Why accidents are great in marketing and social media

by Laurent François

Seth Godin reminds us a very important point: it’s because you fall that you learn how to ride a bike:

“All the time you’re practicing, you aren’t actually riding. You’re falling. Then, if you don’t give up after all this failure, in a blink, you’re riding. No in-between. Failing…riding.

Learning things that are binary like this is quite difficult. They are difficult to market because people don’t like to fail. They’re difficult to master because people don’t like to fall. “You don’t get it, but you will,” is a hard sell.”

Consequences of this idea in social media and marketing:

  • you first have to learn to listen in order to feel the gap/equilibrium between your marketing objectifs and what your publics are ready to do
  • falling does not mean that you’re going to hurt yourself: when you practice judo, it’s the first thing to learn in order to know how to best find yourself on the floor
  • once you know how to ride, you don’t forget it so as it becomes a benefit

So concretely:

  • tactics won’t teach you all the field in which you want to interact
  • the more you practice the best you are: that’s the reason why it’s good to think “retainers budgets” than an only one-night stand
  • in physics, we talk about hysteresis – the results you get not immediately but later because of a latent effect:
    “Hysteresis was initially seen as problematic, but is now thought to be of great importance in technology. For example, the properties of hysteresis are applied when constructing non-volatile storage for computers; as hysteresis allows most superconductors to operate at the high currents needed to create strong magnetic fields. Hysteresis is also important in living systems. Many critical processes occurring in living (or dying) cells use hysteresis to help stabilize them against the various effects of random chemical fluctuations.”
    So as all the efforts you’re making are a strong investment for the future of your company: your teams understood the key issues, you find processes and best practices. Invisible results at first sight but with strong ROI in the middle term.

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