The Worst Content Marketing Is What Everybody Else Is Doing: How to Get Ahead and Stay ThereContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the PlatformRise of Social Media in Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]How eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
How to Fail Better on Social Media
Posted on May 17th 2014
Unfortunately, not all social media programs are created equal. I would love to promise that one client’s social media program will garner the same success for another. No, not happening. Never happened, actually. But, what I can guarantee is that we will learn from our experiences, even in the face of failure – and we may do better next time.
Do you have social media regrets?
I’m not writing about learning from our mistakes as social media practitioners. Nor am I calling out anyone who accidentally tweeted what they were thinking when the information should have never gone public. I’m writing about a concept that we often only address until it is too late, until we have failed. That topic is failing better.
The idea is to recognize from a position of no fear why a social media campaign in motion isn’t going exactly as you had imagined. Is it too late to design new creative? Is too late to come up with new copy? Is the whole program lost? Or, are you at that “aha” moment of opportunity? It’s not the car accident that you avoided getting killed in, but the one that you walked away from and reflected upon because you’re getting back into a car.
Why do so many of us focus on the number of social media mistakes made?
If there was no lesson to learn we would not have an opportunity to learn how to prevent that event from happening again – if we can - nor be compelled to approach a similar situation in the future with an alternative strategy. I’ve helped develop and execute social media programs for government municipalities and agencies since 2009. Running promotions, sweepstakes and contests on government facebook pages has never been without a challenge. Generally speaking the issues aren’t big enough nor appropriately funded to get the word out about the event. A little success is often deemed a “good start” and followed-up with other program pilots. However, we can fail better.
If government social media programs have not generated adequate results, maybe it’s best taking the program to the streets. In one example, more residents opted to meet a government agency during a street fair to receive free Clipper Cards than answer a question on a social network to win the same prize. Many residents were visibly excited to meet a representative from the government agency in-person, once that representative announced on Foursquare that they were staffing an event and giving away a prize to citizens who they met at the event.
Don’t fear the reaper!
Maybe if a social media program on facebook is in need of more engagement, the government agency can promote the post with advertising highlighting the event to broaden the reach of the event. Do you see what I’m getting at? We’re failing better here. We’re not stuck in fear mode worrying about whether or not our social media program will succeed. We’re being proactive and, either in almost real-time, adjusting to compensate or coming up with additional ideas to help build more awareness and action.
The keyword, or the stopper ,is: FEAR. That’s what naturally happens to most of us when we’ve spent so many resources building up to a moment of launch only to be let down and paralyzed. The experienced of us don’t stop until we’ve done everything we can do to achieve our goals. Let’s just call the “others” those who have not learned that they too have the same power if they can only fail better.
Other ideas including running variations of the same social media campaign as a test to see which one flies - or, running limited smaller test groups with a social media idea to see if it meets objectives. Additionally, a social media program can target a certain multi-cultural demographic or leverage the success of other similar social media programs by duplicating efforts in non-competing regions.
Social media measurement is subjective
Don’t forget too that success is relative. Your program on Twitter may have only received a half dozen retweets, but those retweeters may have the influence of 100,000 citizens. Also, different public information officers value different metrics. Did your social media program influence a group to start carpooling? Did your social media program increase the number of citizens taking a pledge to start recycling? Did your social media program generate hundreds of thousands or millions of impressions, broadening the messaging of your organization’s bus service program to new audiences?
I hope to fail better the rest of my life. For I will never let fear convince me that I cannot do something better nor try again.