What Baseball Can Teach You About Social Media
Social media is a lot like baseball. Everyone must play by the same set of rules. The big difference is that on social media platforms the rules are unstated and enforced by the community while in baseball they’re well defined and enforced by umpires.
Since each social media network has its own special community nuances, it’s only fitting that we turn to Yogi Berra (aka Lawrence Peter Berra) a Baseball Hall of Fame catcher and outfielder, known for his malapropisms, to learn a few social media lessons.
Here are seven popular Yogi Berra quotes and the social media lesson they hold.
- “I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.” Social media is a new platform for many organizations. Unlike traditional media where companies broadcast their messages broadly in one direction, social media enables many-to-many conversations. This requires that companies change how they think about engagement and their communications. Social media requires learning how to interact in new ways. This takes time.
- “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” As with anything in business, social media requires goals that are aligned with your firm’s long-term objectives. It’s critical to determine what you want your social media marketing to achieve and set metrics to track results. [Here's help with Social Media Strategy.]
- “If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.” While Yogi Berra, was talking about baseball, the same holds true for social media marketing. First, people are on social media platforms to engage with their family, friends and colleagues, not your company. You have to respect this and understand that interruption marketing doesn’t hold on these media options. You may need to provide prospects with a reason to interact with you such as offering discounts and/or savings in some form. To this end, it’s helpful to engage prospects directly on your social network page rather than trying to get them to your website.
- “I never said most of the things I said.’ On social media platforms, it’s important to think before you post. This is particularly important when you’re upset or angry because the Internet is forever. While your momentary feelings may pass, your words will remain and may be interpreted differently by others. Bear in mind that participating on social media requires social responsibility.
- “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Unlike other forms of marketing, social media requires marketers and their firms to be engaged in real time. It’s important to stay in contact with your prospects, customers and fans and build relationships over time. Since you never know how events will unfold, it’s a good idea to build a loyal following of people who respect and trust you should you encounter a social media firestorm.
- “Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.” On social media, the parallel saying would be that most of social media interaction occurs online while a big part of it happens through Meetups and other offline forums. When you’re given a chance, it helps to get out and meet people face-to-face. [Here's help with social media branding in real life.]
- “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.” People are human. Despite your best efforts, you’re going to make mistakes. They may not be intentional but stuff happens. You’re not omniscient. Further, when it comes to social media, you can’t make assumptions about where your customers and the public are coming from. They may not have similar backgrounds or be native speakers of your language. [Here's help for when social media goes bad.]
Just as it takes hard work to be a professional baseball player, social media takes effort to learn the rules of the game and to consistently engage across a variety of social media platforms to build your organization’s following and achieve it’s overarching goals.
Do you have a favorite Yogi Berra quote? What social media lesson can you draw from it? For help, here are thirteen more social media lessons from Yogi Berra.
Here are some other social media lessons from great quotes:
- 50 Questions to determine social media success
- Leo Burnett: 12 Advertising Tips That Are Still Relevant Today
- Dr. Seuss’s Social Media Lessons
- Steve Jobs’ Marketing Lessons
- Vince Lomardi’s Social Media Advice
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/3092989569/