When you are new to digital marketing you need all the advice you can get. Luckily, there are plenty of people out there willing to share their knowledge via tweets, blogs, webisodes, and forums. That advice is invaluable in getting to grips with the digital landscape, and it is something you will continue to rely on as you work to stay abreast of fast-moving digital trends. However, just like life advice, digital marketing advice should be taken with a grain of salt. You might find yourself playing by all the rules but see dwindling engagement and minuscule reach. What gives?
The number one rule of digital marketing is not post often, or be entertaining, or be relevant. The number one rule is be curious! If you are heeding advice and it’s not working out for you, throw it away! Try something new: Experiment.
Experimentation is one of the greatest tools at your disposal. Not all audiences were made equally and yours is unique to your business. Advice can give you a great starting point but experimentation is where you will learn to perfect your strategy. It can be tempting to shake it up and try a bunch of new things all at once, but that leaves you with very little data as to what is working and what is not. Plan your experiments by first making friends with your analytics. Once you have a good idea of your current engagement levels, change one element of your strategy. The change can be really simple, like changing your posting time, or something bigger, like changing the type of content you share. Try to keep all other elements the same, so that when you measure your results they are as accurate as possible. If the change worked, great! Keep it and work on experimenting with another part of your strategy. If it didn’t work, throw it away and try again. Each failure brings you one step closer to success.
Time scale is an important thing to keep in mind when experimenting. The social media landscape can shift exponentially from day-to-day. There are a lot of factors that impact your reach that you have no control over. For example, news items, seasonal events, and trending topics can exert a big influence over what your followers are looking at. That’s why it’s important to run experiments over a period of weeks rather than days. A bigger sample will give you more accurate, reliable data.
What about you? Have you been experimenting recently? Share what worked and what didn’t in the comments below.