Some of you may already know my story. I have been in the business industry most of my adult life, working anywhere from tourism, to government and even in construction. To be honest I did not know anything about social media marketing but I wanted to learn this interesting new industry and I had to make it work. Naturally, I've tried a lot of things. Some failed, some worked (kind of) and some turned out to be marketing super powers....I'm still a work in progress.
And with all of these experiences brought before me, I am still learning everyday. I've had to learn, make mistakes and figures things out - to be the marketer I strive to be.
Here are some of mistakes I made a long the way - and what you can learn from them.
1. Trying to be everywhere at once
When I started out I had no clue. I have read books, I have watched podcasts, vlogs, read blogs and even taken classes. I had no idea about the specifics of the various social networks and no clue which ones would work best for me and my marketing strategies. As a result, I had the feeling I would have to be everywhere and got completely frustrated because nothing was really working.
A much better way to start with social media marking is to chose two, to three social networks and master those techniques. Figure out how to grow followers, engage with your audience and turn the audience into traffic leads and most importantly sales revenue. Only then when you know how to do it, you will get more efficient and you can use that free time to start learning the ways of another social network.
When you are new to social media things will take you longer than the experts and you will realize that you need time to get things right and the time to monitor and learn. So take the time you need
and get it right the first time.
2. Trusting the "influences" advice
When you are new to the game, everybody seems to know more than you do. You will receive a ton of advice, take it, learn from it and build off of it. Since you do not know better, often you trust the advice of others and generally you won't question it.
Twitter has been my nemesis and I have been told, "just tweet great content and you will gain followers". Not necessarily true, I have followed like minded marketers and joined their social groups. I have gained more followers by retweeting and liking a tweet than my actual content posting...how does that work? I'm learning....I swear I am.
I have been told to "never use twitters direct messages for marketing" I have received more direct messages and it has provided me with the best marketing channels.
I have learned the hard way, if you want to market via Twitter and you are just starting out, you need to actively get your Twitter account in front of your target audience.
I have also learned to consider the advice that you get but also make your own assumptions and experiment. Measure those results and learn from them. Your situation may be different and your audience may have different preferences. What works for you may not work for others and vise versa.
3. Understanding the power of your content
It has taken me a while (I'm still a work in progress) to understand the importance of content in social media marketing success and use it to my advantage. I have stumbled around Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Travel Adivsor, Pinterst and more importantly Twitter...I have shared, liked, followed, tweeted news here and there and struggled with my following - where was the value my followers could get from following me?
Only when I started to produce my own content and understand the concept of providing value on my social media accounts I found there were interested followers. I have content that I want to share and keep accounts active and people engaged, thus generating more leads.
4. Little things that I can do to make a difference
I admit, when I started this journey in social media marketing I was nervous, maybe even a little afraid, but with the drive and dedication I have, I have continued on the path to managing social media client accounts. I enjoy sharing my creativity with my clients and learning new and upcoming ways to highlight my clients brands.
Every high level online marketer could tell you a story of at least one case where a tiny change like the color of a "contact us", or "book now" feature or the wording in a call-to-action made a difference. It's all about trial and error.
I've had to learn by my own trials and tribulations. One of the most important examples from my past that comes to mind is the debut of my Facebook business page, I was so excited to share my new venture that I spelt a word wrong by transposing two letters, a long time friend private messaged me and pointed out the typo....I was mortified. How will anyone take me serious if I can't even spell a word right? My fear just came to fruition. I have been more aware since that fateful post and read, re-read...and read again before I hit the "publish button". As human as we all are, making mistakes in marketing can be devastating.
5. Marketing is a process and not a decision
when I first decided to start this business I had to think how marketers think, how to catch the attention of the users of social media. I didn't have any considerable experience in marketing but I was/am willing to learn, like Einstein said, "Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun". So, lets have fun!
What I have learned so far is; you do not make a decision on HOW you are going to market a new business online. There is not one answer that out can figure out before you start. I have wasted tons of time planning things from which I simply didn't know how it was going to turn out. Marketing is not something you start and it all falls magically into place, modern marketing is a process of creativity, having an idea, trying it out, and measuring the results, analyzing it to see if it works the next time. I read something one time that said, "Marketing is never static it is always moving forward", this is so true.
6. Last point: Don't be afraid to make mistakes
Anybody that starts a business doesn't intentionally want to fail, you fail because you get complacent, always remember there is someone out there like you and there will be competition, show them what you've got!
On your marketing journey, you will try a lot of things that won't work out as you planned. It is the way you deal with that situation, adjust your strategy and try again. In marketing, most of the time the worst thing you can do is nothing. So learn from your mistakes and continue to be creative.