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A Major League approach to Social Media Strategy

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If you’re of a “certain age” and have teenagers in the house, then you might have caught yourself proclaiming that your young Millennials (Generation Y) are wasting their lives playing Halo, World of Warcraft, or tinkering with their MySpace page. Since adolescents revel in the opportunity to point out hypocrisy in their adult family members, imagine the return volley of comments about how much time we Boomers spend glaring at the television watching yet another sports event without anything more than a trip to the fridge to break the action.

The best life lessons learned from sports are by playing them, but once in a while you can learn by watching.  The other night as I wandered between the NHL and NBA playoffs, the NFL draft, and some meaningless early season MLB, I had a vision. I found an answer for the big question about Social media.

Everyone knows about Social Media, few understand it, and there are proponents and opponents voicing opinion with increasing volume. To some, employing a social media strategy can accelerate achievement of business objectives, to others it is a greater waste of time than one more round of GTA3.  The one unifying question is “how do all these pieces fit together?” Almost every business person I know expresses interest in executing a social media strategy that is right for them.

Well I’ve got an answer and it is heavily basted in sports analogy:

The Play by Play Announcer: Your web site is the necessary foundation for your social media strategy. Present the facts without too much hype and hyperbole

Color Commentary: People blog for different reasons. I think it serves as a platform for opinion and to demonstrate innovative ideas and thought leadership

Player Roster: Being part of LinkedIn is today’s method to assemble your business network and document a circle of influence

Groupies: They hang out by every locker room door and some you’ll talk to while others you avoid. Establishing an authentic presence on Twitter allows you the same liberty

Inner Circle: You’ve got to have real friends you can trust. Approach these for deeper conversations via email, the phone, and in person (yes, in person should be part of your social media strategy!)

Your Agent: Few of us can do it all. We need a few Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) around to fill in our gaps and to add bandwidth. Find someone who really knows how to coordinate your social media efforts from a technology standpoint

Fans: Filling the seats is a requirement for success. Building a Facebook presence can be your biggest funnel to gain fans and you can connect further with them via the other channels depending on how relationships develop.

Sponsors: Someone has to pay the bills. We often call these folks “clients” or “customers”! The objectives of a social media strategy should include serious business objectives and revenue goals. Your valued customers/clients should be treated in a special way. Newsletters and more personalized digital correspondence works well to create deeper links

I’m interested to have your feedback on fitting the pieces of the social media puzzle together. Are you ready to play ball?

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