The Secret To Social Marketing: Lessons From An Early Morning Spin Class.


What does a spin class have to do with marketing? Well nothing, except I had one of those moments of clarity right in the middle of my early morning spin today. I truly figured out what really makes good social campaigns work—and the answer… well… Let me tell my story.

It has been one of those weeks. Big eye roll –as I tried for the millionth time to explain to an executive that if you really want to participate in social marketing, you have to let go a bit.

He is one of those who wants it all content, getting likes, lots of shares  and of course– having the next viral sensation. But at the same time he also wants total control. Approving and reading  every single, comment, tweet, blog, and photo put out by the company on any social channel. I have tried several times to explain that it just won’t work.   And, the truth of the matter is that  he is so worried about “protecting the brand” and not trusting anyone— that we all go into “marketing paralysis” and his brand will never be successful on social.

Right after that.  I showed my next client this super cool video that we created. It wasn’t the traditional   “corporate speak”  but it did engage with their audience. Really it did.  Everyone in the focus group smiled and said things like  ” Love it” ” You made my day” “Hey, thats awesome!” .

And isn’t that exactly  what you want?  To have content that  connects with your audience? But, the marketing director, who really doesn’t “get” social– big comment.“the font isn’t our “graphic standard” we can’t use that video, its not corporate enough! ( I don’t know about you but I don’t consider Helvetica a big brand image font.)

So brings me back to my spin class…

You see when I go in there and watch the instructor and try to do everything so perfect—you know I end up not really enjoying the ride. But ,when I go in there like today, enjoy the music, follow the cues of everyone in the room, just relax,  and have fun–I have an awesome ride.   I leave feeling good about the class, the instructor and myself. That’s exactly what good social marketing is suppose to do! Good social marketing makes you leave a post, a photo a video, feeling inspired, good,  and connected to the brand.

The one thing I do know about marketing engagement—the harder you try to be witty, to be perfect, to be well corporate– the less you will succeed.

What my experience has shown is that when you stop trying so hard, and letting your product or service be human– those gems of creativity in the moment, may not be “brand” perfect – but will connect with your audience and help your brand succeed.