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Because sometimes it’s easier to explain the steps and level of commitment to a full cycle social media technology and marketing initiative using every day examples.  So, where are YOU in the cycle?

LIFE : Crazy single life
SOCIAL MEDIA : Hit the social media platforms and be friends with everyone and anyone, with complete disregard to if they are worth it or not.  It’s a numbers game at this point!  You have an irrational need to be popular, collect friends, and honestly think that the world revolves around your status updates.  Soon you realize that at the end of the day you go home alone, and not one of your social media ‘friends’ are willing to help you move a couch into your new apartment.

LIFE : Courting/relationship
SOCIAL MEDIA : Once you see that settling down and focusing is the better option, you will need to buckle down and research to see if this ‘thing’ something you want to commit to.  Pick the traits and qualities that you most need to develop in yourself (or company) and dig deep and find out what you need to come out of the other end of the funnel.

LIFE : Marriage
SOCIAL MEDIA : This is where you have to put a ring on it and say the words “I do”.  Figure out what needs to happen (goals) to get what you want.  Think long term – you don’t think about having being married for a year and then bail.  It’s a commitment.

LIFE : Hello sex…
SOCIAL MEDIA : Tactics are the actual how-to pieces of reaching a goal.  The result of a tactic should be a tangible, measurable item that either gets you closer to your goal or achieves it.  You get out of it what you put into it – results, relationships, customers, engagement (sex might be more fun though).

LIFE : Baby!!
SOCIAL MEDIA : Humans start out as infants, then grow from there.  Start small.  You have to take on little parts first before you can take bigger bites.  If you stumble, pick yourself up, take a look at what caused you to fall in the first place, and either improve or pick a new direction.  You have to walk before you can run, and you need to learn from every step you take in order to take the next ones.

LIFE : Get schooled
SOCIAL MEDIA : Sometimes you fall down in the playground & get bullied, you gotta get back up, brush off and deal with the situation.  Take your lumps if it’s warranted.  Be sure to address concerns as they come up, ignoring problems/customer feedback won’t work & will bite you in the end.

LIFE : Puberty / growing pains
SOCIAL MEDIA : Sometimes your plans go crazy and out of control and in a different direction than you thought.  Learn to adapt and go with the flow. With a solid foundation you can weather this.  Being a teenager sucks sometimes, but it also provides us with some of life’s best lessons.

LIFE : Off to college
SOCIAL MEDIA : If you did your job properly, you need to let it go on it’s own while always providing wisdom & sometimes spending money to keep it independent and functioning on it’s own.  Don’t get caught off guard!  College kids come back home constantly for money , food and laundry.  By constantly monitoring what’s going on you can be prepared for those boomerang situations.

LIFE : Kids getting married (a.k.a. waiting for grandkids)
SOCIAL MEDIA : At this point all you can do is hold out for something completely new created by the people that carry your brand on social channels, realize you have nothing to do with you but is brilliant none the less.  Realize that now your children (brand advocates, customers, etc.) are in control and all you can really hope to provide is guidance and some direction so your grandkids don’t grow up to completely hate you and drain your bank account.  Candy helps.