Desire and a baseball bat… maybe a leather glove… That would make me a major leaguer, wouldn’t it? No? Okay, well, then give me some spiffy pin-striped pants and a jersey with the number “2” on it… Now I’m just like Derek Jeter, right?
Just because you have access to the “tools” of the professionals, doesn’t mean you have the knowledge, skill or fortitude to use them correctly or successfully.
A baseball bat in the wrong hands is simply a deadly weapon.
Even a superstar like Jeter knows that picking up a bat does nothing for your game than make you dangerous – to yourself and those around you. That’s why he depends on people like Kevin Long, the Yankees batting coach, to guide him through the process of discovering his perfect swing.
Just like Derek Jeter, SUCCESSFUL social media marketers have been working at their trade, honing their skills and creating a knowledge base. They share ideas, tools and solutions with the other social media savvy that will help them score big, come game day.
If you’re looking to get into the social media marketing game, there are professionals out there that can coach you through the process of discovering your perfect social media swing. Instead of strutting up to the plate ready to “swing for the fences” think about these five simple steps:
1. Get a Coach – Probably the most important tip. I’m sure Jeter intrinsically knows how to connect with a baseball, but do you think he has the time to look at his swing for small, virtually untraceable links to hitting better, farther, and more consistently? A social media marketing coach will do much of the same thing – build on your brand’s strengths and tweak your weaknesses until you have an accurate, effective swing.
2. BE “In” The Game – Nary does a batter walk up to the plate looking for a home run every time (okay, maybe Manny Rameierez, but that’s another post altogether). Maybe your team needs a ground-out sacrifice to advance your fastest runner to second base, and scoring position. Your instincts as a marketer should tell you when to hit for the infield gap versus smacking it into center just to be caught. Your Social media marketing coach will feed you the signals for the team’s best success.
3. Read The Scouting Reports – When Jeter walks into the locker room, he has at his hands the reports of the opposing pitcher’s games clear back to the stone age. With that, he and his coach can evaluate their obstacles and the advantages they have in this game and plan accordingly for success. A savvy social media marketing coach should have similar scouting information for your “at-bat.” Is your market friendly to social media promotions? Does your market want more consumer brand input? Research is key!
4. Treat Each At-Bat Uniquely – Sure, Jeter strikes out from time-to-time. Does that mean the next time he walks up to the plate he’s obsessed about that last empty cut? Yes, and no… He thinks about what went wrong and he and Long make the necessary adjustments for the next inning. Just as with baseball, each marketing tactic is set up to learn and progress to the next opportunity. If one event, or post, or tweet fails to garner the results you expect, look at it carefully and make the adjustments necessary for future success.
5. Remember, The Season Is Long – Jeter and Long know, from experience, that it takes 162 games (regular season only) per season to get to the World Series. If they walked into opening season expecting to hit .750 and started sizing their thumb (’cause every other finger is covered) for another World Series ring, they’d be laughed out of the league. Just the same, if you expect to become a social media marketing home-run hitter tomorrow… well, can you hear the laughter? Work on the knowledge, technique, targeting, content, branding, focus, fortitude, execution… get it?
Now Go PLAY BALL!
Keep Cooking (ideas that score)!
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef