Thursday, March 18, 2010

5 Things Basketball and March Madness Teach About Social Media

In offices all across America TVs are going to be on during the work day this week and next as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament cranks up. If you need an “excuse” to keep watching March Madness games when you should be working tell the boss that basketball and the tournament can give everyone a few simple pointers on social media. For example:

1. Anyone can, and sometimes will, win: At the start of the tournament or the start of a game everyone is a potential winner. The same is true in social media where customers and the people trying to earn their business have never been on more equal terms. The same goes for businesses competing with other businesses in social media. Fail to recognize this new dynamic and, for business at least, the game will soon be over.

2. At the start it’s a toss-up: Who wins the jump ball at the start of the play can set the tone for the rest of that game. Does your business have a strategy to both grab that ball and then quickly score before the other guys know what hit them? Will your business seize early opportunities and turn them into points on the board?

3. Individual effort is great; team play wins games: If everyone understands the game plan and sticks to it the chances of your business winning its own version of Social Media March Madness are much greater. Too much solo hot-dogging or a lack of team effort will lead to lost games or a blown tournament.

4. Creative plays are game winners: Of course you must play by the rules if they’re there. But to win a game you often need to come up with a play or two no one has seen before. A creative move that takes your opponents by surprise gives you the competitive advantage.

5. Winning is 90 percent hard work, 10 percent luck: Even the best coach can’t control that last 10 percent, but a great social media strategist can help monitor the other 90 percent to ensure that the hard work is sustained and that despite any setbacks it is maintained.

Remember the start of a basketball game is always a toss-up, but he result of the game and your social media efforts don't have to be.

What other parallels are there between basketball in general and March Madness in particular and social media? Please let me know if I missed some.

Possibly related posts:
5 strategies to get the Boss into Social Media
Questions Are a Recipe for Social Media Success

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