Social Media Marketing is like Childrearing…It’s Not For the Weak and Change is Certain

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Juggling my job as a social marketing manager and being a busy mom of two has both rewards and challenges.  We can all agree that social marketing is hard work. Completing all that needs to be done in a day is one of those challenges, but I have always found ways to get my errands done with kids in tote by “selling them” on the idea that the stop at the store will be “FUN!”  Sure, some chores require that I get more creative, but it has always worked and fortunately bribing a 6-year-old is still legal.

It was on a recent, not-so-efficient, day that I discovered my usual, oft-employed strategy to get my daughter excited about running errands with me had suddenly stopped working.  Just like that – the answer was “No thanks, Mommy. I don’t want to go.”  This was supposed to be our one-on-one time, so I was already feeling guilty about cutting into that precious time with my to-do list, so I tried again. “Let’s go get a cookie and you can color (so mommy can finish this post).” Her response was the same. “No. I don’t want to.”

social media management is like raising children

Wait, what?  But I’m the mom and this always works.  I realized I had to change my approach.  The rules changed and so I had to adapt and change my strategy.

The unpredictability of life with a child is strikingly similar to social media, at times. As a social marketing manager at SocialKNX I see a DIRECT correlation between these two jobs.  Change is happening all the time in social media platforms and social media marketing, and there’s little – or sometimes NO – warning.  Indeed, it can be frustrating, but with a little know-how and a lot of stamina, your social marketing strategy will be able to handle anything that Mark Zuckerberg throws at you.

Of course with the constant changes and sometimes unclear targets we are trying to hit, it can be quite overwhelming.  Therapy, anyone?


Here are 4 Tips for Creating Happy and Healthy Social Marketing

flexibility is key with social media management

Stay flexible 

Just like parents who say, “That music is too loud or why do you have to dress like that” we find ourselves saying similar things about social media.  The moment you catch yourself saying things like, “This is stupid. No one is going to join a social platform that has nothing but knitting patterns.” You sound old, and you will be wrong. (check out RAVELRY)  MySpace was king of the social mountain until Facebook knocked it off and took over the kingdom.  There will be others, but you will be ready. Stay nimble. Realize it is not the tool or the platform, but the way we are learning to use them to connect and communicate that is important.

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Never Stop Learning 

None of us are experts or gurus in parenting OR social marketing.  The only expert parents are GRAND parents.  We are all students of this social revolution and there is much to learn… daily.  Make a point to subscribe to top blogs and Twitter streams to stay abreast of what is new.  Join groups on LinkedIn or Communities on Google+ to share new tools with others who manage social marketing.  It’s not until you sell your business or retire that you can look back and see your true expertise.


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Don’t Give Up When The Going Gets Tough

Like anything worth while in life, there will be challenges and tough days.  Ask any parent.  There are good days and there are bad days. If you stay at it long enough, the good days will definitely outweigh the bad.  Don’t be that guy who gives up and refuses to play in the sandbox anymore, because you don’t like the rules. And certainly don’t be a person who tries parenting for a couple months and says it doesn’t work. “This baby is still too needy and not showing a return on my investment so far.” Social marketing takes time and lots of tweaking and changing.  Just as you invest time growing and nurturing your little ones, nurturing a fledgling social media strategy NOW might just be what your business needs to stay relevant and survive into the next phase of its life.

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Ask for Help 

Many parents are afraid to ask for help for fear of revealing they can’t handle it alone.  The reality is, we were never qualified to handle parenting alone.  Hillary Clinton taught us all that in her book, “It Takes A Village”, and I am here to tell you that it takes a village, or at least a team to do everything that needs to be done with your social media management. Perhaps you can have a couple people writing content for your blog, have someone else handle finding great photos for all of your posts, and someone else in charge of coming up with ideas for contests or campaigns. Perhaps you have someone who loves data.  That person can handle analyzing what is working and what is not each month.  You might need to hire some help or bring in an intern to help you.  You can join coaching circles or sign up for a class for that support and assistance.  If you are needing parenting classes, we probably can’t help you, but if you need some help with that social strategy, we are here and eager to help.

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Now go…take that brand new social marketing bundle of yours and grow it into a successful marketing strategy.  You’d better hurry though…the rules are about to change again.

Give us a call and talk to us about your business…or your kids – we’re ready, we’re willing, and we’re parents too.

Need a few more pointers? Here’s a social marketing time management tool we use:

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   Sharlene Keithley is a community manager at SocialKNX and loves discovering ways to drive more traffic to client websites using social media and seeing those conversion numbers rise! When she’s not juggling her roles as mom, wife, community manager, and taxi driver, she is learning to play guitar, piano and spending time in the great outdoors!