As a social media manager, my creative work is subject to be judged by an entire online community who will either love it, ignore it, or reject it (I’m stiiiill trying to decide which of the last two is worse). Being emotionally attached to my work, I became increasingly discouraged when carefully thought-out posts performed poorly. However, taking this rejection personally wasn’t doing much to advance my strategy, and over time I’ve come to no longer fear flopped posts and failed strategies.
Here’s why you shouldn't be afraid of failing on social media either:
1. Social media is a world of constant change
Frequent updates to sophisticated algorithms that filter the content users see in their newsfeeds creates a platform that is constantly evolving. This requires users to find new ways to break through the noise. In short, every time Facebook makes an update to their platform (which is relatively frequent), I have to adapt my strategy to combat those new changes.
On top of that, audience preference is constantly shifting, meaning a post that was highly engaging today may not see the same level of interaction a week from now or even tomorrow. And while the whole thing may seem senseless and annoying and super confusing, I’m wasting my time being frustrated over something I can’t control.
You can’t afford to be emotional about your strategy. Unfortunately, social media marketing isn’t something you can figure out, excel at and perfect. It’s a game of keep up, and it’s one I’ve learned to accept and enjoy.
Instead of shaking my fist at Mark Zuckerberg for making me rethink my entire content calendar for the millionth time, I now embrace these changes and use them as an opportunity to try new things and revamp my plan.
When it comes to the ever-changing world of social media, I’ve come to learn that you just have to roll with it.
2. I’m no longer emotionally attached to my posts
As an individual who is passionate about my work, it’s hard not to feel emotionally tied to it, especially when I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into growing our online presence. Initially, posts that received little to no interaction used to really bother me as they had been thoughtfully crafted with the intention of starting a conversation. So when things didn’t turn out as I had planned, I took that rejection personally.
After a while, I learned to distance my feelings from my work. That doesn’t mean I care less or am unmotivated to create great content; it just means that I’m no longer going to be offended if a post turns out to be an epic failure. The truth is, there will be posts that flop and people who unlike your page, but the world goes on despite these things.
The sooner I learned not to take these rejections to heart, the sooner I could get up, fix my ponytail, and keep moving forward.
3. Discovering what works happens through a process of elimination
Sometimes discovering what engages your audience happens through a process of elimination. You have to learn what doesn’t work in order to figure out what does.
Is your audience more apt to respond to pictures of you at a speaking event rather than a link to an article related to the subject matter? Should your statuses be longer or shorter? Should you upload a video directly to Facebook or link it to YouTube?
The truth is, you won’t know unless you try. That’s why I treat every failed post as a way to better understand my audience and fine-tune my strategy. Just pay attention, and don’t keep doing something that doesn’t work!
4. The creative risk is worth it
As a social media manager, I always want to be on the cutting edge of what will reach and engage my audience. However, being forward thinking with my strategy doesn’t come without the creative risk. And that’s difficult considering the fact that I’m showcasing my work in front of an entire online audience with the power to judge and reject it.
What you and I have to understand is that the payoff of successful content overshadows grief of failed content. How is your company page going to stand out if you don’t try to creatively differentiate yourself? Push fear aside for the sake of trying new things and the chance to reach your goals because of it.
I can sum it up for you with this. - The reason I no longer fear failing at this whole social media thing is because I’ve come to learn that such failures are my greatest opportunities to succeed.
Platforms change, audiences change, and posts that work well today may not work so well tomorrow. It’s all about learning, adapting, and rolling with the punches.
Are you frustrated with your current social marketing strategy? Can’t seem to figure out how to create engaging content that your followers will actually interact with? We’ve been there too, and we’d love to help! Let’s evaluate and revamp your strategy so you can start reaching your goals!
- Tracey Spaulding