Social Media Fail

October 15, 2010  |   Blog,Social Media   |   Jameson  |   0 Comment
Social Media Fail

I recently had the pleasure of speaking about my experience working as a digital media strategist  to a class full of college students studying social media. After wracking my brain for a few days before my presentation, trying to decide how exactly I should mold these young minds, I settled on one theme:

If you enter a career in social media, be prepared to fail. Fail hard, fail big and fail often. But most importantly of all, fail EARLY.

The simple truth is that the vast majority of work that the “typical” social media marketer does on any given day has never been done before. If it has, it hasn’t been done long enough to have the pleasure of relying on a solid foundation of best practices. At best, we follow a general set of guiding principles translated from other marketing channels to best predict what will work and what won’t.

Game-changing strategies may look bullet proof on paper, but completely bomb once they hit the execution stage and launch onto the web. Other tactics that see wild success on Facebook may completely flop when translating them to Twitter and visa versa. There is nothing that can be done to evade this. It is the simple cost of doing business in this industry. Social media marketers constantly balance the changing tools of social networking platforms and their influence on the psychology of our audiences. No social media marketer can be perfect all the time, but they can find success through flexibility.

That is why failing EARLY is of essential importance. Ingrain solid measurement into your social media marketing and monitor for failure as soon as possible (before the point of no return) so you have the opportunity to learn from your experiences and address them immediately.

A program isn’t a failure if isn’t able to deliver on its anticipated results. It is only a failure if it isn’t measured, acknowledged, analyzed and retooled into a new and stronger marketing strategy.

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