Earlier this week I was trying to post an ad on my business Facebook page. I’ve done this hundreds of times. However, this time, it wouldn’t post. I closed my browser. Reopened, and tried again. Still nothing. Ok, I shut down my computer and rebooted. Nope. In a desperate attempt, I unplugged my laptop from the wall as if it was some how infected by the outlet and tried again.
While I was going through this process, I would copy and save my content for the ad in a word doc because I didn’t want to re-write it 11 times. During one of these rounds of trying to determine the problem with why the ad wouldn’t load - I forgot to save the content and had to re-write from scratch. Ok, deep breath, it’s fine. It actually sounds a little better now.
But as I approached hour 2 of trying to get a dumb ad to post, I felt the tension creeping into my shoulders. I was hunched over my keyboard refreshing, rebooting, rewriting. WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING. There were no notifications that my photo was too large, or that I had too much text - it just wouldn’t post.
I’m not a huge fan of Facebook advertising unless you have a specific target market that is on Facebook - and I did. So although aborting the mission popped into my head, it wasn’t the most strategic response.
I finally emailed my sister (who is only 3 years younger than me) who also works in marketing. I knew she would have had experience with this either professionally or personally. “I’m about to have a meltdown.” was my subject line.
She called me a few minutes later as she was on her commute home in Austin, Texas. She asked me a couple of questions and as I clicked around, within 47 seconds the ad posted. I slammed my head on the desk. “Don’t worry,” she said, “I wouldn’t have known that either if we didn’t run into the same problems for our clients. It took trial and error until we figured out what it was.”
Did I learn a valuable piece of information that I can now share with clients? You bet. Do I wish I had learned that lesson within 20 minutes versus 2 hours? Absolutely. It’s one of the few times I miss working in an office, when you know there is somebody around the corner who can probably look at it - or at least validate that, yes, Facebook is the devil.
But the real lesson of this story is this: if you struggle with your website or social media - or anything that pertains to your business on the internet - you’re in the majority. It’s not because you “never learned it,” or “you’re too old,” - it’s because the internet sometimes is just a pain in the butt. Processes and algorithms change - sometimes with warning, but a lot of times not. It’s okay. That’s why it’s important - even if you’re a marketer, but especially if you’re not - to have people around you who will either have a solution or go through the trial and error with you.
Do me a favor. Don’t be a stubborn Italian like me. When you are struggling with something online - call someone in marketing that you trust. And you can bet that if they don’t know the answer, they’re going to find it pronto. (If they can’t, we can both call my sister in Texas).