How to Fail Better on Social
To succeed on social, you have to do three things:
- Test constantly and fearlessly
- Be prepared to fail
- Iterate and optimized quickly
Here’s how to fail better on social for your brand.
1. Exercise Lean Research Tactics
Consumer research looks very different than it did ten years ago.
Where expensive, time-consuming, qualitative methods like in-person focus groups used to be the only way to gather real human feedback, social media now provides the fastest, most honest consumer feedback loops for a fraction of the cost.
By using leaner tactics and an iterative approach to content creation, marketers can easily incorporate research into their weekly schedule and reduce costs by identifying which content will and will not resonate with their audiences.
Here’s an example of a lean research process. Learn more here.
- Kick-off time. Get key stakeholders in the room, share your plan, and set objectives.
- Examine initial data. Present your social analytics and consumer feedback.
- Analyze the user experience. What’s it like for a consumer to experience your brand on social? What’s it like to be a user of your service? Use a listening solution for empathy mapping, customer journey mapping, and even to identify audience members for one-on-one interviews.
- Form an initial hypothesis. This is an inferred insight about your product, service, or feature from your initial research that you believe to be true.
- Deliver actionable insights. This is your recommendation for what you believe will improve the situation or create a new opportunity.
2. Embrace Rapid Experimentation
It may not necessarily be realistic or efficient for you to design and build out fully-finished, high-fidelity concepts to test, especially since you’ll need to iterate a few times before reaching a final version.
Instead, think outside of the box about what the smallest ways of testing ideas could be, and focus on the highest priority that will satisfy your consumers.
The CMO of Hipages, Tracy Richardson, recommends rapid experimentation over traditional channel marketing. According to Richardson, this approach takes advantage of low-cost alternatives in social media, guerilla and viral marketing, targeted advertising, SEO, and online community management.” Hipages was able to grow during their early stages by leveraging performance channels like SEO, SEM, and EDM.
By experimenting with low-fidelity concepts and testing with rapid prototypes, you can learn quickly and iterate toward a final solution that meets your market needs. This process is often thought to be a cyclic pattern: Think. Make. Check.
3. Remove Subjectivity
Creative content is completely subjective, and there’s no one right way to design it. But when marketers push an idea forward without a proof of concept, they often find themselves implementing a strategy that does not meet market needs.
One of the greatest benefits of incorporating research throughout your process is that tangible market evidence helps remove personal bias.
Gone are the conversations about whether or not a marketing campaign, headline, or visual is “good.” Now what matters – and what can actually be measured – is whether it’s effective.
One surefire way to avoid failures as much as possible on social? Understand your audience inside and out. For help with this daunting enterprise, download the guide below.
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I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.