When Things Don’t Work, Change Your Course

Let’s imagine you’ve come up with a bunch of great ideas for social media content and strategy that you’ve diligently put into consistent practice. You’re posting regularly using applicable hashtags, following the followers of accounts that seem similar to yours, attaching images to every post and/or posing questions to your audience to encourage comments. And yet, you’re only getting a couple followers for every hundred you follow, no one seems to be discovering your dutifully-hashtagged posts, and few people click or comment on any of your content.

You may be frustrated–after all, you’re doing everything right! All of the practices are great things to do! In theory! In practice, though, there are too many variables for any one-size-fits-all approach to social media success.

The first thing you need to do is stop. Just stop everything you’re doing that isn’t working. Take a step back and assess your hits rather than fixate on your misses. Who is following you back, and what do they have in common? Where can you find more people like that? Are any posts getting a response, and what do they have in common? Are people clicking to expand any of your image-containing posts?

Build on what’s working, even if it’s not working as well as you’d hoped, and dump the rest. Try new hashtags, or dump them all together. Follow followers of different social media accounts. Switch up your content. Stop using images that no one clicks and cycle in some new ones.

The basic principal is that it’s better to try something new and have it fail that keep hitting your head against the wall with the same old same old. You can learn from every failure as well as success. Be happy when you take a misstep–it’s one you’ll never have to take again, if you pay attention. The more you experiment, the more you’ll discover tactics that do work for you. Keep doing those, and keep trying new things as well–continuing with the hits and dumping the misses, however good they may have looked as plans on paper.

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