Social Media Marketing is a Marathon, Not a Sprint – Ep 53

Learn why social media marketing is a marathon and not a sprint, why it works better in the long game and some of the steps you need to take to play the long game.  

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to think of their social media marketing plan as a sprint. Sprints work great to launch a program or for a campaign, but true success comes when you treat it more like training and running a marathon.

To run a marathon you have to consistently train, fine tune your diet and push your limits over a very long period of time. Social media marketing is a marathon and not a sprint because like a marathon, you have to consistently show up by posting and connecting everyday, fine-tune your approach and push your limits over a long period of time.

Why do people feel they have to run a social media sprint?

  • People want to become an overnight success, an idea which we discuss in detail in The Myth of Overnight Success – Ep 40
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) drives people to hit their goals, driven by the fear of being left behind. We discussed this back in Episode 47. How to Overcome the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) – Ep 47
  • Things are always changing and it’s hard to keep up. Don’t over-invest in any one platform, but experiment with multiple platforms to see what works for you and your audience.
  • Some people may be early adopters and want to be omnipresent with everything. There’s always new people coming in and succeeding faster or going further and they feel they need to sprint ahead. Consistency is more important than lots of activity, then the dropping off.

Why is social media really more like a marathon?

  • Social media is more sustainable over a long period of time if you’re  controlled and consistent. If you’re running a sprint, you’re going to wear yourself out.
  • The long game requires the ability to reinvent yourself and pivot. Look at megastars like Madonna, Britney Spears, and more recently Beyonce and Jay-Z (The Carters) they have all reinvented and rebranded themselves where changes needed to be made.
  • Every person will changes careers an average of five to seven times in a lifetime. Kami and Madalyn shared their reinvention and pivoting stories:
  • Madalyn Sklar started in the financial industry and sold annuities and mutual funds to college professors for for 8 years before becoming an entrepreneur. She was an early adopter web designer and pivoted to become self-employed. She also started her music community, GoGirls Music. Madalyn pivoted again in 2015 and today is a Business Coach and Social Media Coach focused on Twitter and is well known as a Twitter marketing expert. Now she’s now doing social media as a business, podcasting and leading masterminds for women.
  • Kami Huyse started in nonprofit public relations and then worked in a trade association, becoming the national spokesperson. She then became the editor of a national trade publication. She pivoted in 2002 to become a consultant. She continued to get clients and build her business. In 2005 she started her blog and then pivoted again in 2008 when she started the Social Media Breakfast Houston in 2009. Finally, she started her current agency, Zoetica in 2010, with several partners. Today, she focuses on creating content, helping people through this podcast, and launching a few other companies. She feels she’s pivoting again with more online training and other ways to help communicators connect with their online communities.

How do you stop sprinting and become a marathoner?

  • Be consistent. It’s incredibly important to be in the long game, plan, create content and post every day.
  • Pivot as needed. Watch where your community goes and follow them. If they change platforms, be there, too.
  • Notice Your Passion. This can change over time, but put emphasis on what your current passion is, turning a hobby into something that can benefit your business.
  • Sprint when necessary. Sometimes you need to run a sprint to get something done, but never for more than 2 weeks – 30 days, otherwise you will fall out of the longer race.
  • Use SCRUM. Break your work down into actions using Trello or Asana. At the end of the 2 week to one month period, create a product, even if it’s “B-” work.

Tools, links and apps mentioned:

Take Action

How have you changed over the course of your career? Come join the conversation in the Facebook Group.


How to reach Kami:

If you’d like to learn more about Kami Huyse, visit her website at www.zoeticamedia.com. You can contact her by email at kami@zoeticamedia.com or tweet to @kamichat.

How to reach Madalyn:

If you’d like to learn more about Madalyn Sklar, visit her website at www.madalynsklar.com. You can contact her by email at madalyn@madalynsklar.com or tweet to @MadalynSklar.

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