the way the rest of us use it—which includes brand monitoring, following conversations with related forums and communities, etc.

  3. Sage advice. It is important to align social media strategy with business goals, as well as, the passion/mission of your organization with community.

    Lauren Vargas
    Community Manager at Radian6
    @VargasL
    .-= Lauren Vargas recently posted: 5 Steps to a Better Social Media Monitoring Plan =-.

  4. joe-seo says:

    I am probably the worst social media marketer of all. I only blog and hardly find enough time to live my life. I admire people who work very hard and still find time to tweet.
    .-= joe-seo recently posted: 1 หน้าต่อหนึ่งเรื่อง..พอ =-.

  5. [...] They started with one account but now have over 150 including separate ones for the passionate, authoritative voices inside their organization (Cheese PHD person, wine person etc.) and one for each store to bring the brand to your hood. If you want to see more on doing this check my post "Is Your Social Media On A Mission?". [...]