Catch Yogi Berra’s Social Media Wisdom
Social media can learn a lot from baseball, particularly in terms of consistently practicing to improve your results and putting the greater good of the team and its community ahead your personal feelings.
One of the greatest catchers in baseball history, Yogi Berra (aka Lawrence Peter Berra) offered some great social media lessons in his well-known quotes during his 19 year baseball career, most of which was spent playing for the New York Yankees.
Fracturing the English language with his malapropisms, Yogi Berra’s often funny sayings provide useful social media insights. Here are thirteen of his best quotes and the related social media lessons.
- “You can observe a lot by just watching.” Before jumping into social media, spend time listening to the conversation. Understand where participants’ focus is and what their concerns are. Bear in mind, social media isn’t another one way broadcast medium where you can blast your promotions.
- “It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.” There’s a lot of noise on social media and participants may not pay attention to your interactions the way you expect. As a business, it’s important to determine which mentions and conversations require a company response.
- “If the fans don’t come out to the ballpark, you can’t stop them.” On social media, you can’t force consumers to engage with your business. Remember they’re on social media to socialize. Further, most consumers only connect with a business to get the promotional offer.
- “If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.” Yogi had it right. Transparency is critical on social media platforms to build relationships based on respect. This requires knowing what you don’t know rather than vamping. Further, being open and transparent doesn’t mean divulging confidential company information about your business or your customers.
- “Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked.” Popularity has always bred jealousy. On social media networks, some people are jealous of others who have lots of followers and fans and related influence. Interestingly, many of these social media elite in terms of the number of followers and friends have built their popularity outside of social media as rock stars and actors.
- “Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.” While there may be a grain of truth in the rumors that fly around the social media ecosystem, you should avoid contributing to the information feeding frenzy. Refrain from the desire to spread misinformation in your lust to be an information source. You need to be careful and not fuel the gossip mongering.
- “Never answer anonymous letters.” Instead of letters, social media is filled with anonymous comments, many of them negative. Occasionally, a respondent keeps ranting without reason. If this happens, stop engaging.
- “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.” Yogi’s fracturing of the word humidity provides insights for businesses on social media. You must always respect others on these platforms. Don’t assume that you know your audience’s perspective. They may have a very different frame of reference, language and/or belief system. Remember, social media has a social responsibility.
- “The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.” Since social media is today’s 24/7, always-on news channel, businesses must be ready to respond with realtime PR to issues related to their business, brand, executives or competitors.
- “Even Napoleon had his Watergate.” On social media, there’s always the potential for a flare up that will have an impact on your business. What’s important is being prepared with a PR Crisis Plan.
- “We made too many wrong mistakes.” With instantaneous communications from one small group to another, mistakes can’t be hidden for long. It’s important to come clean quickly and take the air out of the issue on social media. Admit to any mistakes.
- “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Yogi understood that you had to play the entire game to know the final outcome. Similarly, you need to be present on social media for the long term. It’s not a run it once and stop medium.
- “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Build a social media presence that you own such as a blog. History has shown that once hot social media platforms can become less relevant and fade from the center of consumers’ focus over time, like MySpace.
In addition to providing a good laugh, Yogi Berra’s quotes hold true for social media. You need to get to know the participants on various social media platforms without interrupting their personal conversations. With all the interaction happening concurrently on social media, understand that there’s bound to be issues that can pop up. Therefore be prepared with a PR Crisis Plan.
What are your favorite Yogi Berra quotes and why?
Here are some related articles you may find of interest.
- 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yogi2.JPG