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What Baseball Can Teach Us About Social Media Strategy

 

Disclaimer: I don’t watch Major League Baseball. I haven’t in decades. But my Michigan Wolverines at the time of this blog post are in the driver’s seat for our first national championship since 1962 in the College World Series so I’ve been watching a lot of it! And it got me thinking how offensive baseball strategy is a good metaphor for a social media strategy. It has to do with singles and home runs. You need them both! And yes, this applies to softball too - Michigan has a great softball team! Go BLUE!

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A good pitcher isn't going to give up home run after home run after home run. And a good hitter can’t only swing for the fences at all times.  I would make the case that the Facebook algorithm for example like a good pitcher doesn't like to give up home run after home run too easily, and I'm not even sure your community is going to give them up either...  but that’s okay!

There's nothing wrong with hitting singles and even flying out here and there - you can still win by doing that just like in baseball. You can win a game on a fly out if it’s a sacrifice fly with a man in scoring position. Swinging for the fences each and every time is not a good strategy - it’s simply not sustainable. Not every hitter is built only for home runs off of every pitcher and neither is every type of content on the Internet.  Here's a prime example:

I manage the Five Guys Burgers and Fries Facebook account for Michigan, and a sloppy gooey cheesy mouth-watering burger will get hundreds of likes each time I post one. The last one got over 600 reactions. I post them maybe 2-3 times per week and it’s a home run most of the time. But I do not post them every day.

On Mondays I post in a series for Five Guys called “Michigan Mondays”. If we’re measuring on popularity which is a pretty fair measure, Five Guys Michigan Mondays are not home runs. They don’t appeal to everyone and they aren’t undeniably eye-popping. They may get between 25-75 likes. But…. we highlighted Muskegon, Michigan (where there is a Five Guys location) on a recent Michigan Monday and specifically the Muskegon Heights Festival In The Park. Not only did the Festival share our post, but they posted their own separately where they thanked Five Guys and a few others for helping promote the event! Having local influencers showing appreciation for your brand and viewing you as a partner that supports the community can be like social credit in the bank for future use - like stringing together base hits that can turn into a rally if you will. Showing that kind of support to the right people can come in handy someday, especially when you hit your next home run. Maybe more of the right people will be on base ready to score for you! Highlighting the community(s) where you operate is the right thing to do which is what will usually make it at least a single, which in turn makes it the smart thing to do.

So don’t be seduced by the quantity even when you get it! Don’t just fall in love with the home run. You may think you’re rolling when you get the quantity that you’ve built the right way - organically. But while quantity might be great especially for a transactional business (and it is), always be mindful of the quality as well for your brand. I know a juicy burger gets tons of reach - organic reach. But I’m not posting burgers every day. You may tell me I’m crazy but it just seems too easy which to me sounds too close to lazy. Lazy isn’t quality and I don’t want the Five Guys audience to get burger burnout even though Five Guys is indeed a burger joint! Get my drift? I’m going to practice hitting home runs and singles and you should too!

 
 

M10 Social is owned by Doug Cohen in West Bloomfield, MI and provides social media training and digital marketing services from the Frameable Faces Photography studio Doug owns with his wife Ally.  He can be reached there at tel:248-790-7317, by mobile at tel:248-346-4121 or via email at mailto:doug@frameablefaces.com.   

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