What Social Media Requires

The incredible brand awareness and bottom-line profits achievable through social media marketing require hustle, heart, sincerity, constant engagement, long-term commitment, and most of all, artful and strategic storytelling.

Gary Vaynerchuk, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Social media is either an incredible opportunity or an absolute waste of time.

Our culture wants you to believe it’s the former, of course. How else could we make sense of the amount of time we spend scrolling, twittering, & double-tapping? It consumes our attention, therefore it must be essential.

But perhaps we’ve deemed it essential only because it consumes our attention.

No doubt, social can be a powerful amplifier of your brand if done well. But it takes a lot to be done well.

Like everything in your business, social media takes time, energy, effort, & resources—all things in limited supply.

Every time you open up Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat, you’re making a trade. You’re trading whatever else you could be doing for the scroll or for the post or for the sales pitch.

If done with intention, that trade-off may well be worth it.

If done mindlessly, it’s just a distraction from something more important—from observing one of your coaches, from having a conversation with that new member, from checking the trash cans in the bathroom to make sure they’re not overflowing.

I’m not arguing you shouldn’t do social media. I’m only arguing that you shouldn’t let how easy they’ve made using these apps blind you from their actual usefulness.

If you’re going to try to grow your brand on Instagram, go at it hard. Develop an authentic voice in your community and argue for the values at the heart of your gym. Schedule the necessary time to build out a content calendar, to produce the content, to engage, engage, engage.

If social media is valuable enough to do, do it incredibly well. Recognize the constraints of your business (time, money, personnel), then put a plan in place, execute against it, experiment, learn, & get better.

If it’s not worth that kind of investment, ask yourself: What is worth doing incredibly well?

Then go do that instead.

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Patrick Cummings