Everything’s a hypothesis

We had a very successful social media strategy for my publication CSO.

So I tried the same strategy for FierceMarkets’ IT publications.

It did not work. At all.

Why? I suspect two particular reasons, don’t know for sure, and at some level it doesn’t matter. The important thing I learned from the experience is that every site, every audience, every brand is its own beast.

Your past experience teaches you likely outcomes, and strategies and tactics worth trying.

Data-validated ‘best practices’ you see passed around on Twitter are certainly valuable and useful.

But very little is guaranteed to work.

This is the mindset I take now. Whether I’m launching an ecommerce site or advising a media company or writing a communications guide for a government agency — I make choices based on what’s worked before. But then I watch the results very carefully. Ready to rethink my assumptions.

When you start with a new audience or brand or site, everything you “know” is just a hypothesis.