In 2012, I weighed 95 more pounds than I do right now. I gradually gained weight for about a decade. One day, my wife came home and told me that she wanted to join a Biggest Loser contest at her job and she was thinking about joining. She told me that she wanted to try out Weight Watchers. So, we both joined, and we were both successful, ultimately reaching our Weight Watchers goals. In that same time period, I launched my own social media marketing business. Over that time, I’ve realized there are several striking similarities between losing weight and social media marketing strategy.
What Businesses Can Learn About Social Media Marketing Strategy From Weight Loss
There are many ways to lose weight – some people have more discipline than others and are able to eat more healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and less processed foods.
For some people, a more structured program such as Weight Watchers works better.
How Weight Watchers works is, you’re allotted so many points per day and extra points per week that you’re allowed based on your gender, height and weight. Each food or beverage is given a certain number of points, and you need to stay within that number for the program to work effectively.
You can also do activity – such as walking, running, really any sort of movement and earn activity points that you can subtract. Personally, Weight Watchers worked for me because there was structure, and I followed the program, tracked every day and walk three miles almost every day. It also didn’t hurt that we had a child who was crawling at the time, so I would crawl with her. Fun times!
So, I had a strategy – a plan – to help me lose weight, and over the next 1.5 years, I would lose almost 100 pounds.
Similar to weight loss, it’s critical to create a strategy when it comes to social media marketing for your business, whether you own or work for a B2B or B2C business.
Included in this strategy, you’ll want to decide:
- Why am I using social media in the first place? What are my goals? To drive more people to my website? To increase leads and sales? To improve customer service? To connect with other professionals in my industry? To conduct research?It’s so important to figure this piece out first. Just like with weight loss. I wanted to lose weight so I would have more energy – that was the main reason, but I also wanted to be healthy because I had a family, and I wanted to stick around for a long while. Whenever somebody asks me at Weight Watchers the key to me losing so much weight, I tell him/her that becoming a parent was the solution for me – I am constantly on the go.
- Which social networks should I be using for my business? Which ones are my current customers on, and which ones are my potential customers on?
There are so many social medias out there nowadays – from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter to LinkedIn to Snapchat to Pinterest to blogging to social media advertising, and many more. It totally depends on who your customers and potential customers are and if your business is serving consumers or other businesses – B2B versus B2C. For example, if you’re a retail store, you better be on Facebook (more than 1 billion users) and Instagram (Instagram is growing really rapidly right now with more than 700,000 users, and it’s great especially if you’re trying to reach a younger audience). If you’re trying to reach the teen to college crowd, Snapchat is a must. If you’re a B2B business, I would recommend LinkedIn, blogging and email marketing, most likely (depends on the exactly type of business, of course though). And YouTube is a must for any business nowadays. The video social network owned by Google is the second largest social network in the world, and it’s so important to strategically use YouTube to help you rank higher in Google search and engage with your audience. Similarly, when it comes to weight loss, there are so many options out there – from Weight Watchers to Atkins. I chose Weight Watchers because my wife selected it. I got lucky. Weight Watchers worked for me. It doesn’t work for everybody though.
- What types of content should I be sharing on social media?
Above all, you want your social media marketing posts to be fun, funny and educational. People get sick and tired of just promotional posts on your social medias. It’s OK to share promotions and be promotional from time to time, but keep it to a small percentage of your social media posts. Remember – social media is supposed to be social – engaging. It’s not just you talking to your customers and potential customers. You want to get their feedback, opinions, too. There are many types of content you can create: videos (behind the scenes, frequently asked questions, interview with an influencer, livestreams of events), contests encouraging people to engage with your content, links to your blog posts, educational videos, testimonials. Weight Watchers does a great job with their social media (http://www.adweek.com/digital/the-skinny-on-how-weight-watchers-uses-social-media/) – they’re on multiple social networks, plus some Weight Watchers leaders (including mine) set up a Facebook Group (http://www.adweek.com/digital/how-a-closed-facebook-group-weight-watchers-helped-me-lose-94-6-pounds/) for the local chapter. Here, Weight Watchers members share recipes, experiences and support each other.
- How will I measure success?
What your goals are when you launch your social media and social media posts and campaigns will determine which metrics you want to track from analytics in your social network and Google Analytics (to track referrals from your social network to your website). Examples of metrics might be Page likes, engagement (Likes, Comments and shares on your posts), click-throughs to your website, email sign-ups and conversions.
Other Social Media Marketing & Weight Loss Similarities
Besides strategy, there are several other similarities between social media marketing for your business and weight loss:
- It takes time to grow your social media following, and it takes time to lose weight. Neither happens overnight, but if you follow your strategy, you will eventually reach your goal. It’s important to be patient and consistently create content so you’re constantly in front of your audience. Likewise, it’s critical to consistently follow your weight loss program to ultimately see results.
- It takes testing. Different businesses require different social networks, different types of content, and some weight loss plans and strategies work better than others, depending on the person. You might start using one social network or weight loss plan, and it might not work, or might not work right away. Try out each social network for at least six months before you decide to bail on it.
Tim Sohn is the CEO and founder of Sohn Social Media Solutions. Visit SohnSocialMediaSolutions.com, and contact Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-559-7224.