You slave over getting it started. You carefully tend to it as it grows and matures. Then you realize it isn’t big enough to feed you. What you harvest is great, but is isn’t enough to make a difference in your budget.
Yes, your garden. That corner of your yard dedicated to growing edibles. It has a lot in common with your corporate social media program. It is nurtured as it grows, everyone loves seeing results, but it just isn’t enough to drive your business.
Want to make your social media program deliver big-time results? Here are three things you need to do. Coincidentally, all apply to your garden as well.
Dedicate time, space and money. Whether it needs more attention, budget or autonomy, give your social media program the space it needs to flourish. Relegated to spare time or drastically constrained resources, it may yield results, but it will not make an impact.
Gardeners note: want a big pumpkin? A large pumpkin plant can cover more than 400 square feet.
Mix it in. Your social media program shouldn’t be confined to its own corner, however big the corner is. Integrating social media with your website, advertising, email and PR, not to mention customer service and sales, will deliver the best results. In fact, you may find it works much better in some of these areas than on its own.
Gardeners note: lettuce often grows better in the dappled shade of your landscape than in a garden bed, and eggplants a great looking summer annual beyond the garden.
Be scrapy. Knowledge is valuable, don’t hesitate to pay for the knowledge you need. Then put that knowledge to use yourself. If you pay someone else to manage all aspects of your program, you will either lose integration or pay out most of the profit. The goal isn’t a social program that drives results the industry can see, it is driving your bottom line results.
Gardeners note: learning to start your own seeds, make fertilizer and grow cover crops improves your understanding of the garden. Not only does it save money, it will yields better results as well.
Stop only looking for results in your social media program, look for results that meaningfully contribute to your overall organization by giving social media the attention and integration it needs.
A marketer during the week, my weekends are often spent with family in the garden, which has grown well beyond its small corner.
Find me on twitter (@wittlake) for marketing conversation and the occasional weekend gardening comment and photo.