Summer is the season for baseball, America's favorite pastime. This beloved sport has left an indelible mark on American culture. Similarly, social media has had a major impact on American society and the world as a whole. Its influence even extends to baseball itself, as teams use social media to foster connections with fans and provide them with a better game experience.
But the similarities between baseball and social media aren't merely limited to the influence of these activities on our daily lives. In many ways, the actions and rhythms that define a successful social media marketing campaign are similar to the patterns that exist in a baseball game. Here are three parallels to keep in mind.
Playing the Long Game
Baseball isn't a sport of quick results. Throughout the game, teams must make innumerable decisions in response to a string of surprise twists and turns caused by unknown variables. Just as a coach can't fully prepare for how the opposing team will perform, you can't fully predict how an audience will respond to your content.
And just as a baseball game is rarely won in the first inning, social media marketing doesn't deliver a long-term victory overnight. In both scenarios, it often takes time, patience, close study of the situation and careful adjustments to secure a win. In fact, baseball managers often say that the game is won by what happens after the sixth inning. Social media marketers would be wise to apply this thought process to their own work. No matter how the short-term results of your content are panning out, you must make sure that you focus on the long term as well.
Wielding a Number of Pitches
Though a fastball is a great, effective pitch, it can become a liability if it's overused. Great pitchers need to have multiple pitches in their arsenal so that they can keep batters on their toes. For social media marketers, a particular type of strong, successful content can be a great asset, but it won't deliver the same results as a diverse strategy that incorporates various types of content to meet different needs. By using a more diverse strategy, you can inspire engagements from different members of your target audience. Furthermore, this will provide you with better insights into what aspects of your strategy work best and what still has room for improvement.
One Swing Can Change the Game
In baseball, when the bases are loaded, a hit can be the deciding factor in whether or not a team wins a game. Similarly, one piece of content can really throw a "curveball" at your brand. As MediaPost points out, the reality is that every piece of content matters — and could change the game for you in an instant. A simple mistake could see your content going viral, but it may also land your brand in hot water at the same time. The key is to make sure you have a plan in place for responding to unexpected situations.
In both baseball and social media marketing, it's important to remember that whether you're feeling optimistic or deflated, hard work and dedication are critical to staying in the game.