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January 13, 2011

Why Social Media is like Getting out of a Warm Bed

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Diving into social media, just like thrusting yourself out of a cozy bed, can be a harrowing thought. Why? Because just like your trusted mattress, you’ve been comfortable with your marketing plan thus far – it’s familiar, it does the job.

Like an irritating alarm at 6 a.m., developments in online marketing warn us that there’s a job to do, and time is running out. Social media, in one form or another, is becoming an extremely important facet in marketing your business.

So, wake up and smell the coffee. We’ve got work to do. But first, let’s look at some of the common barriers to getting out of bed in the morning starting social media.

Bed Monster

1. You’re not ready.

You’ve been hitting the snooze over and over. Every day, you come up with an excuse why you’re just not ready to get out there into the social media world.

Maybe it’s because you feel like you need to have a full-blown strategy before you engage. You don’t know “enough” to start.

When you get out of your bed in the morning, you may not know what’s in store, but you do it anyway. It takes just one step at a time.

If you’re anything like me, getting out of a peaceful, squishy sleep cave is not easy.

It usually takes at least three hits of a snooze button, a couple of deep stretches and an opening of an eye or two for a couple minutes at a time.

All this before I even think about exposing even my foot to the outside world.

But, in the end, the thing that catapults me out of bed is time (or lack thereof).

Same goes for social media. It’s OK to give it some thought, do some preparation exercises and then test the waters.

But know there’s a time limit on how long your business can continue to go without social media in your marketing efforts.

The longer you put it off, the harder it’s going to be; and your competition is the bright, cheery type that gets up and does 20 push-ups before you’ve even left your bed.

2. It’s cold out there.

You’ve mustered up the courage to get out there, but just like propelling yourself out of a warm bed, the frigid climate can make you want to turn right back around and jump under the covers.

Countless professionals have decided to make the jump to social media and then just expected to be successful without much effort.

And then when they don’t see the results, they curse social media and wonder if it’s time to give up.

Matilda bundled up in bed

When you leave your cocoon-like safe haven I like to call “bed,” it’s a cold place.

You have to make the effort to walk over (or run, as I do) to turn the heater on. Then, you have to go through the motions to make yourself presentable to the outside world.

It’s a similar concept for tackling social media.

You must make preparations, take the time to engage and build relationships to present your brand in the best light. If you don’t, social media, just like your bedroom at 6 a.m., will be a frosty place.

But don’t give up if one day you only have enough energy to show up with bed head.

Social media is an ongoing effort, a daily task that will have its ups and downs. The most important thing is that you’re doing it.

Tips for Stepping Out

Define which social media outlet is right for you. Depending on what type of business you have, one social network might be sweeter than another.

The thing to remember is that many social networks compliment each other in some way.

For example, Twitter can be a good standalone network for things like dedicated customer service or coupons, but it can also serve as a distribution platform for original content on your blog, for example.

Or maybe you want to build your community on Facebook and YouTube, because you don’t have a ton of money to invest on building and optimizing your website.

Or perhaps your target audience is on a B2B-type network like LinkedIn, and you want to invest time there, where you can also share original content to very specific groups.

Sometimes it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, so do the research to find what social networks will work for your brand. [Just like getting up in the morning, you have to go where they're expecting you to be and be prepared for that. You're not necessarily rolling out of bed and heading to the club. Unless you're Ke$ha, in which case, I guess you are. --Susan]

Coffee

Commit to a level of engagement. Yes, it seems overwhelming. Start off slow, because it’s a long-term strategy.

This is where you’re going to have to polish up in those time management skills and dive in.

I had a friend recently say to me (after I handed her a list of social networks she needed to focus on): “I have one question: Where the hell do you find the time to do all this on top of everything else?”

The answer is: You make time. Social media needs to be viewed as part of the marketing plan, not an add-on to all the more important things you’re doing for your business.

So, with a little bit of commitment (and caffeine), you, too, can make social media and getting out of bed in the morning, a more manageable task.

Please share your tips for making social media work for beginners in our comments section!

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12 responses to “Why Social Media is like Getting out of a Warm Bed”

  1. MaKenzie Birchell writes:

    VERY cool analogy Jessica! We all need to get out of our marketing “comfort zone” at times, and it’s not easy. Luckily, for beginners, there are great industry experts and bloggers like you who have been down that road and can help provide insight and tips, and let newcomers know that they’re not alone!

  2. Jessica Lee writes:

    Hi, MaKenzie! So glad found value in this post.

    A lot of businesses still haven’t committed to social media because it’s such an overwhelming task, but hopefully making the first steps will be in everyone’s marketing plan this year.

    And you’re right, there are a lot of people online with a lot of great information to share on how to tackle the beast.

    Come back soon :)

  3. Robert Samuel writes:

    Great article Jessica. Yes indeed, social media marketing is something that I think you need to get the hang of and master in order for it to work. I just thank the universe for allowing such services like Ping.fm to invented. :-)

  4. Tihomir Petrov writes:

    Very good advices. We have to plan everything and to think before to make steps!

  5. Andy @ FirstFound writes:

    I won’t lie. Through that entire post, I was fantasizing about getting back in bed…

  6. Zunaira Karim writes:

    Great article, Jessica! For the most part though, I see social media strategies fail when there’s a lack of consistency. I’m happy you emphasized on points such as giving your social media strategy some thought and time…it’s all based on building relationships online, and those take time to nurture.

  7. Nick Stamoulis writes:

    Thanks for the enjoyable article. It’s true that many are hesitant to jump into the social media space, but just like getting out of bed in the morning- it’s something that marketers must do! Great tips on how to make the transition a bit easier.

  8. Jessica Lee writes:

    Hi, Robert! Aren’t tools like that great? But aside from automation, it takes work to strengthen relationships, track results, etc. — that’s the time-consuming part! Thank you for your comment.

  9. Jessica Lee writes:

    Thanks for joining the discussion, Tihomir!

  10. Jessica Lee writes:

    I’m trying hard not to think of mine, but in all fairness, it is a Monday.

  11. Jessica Lee writes:

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Zunaira! Exactly, it’s like any friendship — but even sometimes less forgiving!

  12. Jessica Lee writes:

    So glad you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to comment, Nick! It’s a big job, but somebody’s gotta do it, right? ;)



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