Today’s guest post is written by Nic Cartwright.

Before you get too far into this post, make sure you have read the excellent series on The Five Steps in Social Media Excellence here on Spin Sucks.

Once you have done that, onwards soldiers….

You’ve found the right tools to maximize your listening experience, you’ve spent some time assessing the noise you are hearing (and hopefully by now it is not noise, but relevant, magical, business improving customer ‘sounds’), you’ve bought a Flip Camera and chosen this as a neat way to engage with your audience, and now you are busy at your laptop measuring how effective all this effort has been.

Phew…. you have been busy little bees.

If only life were that easy.

I am not a PR expert, although I have spent a fair amount of time trying to generate PR and build relationships with customers, the media, and sponsors.

Creating a digital platform has never been in my job description. However, I have always seen the power of technology, and I love it. In fact, some of you may have seen the digital footprint I created as part of my strategy to land a new job.

I would not put myself forward to lecture anyone on how to develop a successful social media/PR campaign; certainly not on the first four fields of expertise that Spin Sucks has shown us in this series. But when it came to the final fifth step, I was happy to step up to the plate.

Why? Well, the four steps Gini Dietrich has laid out to achieve your social media nirvana could just as equally be applied to life itself – and whilst I am no life expert either – I am happy to argue the case that I have had lots of life lessons (40 years, 40 countries, and plenty of ups and downs).

The final step is the most important

You have followed the first four steps religiously. You learned some pretty full-on new tech skills in the process, yet you are not getting the results you wanted. What the what? It could be a myriad of things; you heard wrong, you assessed wrong, your engagement was wrong, or you ruler wasn’t working (come on work it out people – we are measuring after all!!).

It’s time to refine and improve. Tweak what you are doing. Start again if need be. But refinement will surely lead to better results (refinement does not mean putting on an English accent and going for long whimsical walks in the country). There are not so many tools available in this field (though you could find plenty of consultants to do it for you!!) – it’s more about experience, about intuition, about working harder and harder to get the results you want.

Like life

As I stand now, about to embark on a great new adventure (yep – I got a job in the Middle East, and it’s bound to be an adventure), the lesson I go back to most as I look at my life, my work, and my family is a simple one.

Life – and social media – are about growth. They are about improving. You may not always get the results you want, but each and every day is an opportunity to learn new skills, to educate yourself and to educate those around you. Once you have completed what you had set out to do, remember, refine and improve.

Thank you for listening and thank you for the opportunity, Gini.

Nic Cartwright, British born and bred, has been leading three separate sports teams in the U.K. during the past 10 years. He just landed in Oman in the Middle East as the commercial director for the Oman Football Association (UK not US). He recently relocated with his beautiful American wife Steph and cute little dog Wolverine. He blogs here focusing on issues that senior execs face in sports.