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Social Media – And Sticking Hands

Social Media – And Sticking Hands

One of my favorite drills to watch (and to participate in *very slowly* since I haven’t been trained in it) is called Sticking Hands or Chi Sau. Some of the most fun videos on YouTube demonstrating this drill are from Windy City Wing Chun Gung Fu.

I also really like this graphic produced by the South London Wing Chun Martial Arts Club. So let’s borrow from Chi Sau principles and see how they apply to our social media interaction (this should be fun, let me know if I am reaching ;))



  • Technique, Movement & Structure – Our social media efforts need to follow a structure and possibly a company policy. If your company does not have a social media policy, it probably should. Steve Goldner takes a high level approach to discussing company social media policy in a post titled Social Media at Your Company – Policies.
  • Muscle Memory – We should develop a consistency and timing in our social media interaction. Not only will our followers come to expect our regular contribution to their daily/weekly reading, but it also establishes our own good habits of keeping our content fresh. Muscle memory also encourages us to stay engaged with our own strategy versus giving up because we do not see immediate bottom line results.
  • Coordination – If we are contributing to several social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, YouTube, corporate website) it is important to coordinate our messaging. We need to work on both our timing and our branding consistency. Some products like HootSuite and TweetDeck can assist with cross-posting and scheduling content release to better control the consistent message. BundlePost (developed by a great social media contributor and friend Robert Caruso) can also assist in gathering and distributing content. Most of these products have free and paid editions.
  • Reflex, Efficiency & Speed – As we become conditioned to our social media responsibilities, we become more efficient and speedy thanks to faster reflexes.
    1. Are you responding quickly to new followers (vetting them out before simply following back to ensure they are not spammers)?
    2. How about personal thank you’s for Mentions and Retweets?
    3. Are we time-boxing our days to be more efficient with our social media interaction while still reserving time for the “day job”?

Using tools like what was mentioned in the above bullet point, and going that extra mile with social media monitoring tools like Mantis’ own Pulse Analytics, will greatly increase your efficiency and timely response to marketing opportunities and customer service issues.

  • Relaxation – Once we get over the stress of putting the building blocks in place (overall marketing strategy, company policies, consistent messaging and tools to assist with that messaging), we can start relaxing. The goal is to get to the point of “well oiled machine”, but we will not reach that goal without taking care of those building blocks. Notice that we do not jump straight to tool selections or creating a bunch of social media identities without first defining our strategy and messaging!
  • Sensitivity – Let’s look at this two different ways.
    1. First, there is the sensitivity to the people we interact with in social media. Be courteous, be thoughtful and take opportunities to Pay It Forward with no thoughts of reciprocity. If responsible for a brand, do not take polarizing views or use abusive language or attitudes. The goal is to be a respected thought leader versus a lightning rod that could harm your brand.
    2. Secondly, sensitivity in chi sau means to feel the intent of your attacker and respond. In this case, more experience will make it easier to identify trending and relevant topics for both your industry and your brand. If there are customer service issues with your brand, responding quickly can turn relationships around before they snowball on you.
  • Focus – This can get back to time-boxing your day and adhering to your marketing strategy by focusing on a consistent company message and identity.
  • Positioning and Spacial Awareness – We live in an Agile world, so we need to be quick to adjust our strategies and messaging as our company diversifies. We need to determine when we apply the rule of “we can’t be all things to all people” or when we need to adjust our course as the market or opportunities dictate.
  • Simultaneous Control & Attack – I’m not here to promote an attacking style when it comes to social media or business practices in general. However, recognizing and acting upon opportunities is simply good business. Be proactive by addressing any negative messaging, and respond by “owning it” as applicable. Even if the negative comments are not accurate, do not engage in a debate with the poster. Either address the legitimate client concerns regardless of responsibility, or leave a troll alone. Meanwhile, focus on a steady stream of fresh content promoting your brand with success stories, case studies and testimonials.

Are you ready for some Social Media Sticking Hands? It can be a fun and practical game as you become proficient!


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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. This is a fun article. What a great way to look at tackling social media. I might need to use this when presenting my services to a Martial Arts client!

    Vetting new followers is exactly what I agree with – I have a problem with Eggs on Twitter, in fact one of my posts on Twitter recently was about making omelets out of the eggs (spam). Spam and eggs now that sounds like a Hawaiian dish. :)

    • I definitely like the omelette idea, Tracey. I just DM’d a new follower today. The timeline implies they are “real”, but they need to be diligent in fleshing out that identity with a pic and brief bio. I see a blog post in the making with your green eggs and spam idea ;)

  2. Hey Brian clever analogies and very groovy and creative idea for the blog! The “muscle memory” idea about consistency in our social media engagement is right on! I think consistency in message and engagement is the hardest part for people who want to get involved in social media for business reasons. I’ve bookmarked you blog bro! @socialmediameg

    • Thanks for the comment. I saw that nice graphic explaining the steps to sticking hands proficiency and truly thought it could be applied to our social media strategy with some creative license ;) Thanks for bookmarking the blog!