Boot camp gets our social media on a workout program

If you slept late yesterday, ate cinnabons, lounged with the dog or watched football with a bag of chips, you weren’t as productive as we were.

Even though it was hard to ask our team to abandon their weekend activities, we spent a productive Sunday with social media consultant Krista Neher.

Krista runs Boot Camp Digital, and she put us through a six hour workout – pointing out where we are a little slack with our social media, where we are being lazy, and also where we are in pretty good shape. A serious “physical assessment” of social media muscle tone is important for business owners conscious of their sales numbers and brand awareness, and we undertook the workout ready to make some changes.


It was difficult to let our egos and pride of ownership go, but the encouragement of a good consultant, like Krista, helps you commit to being brutally honest about what is working and what is faltering, if not failing altogether. It really is like a session with a physical trainer.

I took some notes that I will check back on as we work on our social media physique:

Be consistent

We need to tweak (not Tweet!) the consistency of our messaging. For example, we have multiple Twitter accounts, and it was easy to see – through an outsider’s eyes – where we lost sight, at times, of our target audience from one account to another. Visualize the persona of your reader and speak to her directly and confidently.

Make a list of all your social media accounts - in addition to our Twitters, we are on Facebook, Linkedin and have multiple blogs – and analyze each one, honestly.

Set clear expectations

Many businesses, like, are guilty of jumping too quickly into something new and exciting. For example, we ran a contest during the holidays and were surprised at the number of emails we captured over a frantic 5-day period.

Krista pointed out that we failed to set measurable goals, and to clearly delineate how we would determine the success of the contest. Although we captured 1800 email addresses, we didn’t test them to determine conversion rates, if any, compared to our general email database, we have no idea how effective this type of contest is in garnering valuable new email clients.

State your rules of engagement

This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook when you have multiple social outlets that are always being updated. For example, on the Facebook page, we encourage our fans to “Find great deals.” On the home page, the great deals are not front and center. Like Krista pointed out, this is a major disconnect. But not one that’s not fixable.

These social media “rules” stand out in my notes from yesterday:

o Don’t spam
o Don’t oversell
o Build relationships
o Provide value
o Be human
o Focus on business outcomes
o Remember to say “thank you”

My take away from our Sunday at the office? Get down regularly and do some social media sit-ups.  |  digg it!  |  reddit reddit!  |  Google!

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Thanks so much for this blog post. I really enjoyed working with your group and I look forward to seeing great things from Catalogs. You have a GREAT product and exciting things planned for the future.

I can't wait to see amazing things from you!

- Krista

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