Repeat after us. Test, fail, and test again. To be successful with your social media marketing strategy you have to live by this philosophy. Somewhere along the way, you find success. You learn from those successes, you create benchmarks, then something changes and you have to start the process all over again. That’s ok, that’s called growth.
To achieve disruptive, impactful social marketing campaigns you first have to build a culture of innovation. Yes, we know. You’ve heard this one hundred times over, but what does it mean and where do you start? For us, it starts with testing and assembling a team of people who are all passionate about continuous learning, yet diverse in thought, background and perspective. As we’ve said before, some of the best ideas are generated through diversity. Your team needs to feel safe and supported in their work environment to build great ideas. Allow room for failure and you’ll open the door for potential success. Something we practice day in, day out at InkHouse.
On a daily basis, we’re inundated with new platform updates, changing guidelines, best practices and tools that we need to act on as fast as possible. Acting fast doesn’t necessarily mean you’re acting smart. Use this opportunity to explore new ways of producing content, new ways of reaching your audience, and new ways to promote your product or grow your brand. Just be sure to base it on data, research and fearlessness.
To back up our fearlessness, here are a few considerations we make when looking at a new social media feature or idea to test:
Regardless of what content you are putting out there or what conversations you’re participating in, you need to be able to practice what you preach. For example, before deciding to participate in a Pride Month promotion or changing your branding to emulate the Pride flag, consider whether or not your brand has initiatives in place that back up what you’re saying your company supports.
Many of these opportunities give your brand the opportunity to start a conversation in an area you may not be most familiar with. Participating in new conversations could give you the chance to grow your following, meet potential partners and connect with customers where you didn’t know you could. For example, if you are a brand that is looking to find new ways to target Gen Z, capitalizing on a creative platform like Snapchat may be the best way to reach that audience.
In many cases, testing out new social media features will only help to further amplify the message that you’re putting out across your other marketing channels. But before jumping in with both feet, ensure that your messaging is aligned and that these tests won’t interfere with any other campaigns you have running. You may even be surprised to find out that another team has an asset or piece of marketing collateral that could help your efforts!
Whether you’re testing out a new tool or implementing a new strategy, the most important thing is that it’s measurable. Obtaining measurable results takes time - one month is not enough time to collect data to compare to other content. Just because something didn't yield perfect results the first time doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. Give it another go. Sometimes all it takes is some A/B testing to see what language and visuals work best with your new strategy. New opportunities need to be tested more than once and measured correctly to see if they are worth implementing into your social strategy.
This is probably the most important thing to remember. You’re going to fail. From failure comes lessons, learnings and growth. You’re going to question your decisions, but that’s what your team is for: to listen and make each other’s ideas and recommendations stronger. Just because one test didn’t work for your brand doesn’t mean that you should stop there. When you don’t get what you hope from trying something new out, take the time afterward to reevaluate and see if there was anything you had control over that would change the results of that test.
If you have questions about a recent social update or testing your next campaign, we’re happy to help. Email the team at email@example.com.
*This piece was co-authored by Christine Montes, digital account director, InkHouse
Claire is a digital specialist managing social media for clients including Okta, Nutanix, and VMware Carbon Black.