I went to the Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings game last Sunday. In addition to pitting two strong NFC teams against one another, the game included an interesting milestone – Brett Favre’s NFL record-tying 283rd consecutive game.
283 NFL games. In a row. Except for sleep and breathe, I’ve never done anything 283 times in a row – impressive stuff for Favre, regardless of your opinions on his Cher-like series of comebacks.
Grab the Lunchpail
In sports, we revere those that come to work every day. The “iron men” of athletics are held in incredibly high esteem. Sure, Favre and Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken, Jr. are/were great players, but they’ll be remembered most for their incredible durability and consistency.
Lots of players have one or two great seasons – sometimes even an MVP-caliber season. But the players that make the Hall of Fame are those that can sustain a very high level of accomplishment over a long period of time.
The same is true in social media.
Social Media is a Process, Not a Project
Making your company or organization social – truly changing the nature of the relationship between you and your customers – isn’t something to tackle in a month or a quarter. It’s something that must be sustained forever.
Once you start being social, you can’t stop. You can’t tell customers “yeah, we experimented with customer service on Twitter, but we didn’t like it, so you’ll have to go back to emailing us.” Good luck with that.
Social media isn’t about being an overnight success, (great content from Chris Brogan) and don’t fall into the trap of over-promising with regard to social media timelines.
Be The Tortoise, not the Hare
A lot of corporate executives are going to be pounding their fists in early 2010, driving marketers to get on the social media train like never before. “We’ve got to get rolling on social media,” they’ll shout.
I agree that if you’re still on the sidelines, pretty soon your social media silence is going to be deafening. But, jumping in with guns blazing, and trying to “do” social media all at once is entirely the wrong social media strategy.
Realize that the social media success equation isn’t big moves on the chess board, it’s little moves made every day that eventually add up to a major shift.
As a marketer, your goal needs to be to understand what will drive kinship with your brand, then engaging with customers in a way that fosters that kinship in small chunks, every day.
Winning consumer hearts and minds steadily and wisely is the way to succeed in social media. And the ability to go slow, not fast is what separates long-term Hall of Famers from short-term MVPs.