Everyone wants to have greater influence through social media: individuals, corporations, you name it. Few realize that influence in the lives of others, particularly in social media avenues like Twitter, usually comes over time, not over night. Those that really get this are able to position themselves in the long haul for significant impact. I run marathons and know that it requires much from a person (I actually wrote this post through a voice recognition app on my iPhone while running). Here are 10 Reasons Twitter is Like a Marathon:
1. You have to start somewhere. You can’t run a marathon on your first day off the couch! Twitter is the same way. Just get going! If you aren’t in the Twitter game, just get started. Here is how.
2. Determine what you are trying to accomplish. Training for a marathon can be as simple as finishing 26.2 miles or it may be hitting a personal record. Hitting a certain goal requires knowing what you are trying to do. Look at Twitter the same way and ask, “What am I trying to accomplish?” Do you want to build new relationships? Promote social justice? Market your brand? Determine what you are trying to accomplish, then make a plan and get after it.
3. Find your rhythm. Every marathoner finds their goal pace and learns to stick with it. Twitter is similar. Learn to find your rhythm with posts; everyone is different. I try not to post several things at once so I don’t wear myself or others out. Rhythm is good. Do you understand the flow of Twitter?
4. Discipline trumps passion in the end. Training for a marathon requires discipline. Twitter is the same way. Developing a consistent presence and following over time requires persistence and discipline. Stick with it and your influence will grow.
5. Quality beats quantity. Some marathoners focus on the number of miles and bore themselves and everyone else with the training. Miles are important, but you can train for a marathon with twice the intensity and run half as much. Intensity is just as important. Twitter is similar, post half as much with twice the quality posts and sustain your impact over time. Quality over quantity!
6. Rest is important. When training for a marathon, if your body does not have time to heal, you’ll injure yourself and burnout. Twitter is the same way. Take some time off every now and then and don’t overdue it!
7. Relationships are huge. Most of the best runners partner up with other runners and have a community of others to surround and support them. Twitter is similar. It is 100% relational. Build friendships, learn from others, engage in conversation and have more fun and success in the end. Here are some tips on finding a social media mentor, the 2010 way.
8. Get the right equipment. Marathon running requires good shoes (I’ve been through three pair this year) and other apparel and tools. Twitter is the same way. Being effective requires having effective tools. Get good Twitter tools to manage your account and make sense of the madness. Here are 111 Tools.
9. Respect the process. The people that try to go out and run 20 miles on their first day usually aren’t in the game very long. Twitter is similar. Influence comes over time; don’t mess up the process and try to be the next Ashton Kutcher by Tuesday. Respect the process and build credibility over time.
10. Have fun! Marathon running will burn you out quickly if you don’t have fun with it. So will Twitter. Be yourself, don’t try to impress and have fun!
Any runners out there? Love to hear from you in the comments… Twitter users, what has helped you stay in the Twitter game and be effective? We would love to learn from you.