Marketing Moment: When Perfect Isn’t Plausible

Marketing Moment: When Perfect Isn't Plausible

It feels like every time I turn around I see another article touting top tips for crafting or creating “perfection.”

The topics range from creating the perfect blog title to setting up the perfect profile on specific social networks. Maybe it’s about the perfect time to post on Facebook or the perfect day and hour to send off your email newsletter.

Let’s Put Down Perfect!

My issue with these posts is the idea of perfection. The tips themselves are, more often than not, quite valuable, and when applied should bring some positive results. But the idea that there is a perfect profile or a perfect title that will reap serious rewards for everyone if they simply follow a formula is misleading at best and debilitating at worst.

Perfect is quite often subjective. Especially when applied to tasks or creations that are multi-faceted (although diamonds are multi-faceted and they can be perfect – WAIT … back on topic).

What’s perfect in my eyes, my thoughts, my ideas … well, it just might be flawed in yours. The same goes for your audience and how they perceive what you share, send, submit and publish.

The Wonder of What Works (And What Doesn’t)

I’m often amazed, even after engaging in social media marketing for so many years, when I’m completely wrong about how a post will “do.” Admit it, you’ve been there!

The article you thought would incite a riot of commentary and discussion goes over like a lead balloon. Never floats. Simply sits heavily until it loses all its air. Yes, I know the guys on MythBusters managed to float a lead balloon, but they’ve got a bunch of science knowledge and geeky toys that we don’t!

Then, the post you thought would generate a tiny bit of polite interest, a couple likes, maybe a share or two, erupts into huge debate and discussion.

Sometimes it can seem that there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to what works!

Perfection Paralysis

There’s no governing body sharing a checklist for the perfect post or share. This means, too, that there are no points being awarded social media feeds for that perfect post or share. Except in our own minds.

If we get too stuck into the premise of perfect, we might find ourselves pausing too long before we take action. Planning for perfect, to me, is a form of analysis paralysis. We’re so focused on the crafting of perfection that we forget perfect is all in the eyes of the beholder. And our audiences are made up of a bevy of beholders, each with their own unique take on what’s tempting, topical and terrific.

Stop Deleting Imperfect Posts!

I know many social media marketers who, if a post doesn’t get enough engagement (enough is as subjective as perfect, actually), choose to delete the post. As if it never existed.

This saddens me. It’s quite robotic and inhuman. Duds happen to us all. They show that we’re engaging in a little trial and error testing, seeking out what actually interests those with whom we hope to converse and engage.

And, honestly, we all know when someone deletes a dud. What was once on the Internet is not soon forgotten simply by clicking the delete button!

Perfect Isn’t Plausible!

Perfect might very well be possible, but is it plausible? If we constantly strive for perfect, never allowing for some testing of what might fail, might we not miss out on something near perfect, just plain old good, that might really appeal to our audience?

Do you have a penchant for what you perceive to be perfect? Does it ever cause perfection paralysis, keeping you from publishing a post or sharing an idea across social media channels?

6 replies
  1. Chad Egeland
    Chad Egeland says:

    Awesome stuff as always Mallie!
    I completely agree that perfection can cause paralysis and have often been in that exact predicament. I read, reread, edit and then edit again trying to make something perfect but really all I need to do is ensure that it is written well enough to get my point and the information I want to present across to my audience.
    I’ve often heard people say to delete “dud” posts but I’ve never bought into that because there’s a chance at least one person will find value from even my “dud” content.

    Reply
    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Thanks, Chad.

      I think it’s important to consider the lurkers when you’re posting and sharing. The lurkers don’t immediately like and/or share. They are slowly sussing out whether or not you’ve got your business shizz together. It can takes weeks, month, maybe years before a lurker is ready to respond.

      So you can’t ever really, with 100% conviction, call a post a dud. It’s possible that dud is the post that will prompt a lurker to break the silence. On the next item you share!

      Reply
  2. Louise Myers
    Louise Myers says:

    Fully agree with this, Maillie! There’s just no “perfect” because everyone has different interests and tastes.

    Funny, this has shown itself to me vividly on my personal Instagram account where photos I feel “okay” about get 100 likes and featured on 3 big accounts (like yesterday). Photos I *love* generate that small, polite applause.

    I’m working on letting go of delusions of perfection 😉

    Reply
    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      I love that … delusions of perfection. Expectation and perfection have to be tempered, especially when we factor in that sheer number of items we need to post and publish to remain visible in fast paced feeds!

      Reply
  3. Amy Wright
    Amy Wright says:

    Well said, Mallie! It is easy to get caught up in the pursuit of perfection, but I agree – it simply is not attainable. You cannot please everyone. When I get stuck I remind myself that I need to strive for “excellence,” not perfection.

    Reply
    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      I so appreciate your comment, Amy. Excellence is certainly worth the effort to attain, while the pursuit of perfection, to me, is pointless.

      Reply

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