Why it’s OK to fail


keyboard-621832_960_720I imagine the reason a lot of  people are scared of starting a social media channel for their library is failure. That they won’t get followers. That their posts won’t perform well. That they don’t have the skills needed.

Please, don’t let that stop you! You just need to give it a go. I’ve been working with social media for the last five years and if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that you can schedule posts according to when the most people are online, on the best day of the week, with a post that you just know will be a hit and then only 20 people see it! For sure, it can be discouraging when your reach numbers are low on Facebook or none of the great links you’re sharing on Twitter are being clicked on. But, don’t let it get you down. I’m going to share with you an example that happened to me quite recently.

In December 2015, I had the great idea ( or so I thought) to run a competition over the summer holidays where people would take a  photo of their summer reads, post it on our Facebook page and then go in the draw to win a prize.

I designed an eye catching poster, promoted it on our social media channels, all the usual promotion and..one person entered. One. It was a little embarrassing and I felt quite discouraged after that.

But, that’s the nature of social media. Sometimes your posts will be super popular with your community and sometimes they’ll be an epic fail.  Just roll with the punches, keep the enthusiasm and continuity going and things will pick up again soon.

Have you had any bad experiences with social media? Let me know in the comments below, or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter





2 thoughts on “Why it’s OK to fail

  1. Since late last year, I have been helping with the Twitter account, and more recently sometimes with the Facebook account, at the academic library in which I work. It can take a lot of time to decide on something relevant, fun, or informative to post sometimes. Sometimes i spend ages and post something that I am sure will be liked because it is relevant, only to receive no likes at all. This happened recently when I posted about a fun new video resource for learning te reo Māori. Not one person ‘liked’ it. I consoled myself with the following thoughts: Just because no one actively liked it did not mean that no one found it interesting. I myself don’t always click ‘like’ when I like something! Perhaps it was just a matter of poor timing, i.e. the tweet was posted at a bad time of day or week for people to have noticed it.

    Our Facebook page appears to be more popular than our Twitter, and that can be disheartening, but I have realised that this could be for a number of reasons related to the different ways the two media platforms work, and not necessarily because my tweets are poor quality.

    I agree that it is important not to be disheartened. I am thinking of running some Twitter polls tin order to find out what people would like to see more, or less, of. I also look at what other academic libraries are doing and borrow ideas that seem to resonate with their followers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment Caroline 🙂 It looks like you are on the right track. I can completely resonate with what you’ve said here. We’ll just have to keep posting consistently and hope for the best!

      Liked by 1 person

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