Sports & Business. Not that stupid after all?

Tactics Board from sports apllied to the world of business

Tactics Board from sports apllied to the world of business

A category of this blog bears the label “sports”. The articles within this section always link sports with business.
The posts aim to simplify more complicated business stuff by giving examples from the world of sports. In addition it strives to learn lessons from sports and apply them in a business kind of sphere.

Up until now, the sports category has 6 posts. The reason for that is that I always wondered whether this specific endeavour made any sense at all. Or as my last post finished :

Can businesses learn something from sport? Or is sport just sport?

I believe we can transfer insights from one societal aspect to another. Below are two cases from other people that back up this point. The question remains ‘why’ however.

Sport is not just sport. Content Marketing Strategy is like football.

Below is a free translation of a sports analogy used by: @steven_insites in a Dutch Marketing Magazine so to explain content marketing.

It’s like Football.

Developing a content conversion strategy is similar to putting together a football team. And it’s all about scoring in football. But in order to score the team must get the ball to the striker. Some teams use long passes to get there, others carefully advance through short passes. But in the end the ball needs to cross the line.

The marketer is the coach, the team composer. It’s up to him to decide how to get the ball crossing the line. But anyway, don’t expect to win without a proper strategy.

Sport is not just sport. The Jeremy Lin example.

Learnings from Jeremy Lin

Learnings from Jeremy Lin

Another case demonstrating that learnings from sports can be transferred to business is the story of Jeremy Lin. This case deals with basketball, underdog positions and the power of social media.

During last week Jeremy Lin became a sensation. The New York Knicks guard became a sensation first on new media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook but soon enough captured the attention of traditional media as well.

The Knicks guard is in tremendous shape and does crazy stuff on the court. Even that crazy it led to the neologism “linsational” or “linsanity”. This remarkable story detailed in the N.Y. Times shows us the power of bottom-up marketing for underdog players.

In this particular case people were surprised because they didn’t know Jeremy before. There are not that many Harvard players, not that many Asian-Americans. He’s an underdog. But he works hard and it pays off today.

So where’s the lesson for business?
SMEs and underdog players can turn their position into an advantage by offering great products (Jeremy plays incredible) and let that spread from within the fan network (Twitter, Facebook) towards the public sphere (traditional media, such as N.Y. Times). And yes, this includes working really really hard.

Why can we learn something from a completely different sphere?

I believe it’s proven we can learn a thing from an entirely different phenomenon. But why?
Is it because all are just aspects of the same society?

3 C’s of Social Media Marketing Automation. On Cool, Cute and Crap.

Twitter Status 6 achievement - empireavenue.com

Twitter Status 6 achievement - empireavenue.com

I recently received a “Twitter Status 6 achievement” on empireavenue.com.
It means I posted 750 tweets in my life. This merely indicates that I’ve been active on Twitter for a short period. During this short period however, I noticed a little annoying aspect of the social media phenomenon.

That little annoying aspect I want to talk about is what I call “the deployment of social media marketing automation tools” or even “twitter marketing automation”.

Social media has a human aspect

Social media doesn’t bear the word “social” in it just for fun. It’s all about engagement and connecting with people. As a result I recommend to listen before you define your social media strategy – and especially before you start automating. This will improve your overall social media campaign…

Oh wait! Stop thinking campaign-wise! It’s social, not campaigns. It’s people. It’s connecting. It’s engaging. It’s conversations. It’s for once and forever. It is marriage.

The Machine - painting as spotted in Museum of Modern Art Brussels.

The Machine - painting as spotted in Museum of Modern Art Brussels.

Social media’s machine aspect: automation

Let’s say social relates to human and let’s assume automation relates to machines. How can you then appropriately deploy automation within a social sphere? I believe the answer ought to be found in the 3 C’s of Social Media Marketing Automation.

The 3 C’s of Social Media Marketing Automation: Cool, Cute, Crap.

As I’ve been around and active in social media for about 750 tweets now, I’ve distilled some of the do’s and don’ts of social media automation.

It turned out however that it’s not that easy to define an automation aspect as “do” or “don’t”. Sometimes it can be used in a “good” way but it can easily glimpse into a “bad” one. That’s why I introduce a third class into this debate, the “consider wisely” category.

Bringing sexiness: category labels and infographics – Cool, Cute, Crap.

So to turn my entire theory / philosophy about social media marketing automation into a sex bomb, I’ve relabeled the categories into something more compelling (at least I believe, and please allow me to do so) and spice it up with an infographic.

The categories / labels are:

  • Cool (do): social media automation that’s recommended. A do. A Cool thing.
  • Cute (do with care): social media automation that might be beneficial. There’s the danger to glimpse into the don’t category.
  • Crap (don’t): absolute don’ts of social media marketing automation.

Cut the crap – what exactly is Cool, Cute or Crap?

Well, read the below overview or scroll down to the infographic below. Please realize that this is not an exact science and only a personal interpretation of what I’ve encountered. Of course, the list also doesn’t claim to be complete. I would highly appreciate your suggestions to include in this list – whether under Cool, Cute or Crap.

Infographic - 3 Cs

Infographic - 3Cs

  1. COOL
    • Multiple account management tools. If you need more than one account / profile / personality in the social realms, it might be cool to automate the management of the different personas. One could think of e.g. a professional and a private account or a consultant managing multiple company accounts, etc.
    • Multiple contributors to one account (professional environments).
    • Url shorteners. One of the key social aspects is to share things. Most of the time this includes sharing a link. It’s very cool to use Url shorteners. And it’s supercool to deploy personalized url shorteners…
    • Monitoring. It’s cool to monitor what people say about you or your themes. But please don’t push it.
  2. CRAP
    • Auto creation of users so to have a higher follower rate. There are tools who promise you a high amount of followers. In fact, the software creates fake people that follow you. Big fail.
    • Extensive retweet scheduling: automatically scream the same message over and over.
    • Bulk tweet sending. If you see a person able to tweet 10 messages in less than a minute than you know it’s automated, than you know it ain’t human.
    • Auto message to new followers “look forward to your tweets”. Yeah right, you follow over 20K people, as if you’re really interested in me.
    • Auto follow followers. It doesn’t make sense to follow somebody just merely because they follow you.
    • Picked keywords that are automatically (re)tweeted. This is very annoying. Yes it’s cool to monitor to stay informed but automatic re-spread of a message is crap.
    • Constant retweet of your marketing hero without any input. If I like those tweets, I will follow the source, your hero. After all it’s your hero who’s cool, not you.
    • Feed tweets from other sources that don’t have a 140 chars limit. Facebook has a 420 character limit, so if you push this to Twitter, your message is lost.
  3. CUTE:
    • Feed it from a different source. Linking your blog to other social networks is cool but tends to be cute when you don’t pay enough attention. It’s completely crap when you don’t pay any attention at all. Make sure you can modify your message for the different platforms’ characteristics.
    • Tweet scheduling can be very cute. Especially if you have a follower base in different time zones. But don’t spam it.
    • Automated tweeting when there’s a new comment on your blog is cute. But what about auto tweeting spammy a-like messages?
    • Social Media Monitoring and auto-follow anyone who mentions you without any interaction or further engagement. I personally had that experience with big brands as Adobe, Audi and RedBull. Of course I was flattered they followed me but without any engagement or interaction, it was only cute, not cool.

An infographic – that makes things sexy these days

Infographics are very hot these days. And yes, it makes facts and figures sexier to read. That’s probably why some even call it infoporn. OK, mine isn’t that sexy but it’ll be only by trying that I’ll make good once later, much later.

Infographic - 3 C's of Social Media Marketing Automation

Infographic - 3 C's of Social Media Marketing Automation

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