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If At First You Don’t Succeed…

August 17, 2010

I love when I can put lessons, pieces of advice, or words of wisdom to use. That is when I know that I’ve learned something truly valuable. Something that will stick with me for years and years to come.

Today, I was able to put recent, and I mean very recent, words of wisdom to use.

I started working on a big project when I first started my job back in April. It was a project I knew would be used to measure the success, benefit  and need for social media in my corporate environment. At first, my project took off and thrived. The stats looked good and the feedback I received was even better. To say that I was on cloud 9 is an understatement and to be honest, what newly hired social media coordinator/strategist/director wouldn’t? But not every venture into the unknown can continue down the sunshine, rainbow-filled path. Inevitably there will be bumps in the road and it’s how you choose to navigate through, over and around those bumps that separates the wise from the not so-wise.

Enter words of wisdom: Don’t just “make it work” because seldom does that result in success. Know that social media is about experimentation and being successful sometimes means realizing that certain projects, experiments or programs need to be reworked, revamped and redone. There’s no need to jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing it. Being wise and brave enough to admit that certain things don’t work and trying something else is what makes social media exciting, scary and powerful. So, with that in mind, I approached my boss and told her that my project wasn’t continuing to be as successful as I needed and knew it could be. The time had come to re-strategize and reconfigure.

These words to the wise were ones I had heard a few times before but were words that once again washed over me during Social Fresh (a social media conference I had the pleasure of attending yesterday in Charlotte).

I went into the event hoping to get the insiders scoop and learn what would be next on the social media horizon…not the case. While I wasn’t given the insider scoop or a glimpse into “what’s next”, I was given words of advice and valuable lessons that I know I’ll be able to take with me as I maneuver through the twists and turns of my social media journey:

  • The first, as I’ve said, is recognizing that social media is about experimentation and that sometimes experiments will go wrong. Wrong doesn’t mean failure. It simply means taking a step back, looking at the big picture and applying a different
  • There is always, and I mean always, room to read, listen and learn. While this may seem like an obvious, it’s a lesson that often gets overshadowed and overlooked. I need to read, I need to listen and I need to continue to learn.
  • Last but certainly not least, never underestimate the power of networking and meeting those that you converse with online. Your network will become your group of champions, supporters and most importantly your friends. Value and nurture your network.

For a little glimpse into what others thought and learned, settle in and meander over to read posts by Kyle Chowning, Mac McArthur, Stacey Alex, Jackie Adkins and Wray Ward.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2010 9:50 pm

    A great reminder and a great post Genevieve. And thank you for the link share!

  2. August 18, 2010 9:22 am

    Insightful post, Genevieve, and so very true. The way I see it, everything evolves. That’s the beauty of environment – it’s always changing. With that said, though, social media’s evolution is constant. One minute you think you have something down pat and the next, it’s changed – dramatically or slightly. Doesn’t matter which. It’s just changed.

    My favorite take-away of yours…”never underestimate the power of networking”. Yep! That’s what makes social media different from everything else that changes, evolves. I wrote about that very same thing in my recap for my work blog here – – if you’d like to read.

    Keep on learning, Genevieve! And know that you have many people in your corner to help you cuz we’re all rowing the same boat. 🙂

  3. August 18, 2010 12:49 pm

    Really spot on insight into “more than a bandwagon” thinking. Taking risks is hard, no matter the medium, and social media is no different. Thanks for posting.

    • August 18, 2010 3:46 pm

      Thanks so much Rick! I really appreciate the kind words. Bummer we couldn’t meet at the #sofresh event – ironically there really wasn’t enough time to network (in my opinion!)

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