Why I love cruise control

I was on the highway the other day as I typically commute at least once a week from Colorado Springs to Denver and visa versa. I just got a new car and decided to test out the cruise control feature as I didn’t have that on my older car. I really didn’t have anything special in my other car- not even automatic windows. I was excited to turn on my heated seat, set my cruise control and lose myself in a podcast while I made my way into Denver.

I have used cruise control before- usually on a road trip where I had long stretches of straight ways. Especially through Nebraska. I loved that I could set it and not worry about getting hit with a speeding ticket, or losing speed as I passed farm after farm, determining the crops and using my imagination to make up stories about the people who tended the land. It seems cruise control may actually be designed for those trips through Nebraska, Missouri, or Kansas.

Why I hate cruise control.

I am thinking outside of cross country treks, cruise control is rather pointless. In fact, it is quite frustrating. On my simple one hour commute from Colorado Springs to Denver this particular morning, I obtained my cruising speed and almost as though it sounded an alert, the Escalade beside me, going 4 mph slower, jumped in front of me. This is only a two lane highway, so it’s not like the guy had anywhere else to go to pass the car in front of him, but, couldn’t he have waited for me to pass? No. I tapped my break, thus disabling the cruise control. After he moved back over into the “slower than me lane”, I resumed my cruising speed.

Just as my podcast reminded me to think positive, I approached Sally Subaru. She thought nothing about changing lanes so I could maintain my consistent 74 mph. She didn’t accelerate to prioritize the passing of the person beside her either. Mr. Escalade, who I had passed earlier, was now riding my butt. Apparently he found those 4 mph and raised it by 4. I could feel his aggression as though he said, “Hey, remember me? I’m here to prove that cruise control is pointless.”

Eventually, Sally Subaru moved over and I was able to resume. But not for long. Mr. Escalade flashed his arrogant lights at me and I moved to the right, like a good driver should. He zoomed past me and my cruise control.

Social Media Marketing and Cruise Control

In that early morning of bruised expectations in my little bubble of an automobile, I had the thought of how business is like cruise control, or how we want it to be. But that isn’t always the best fit. Truly, we want consistency in our social media marketing. We want a client to know that when we sell 74 mph, they get 74 mph. Franchises have reached the level of success they have because consumers have come to expect a level of consistency when they see a name. They know that the hamburger they get, whether in Denver or in Boston will be the same as long as the name on the building is the same.

In reality, business consistency, can be maintained in cruise control, but usually can’t be set up that way. When it comes to social media marketing, cruise control happens after you have created and established a brand. Consistency then happens with the frequency of the posting and the rules in which we engage each other in harmony with your brand.

For example, a family friendly service provider should not be providing content that is considered adult only. In essence, that’s like the Escalade jumping in front of me going slower- it slows everything down, even causing the person following you to do an act of rage- in this case, no longer following your brand or publicly bad-mouthing you. That concept may seem obvious to some people but it’s not always so clear. For example, if your target market is moms of toddlers, you may not recognize that as a single guy, you make social media marketing posts that matter to you, and not them.

Just like in cruise control, we want forward momentum at a particular speed and don’t like distractions and stops which end up frustrating our clients. Instead, we want clients, fans even, who like us. We want them to know we follow the rules and we want them to have a level of expectation of consistency with our product or service so they keep coming back. And when they come back, we can choose to surprise them with the above and beyond. When they are safely cruising along the long stretch of road with us, they can sit back without fear, maybe enjoy life a little more, and dream.

Cruise control in business is consistency. Cruise control in social media marketing is consistency too. By staying consistent in our social media marketing plans, we create less road rage in the world of online marketing. Just as important is knowing when it is right to use cruise control and when it isn’t. We need to be willing to adjust- tap the breaks, move over, accelerate and resume. As you consider what you are doing for social media management, think about consistency and how that can leveraged for campaigns.

I would love to help you launch a new Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing strategy that will deliver qualified leads for your B2B or B2C business.

It all starts with a Stern Storming Session.

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