There are very few things in this world that I adore as much as my little niece Ada. She is almost 2 years old and full of high spirits. It is incredible how at such a young age, she makes connections between things and distinguishes relationships. At face value, a 2-year-old doesn't know anything about the world, much less social media. However, watching her learn about the world around her is very similar to working with someone who is learning about social media. Some of the lessons we learn as kids revisit us when learning about the magical world of social. Here are a few of the lessons that little Ada reminded me of that apply to social media.
You don't always get what you want; don't throw a fit!
Social media is unlike any other marketing channel in that marketers actually have very little control. Once something is pushed out into the social universe, the users are in control. When this happens, you never quite know how a campaign might turn out or how a post might be interpreted. When you don't get what you want from social media, don't throw a fit! Take a deep breath and try to analyze why you didn't get the reaction you hoped for. Why didn't the content get shared? Why didn't they like this promotion? How can I give my community a better experience next time? Sometimes not getting what you want can be the best learning experience. Take it all in stride and calibrate your approach accordingly.
Never stop learning.
Whether you are 2 or 42, it is extremely important to continuously learn. In the world of social media, this is especially important considering how quickly and frequently things can change. Read everything you can get your hands on, attend as many webinars as time allows and discuss strategy even when you don't want to. I firmly believe that success in social media is founded by the commitment to be willing to learn at all times. The more you know, the more equipped you will be to handle the ebb and flow of the ever changing social environment.
Celebrate small victories.
My niece gets excited when she puts the square peg in the right hole, you should too. Social media marketing can be as frustrating as it is fun, so there is definitely the need to celebrate small victories. Set small goals each month to keep yourself reaching upward. When you achieve those goals, reward yourself. While it might seem silly to get excited over a small bump in fan growth or a slightly higher click through rate, but these small victories progressively set the performance bar higher. Before you know it, these little wins will add up to a major positive impact to your social efforts.
Embrace your imagination.
Imagination is one of the most awesome things about childhood. My niece can sit with her toys for hours and have full conversations with them and happily play. We forget about our imaginations as we grow older. Embrace yours when it comes to social media. There tends to be a "follow the leader" type trend when it comes to content on social sites. We have all seen the memes, word games and fill in the blank posts. Use your imagination to come up with ways to either put a spin on an old idea or come up with a new one. Our industry grows because of the dreamers, be one of them. Embrace every wacky idea that you have ever had and legitimately give it a chance to develop into a campaign or post. Imagination and creativity are the cornerstones to childhood. I would also argue that embracing them is a cornerstone to social success.
What do you think about these lessons from Ada? Are there any places you learn about social media that might be unconventional?