It occurred to me recently that, for any organization that is just starting to use social media like (or any social media, for that matter) to connect with their community, the process is very much like a person starting an exercise program. Here’s why:

  • Neither yields immediate results
  • With a little discipline and the right equipment, a good program can take minutes per day
  • As they start to work, both tend to be far more effective and healthy than other short-term alternatives

For some idea of how comically close this analogy is, check out the SoloFlex website’s guide to “Getting Started Lifting Weights.” Here are a few quotes from the guide, with some of the words replaced below in italics to make the quotes fit the use of social media:

  • Weightlifting Using social media is like anything else: it takes a little knowledge and time to do it properly and see real results. However, you will probably be surprised how quickly you your organization and its community start to feel and look better connect and create a better future as a result of properly lifting weights using social media.
  • In your first couple weeks lifting weights using social media, your objective is learning and creating community, not muscular development big business gains.
  • When you start your workout program social media efforts, only do 5-6 repetitions with a light weightreps post an idea or experience every few days. Doing more posting can bring on fatigue and the possibility of social media soreness or injury.
  • If you desire greater strength and/or muscle mass gains in your community, you will have to gradually reduce the number of repetitions top-down control while increasing the resistance empowerment of your customers and employees and number of sets frequency with which you implement their ideas.
  • Never sacrifice form honesty, manners or respect for weight increases blatant marketeering.

In the near future, we will be posting some more specific “social media exercises” that you can do to work toward your own “Communities of Steel.” For now, though, the best thing you and your organization can do is to get familiar with the equipment, see how other people are using it, and begin the regular discipline of reading experiences and ideas, voting on them, and posting some of your own! Some of the organizations on are already “exercising” on a regular basis and starting to show results.

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