How’s Your Social Media Swing?

I’ve heard it all. Social media is the greatest evolution in marketing to its the biggest waste of time and money. I agree with both. Its not the tool itself but how it is used.

If I had Tiger Woods’ golf clubs I would still suffer the same severe handicap. I do have a Ken Griffey Jr. autographed Louisville Slugger but I’m not likely to do more than stir air if I faced even your average major league pitcher. Its not about the bat or the club; its about the swing.

Hitters in baseball have batting coaches and even Tiger has a swing coach. Today we’re going to take a look at some basics to craft your social media swing.

Club Selection
Each hole that a golfer plays consists of weighing different factors to determine which club gives him the most likely chance to succeed. On a par 5 the Driver is likely to come out of the bag first. On shorter holes its maybe a Wood or an Iron.

In social media your club selection includes things such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube, Flickr, Blogs, Websites, Landing Pages, Digg, Stumble Upon, 4 Square, PR Web, and the list goes on and on. You just need to choose the right club that will help you best put the ball in the cup.

Unless a golfer hits a hole in one each hole is likely to involve multiple club selections. The same is true for social media. When you craft your strategy you should be able to determine which of your social media clubs can help you achieve your goals.

The Right Swing
I normally hit my pitching wedge about 120 yards with a full swing. If I’m only 90 yards out I’m going to go a little easier on the swing. If I need to quickly get over a tree I’m going to play the ball towards the back of my stance. I vary my social media content in the same way, dependent upon the shot or response I’m looking to craft.

You really have a tremendous number of opportunities to craft content. Some of your options include Tweets, Wall Posts, Notes, Events, News Articles, Discussion Posts, Blog Posts, Video, Podcasts, Photos, Press Releases, Apps, and more. In golf the swing is the most important piece and in social media its understanding your communication options and crafting content that allows you to share value.

Ratings and Attendance
Professional athletes earn a lot of money for the skills they have mastered because fans buy tickets or the products they endorse. Look at the attendance differences at PGA events over the last 10 years when Tiger woods entered a tournament verses when he didn’t play in an event. There was a definite difference in perceived value.

In social media people will engage with you or your brand if they perceive value. Your job is to understand the value that your prospects are looking for. It could be white papers, applications, tools, or information presented in articles or blog posts. It also might be discounts, coupons, or special offers to those who follow, friend, or connect with you.

Fail to understand and deliver the value your social networks are looking for and you’ll spend a lot of time with little to show in return.

Be the Ball
If you want to use social media successfully then you need to have a plan. Too often companies simply start tweeting or connecting without a defined purpose. Its easy to be a hacker; being a professional takes a lot more time and effort.

Social media can make a difference or it can be a huge waste of time. Its how you use the tool that will determine if you break par.

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

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About Sean Nelson

Sean has been a Keynote speaker at Norvax University, conducts social media workshops and webinars, and has released three books on LinkedIn and written several social media guides.

Sean currently runs Social Media Sonar, which in addition to providing free resources, manages social media strategies and tactics for companies. He is also a partner in Surge Labs, a conversion rate optimization company, helping companies improve conversions and profitability through scientific testing of Landing Pages, Websites, Email communications, and Shopping Carts.

Comments

  1. Trector says:

    Very clever post, Sean. As a golfer I certainly identify with your comments. Thanks!

  2. Tony Mena says:

    Not only enjoyed your post but learned from it too. Not being a golfer though, I was clueless with, ” …I’m going to play the ball towards the back of my stance”. What?

  3. Michael D. Yoder says:

    I enjoyed the analogy, especially club selection. Would have enjoyed more in regards to practice and coaches, but you certainly made the point for those of us involved with social media and who golf.

  4. smsonar says:

    Michael,

    I think I used all of my brain cells trying to make the connection between Social Media and Golf.

    In regards to practice …everyone swings the clubs differently and what works for me may not work for you. People need to hit the practice range with social media, meaning they need to spend time interacting with others on the different platforms. Like anything you will not be that good when you start but you never get better unless you continue even when you're not seeing much value in return.

    In regards to coaching …I'm a “Do it Yourselfer” by nature. sometime that's good sometimes I spend too much time on something that would be better outsourced or at a minimum seeking help. If you have the time anyone can eventually figure out social media, the question is what is it costing you in terms of foregoing other opportunities.

    You have 3 choices when looking to implement social media in your business:

    1. Do it yourself – 100% self taught
    2. do it yourself but tap into other resources such as blogs, white papers, books, training workshops, etc.
    3. Or outsource the whole thing.

    Actually I guess there is a fourth option …ignore it.

    I'm a fan of options 2 and 3.

    Thanks for the comments.

  5. smsonar says:

    Tector,

    Glad the comparison made sense. Unfortunately at times I'm much better at social media than at golf.

    Sean

  6. smsonar says:

    Tony,

    Actually I may have got that wrong in that the ball should be more forward in my stance. In golf I'm a hacker so hopefully no one is relying on me for golf tips. The better point is that you use the tools differently to produce different results.

    Thanks for the comments.

    Sean

  7. PGA Golf Guru says:

    yes, forward in your stance :)

  8. PGA Golf Guru says:

    maybe we could do a joint ebook on the 7 golf myths vs. the 7 social media myths. I’ve already got the golf book at http://www.grandrapidsgolflesson.com/store.html :)

  9. PGA Golf Guru says:

    yes, forward in your stance :)

  10. PGA Golf Guru says:

    maybe we could do a joint ebook on the 7 golf myths vs. the 7 social media myths. I've already got the golf book at http://www.grandrapidsgolflesson.com/store.html :)

  11. Sean Nelson says:

    Glad I got my correction right. I don’t get out often so I rely on a little guide to position myself before a shot. Should have had it handy when writing the article.

  12. Sean Nelson says:

    At least 2 people would read the book.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tony Mack. Tony Mack said: How’s Your Social Media Swing?: I’ve heard it all. Social media is the greatest evolution in marketing… http://bit.ly/bT6pRK @SeanENelson [...]

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