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How Social Marketers Can Overcome Creative Blocks

We wanted to create a space where social marketers can dig deeper into trending topics, so we decided to host a weekly Twitter chat. For last week’s chat topic, we took to Twitter with a poll to find out what our audience wanted to chat about.

There was a tie, so we decided to cover both! We are covering Demystifying KPIs in this week’s chat.

Q1: What are the common causes of creative block?

Takeaway: Although there are many causes of a creative block, one theme remained common among all of our participants: if you find that you can’t get your creative juices flowing, it’s best to step away. Many people–especially me–mistake taking a step away for taking a step backward. This post by the Huffington Post explains how taking breaks can serve as creative fuel. We’ll get to methods on taking a step away a little later.

Q2: What social media activities do you think matter to your audience?


Takeaway: Marketers need to remember that social isn’t JUST a marketing channel. Unlike other marketing channels, where brand messages are delivered through one-way communication, social media is a two-way street. Social creates an opportunity for companies to interact with audience members. This requires a balance between relationship-building and selling. This blog post is a great resource if you need help finding this balance.

Q3: What are your go-to resources when you need to get your creative juices flowing?

Takeaway: We’ve covered the importance of taking a step away because space is needed to be creative, and the tweets above offer some suggestions in this vein. Carrington and Ileena take walks. Other folks, like Brooke and Jack, take smaller steps away by looking at what others are doing for inspiration. Either way, focus less on “this NEEDS to get done” and more on “how can I get this done.” For example, after this chat finishes on Thursdays, half the work day is over. I knew I wasn’t going to be in the office on Friday (I had a volunteer event), and I still needed to write two blog posts and schedule social posts for this week. Because I was so focused on how much I needed to get done, I had problems writing one of the blog posts. I stepped away for the weekend, and once I got over the mindset of just getting the blog post done, I was able to finish it.

Q4: What are your go-to methods for implementing creative ideas?


Takeaway: Once you’ve taken a step away and are ready to take action on those awesome ideas, remember to be flexible, confident, and open to outside input.  First, create an actionable list with deadlines, like Simone does. Then, do what Jim does and run your work by peers. Finally, give your ideas a shot because, like Brooke and Ileana say, social moves quickly.

For example, when Starbucks came out with the Unicorn frappuccino, I wrote a blog post on what brands can learn. When the idea popped into my head, I immediately ran it by my boss and was able to get the blog post published before sales ended. If I hesitated on getting this blog post out, it wouldn’t have come out before sales ended and it wouldn’t have had as much impact as it did.

Q5: Does data play a role in your creative brainstorming? If so, how?

Takeaway: Creativity can also come from a bunch of numbers. That sentence seems odd, but if you’re a social marketer, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For example, I schedule content a week in advance. But before I open up my Excel sheet to start mapping out the following week’s content, I pull up numbers from the week, month, and/or quarter in our listening and social analytics dashboards. This way I’m adjusting the content to what our audience wants; I’m not taking a shot in the dark. With social listening, you can gain a great amount of insight into the minds of your clients’ followers to inform a more effective social strategy.

Now that you’ve got tips and tricks to get past your creative block, it’s time to brainstorm so you can start implementing those creative ideas. Join us this Thursday at 11 AM PST for audience pick number 2, demystifying KPIs! We’ll be discussing how to track the performance of those creative campaigns you won’t be able to stop thinking of.

Laurie Anne Nilo

I'm the Social Media Manager here at Simply Measured. I love all things wellness, coffee, watercolor, and travel.

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