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Social Media – And Baseball’s Double Play

I do not follow baseball as much as other sports, but it still presents awesome moments for fan appreciation. Which means I can catch most of the good stuff on ESPN’s Top-10 plays while looking for more updates on NFL Training Camps ;).

Baseball’s double play, especially the exciting and difficult ones, can be game-changers. They can snuff a rally by the opposing team and get a pitcher out of a tough inning. They can also get your motor running if you are the team in need of a rally and you execute the double play.

The double play most commonly involves three defensive players (we will use shortstop, 2nd baseman and 1st baseman for our 6-4-3 example). Let’s take a look at the double play through a social media lens in regards to media channels. If you want to visualize the play itself, check out this spectacular behind the back exchange to start a double play…seriously, you gotta watch it because it is an awesome play!

  • Starting the Play – In our example, let’s say the ball is hit sharply into the gap between 2nd and 3rd base. The shortstop must field the ball cleanly to even have a chance at a double-play. Skill, agility and fast reflexes all come into play. In social media, this could equate to monitoring and engaging on LinkedIn Group discussions, Twitter or even review sites like Amazon and Yelp. Catch the opportunities and begin active and constructive engagement in those venues.
  • Turning the Double – In our example, the 2nd baseman is the linchpin. He must have the instincts to cover 2nd base, the patience to secure the exchange from the shortstop and tag 2nd base with a base runner trying to take out his legs, and the accuracy to relay the throw to the 1st basement in time to get the 2nd out. I think a good Twitter presence best exhibits these characteristics. Whoever monitors/curates/engages while representing the company brand must…
    1. Have the instincts to setup for success through social media monitoring and setting up different streams and keyword searches.
    2. Have the patience to build a following based upon engagement and relationships versus broadcast advertising.
    3. Have the accuracy to realize how to dovetail product and service solutions to followers as their needs or interests dictate. Focus on #2 first!!
  • Completing the Play – In our example, the 1st baseman is the anchor who completes the play. This position requires the flexibility to stretch off the bag, the “sure glove” to vacuum up any errant throw, and the ability to sell the play to the umpire on tight calls. A large percentage of “outs” in a baseball game go through the 1st baseman’s glove. In digital media, our corporate website, Facebook Fan Page and/or YouTube channel should anchor our other digital media strategies.
    1. We have the opportunity to craft appropriate landing pages while keeping all content fresh, relevant and SEO friendly.
    2. We gain trust by becoming thought leaders with blogs, white papers and twitter feeds available on our website and fan pages.
    3. We use YouTube to provide instructional videos, client testimonials, or interviews with key employees that again demonstrate thought leadership and innovation.
    4. We engage our friends/followers/subscribers with responses to their questions, polls, and creative mixed media content that captures the attention.

Do you like a well-turned baseball double play? Are you setting yourself up for a digital media double play that can provide the momentum to carry your company brand to a win? I look forward to your comments.

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Brian Vickery

I love my wife and two daughters. I am blessed in that I also love my job as a principal and EVP of the Rocky Mountain Region for Mantis Technology Group. I am excited to promote our Pulse Analytics social media monitoring and sentiment analysis solution as well as our core software development and business intelligence services. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin. You can find Brian on .

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4 comments
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Albert Qian (@albertqian)
Albert Qian (@albertqian)

I prefer the social media grand slam -- where everything goes the way you want it to!

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

How about the in the park home run where you gotta hustle to get it ;)

Paul Flanigan (@PaulFlanigan)
Paul Flanigan (@PaulFlanigan)

Interesting analogy. I'm a raging baseball fan (student of the game) and find double plays to be one of the more remarkable parts of the game for one reason that I must stress: Muscle Memory. Double plays are practiced thousands and thousands of times during the year. Every member of every play spends time talking about how they want the throw, how fast it can be, and the variables depending on the ball. The outcome is that when the play is executed in the game, thinking is almost non-existent. Instincts tell the players what should happen. Habits help the players complete it. So, bringing that into the idea of social media, the thing to remember is that you have to work at this endlessly to be great at it. Copywriting, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. No matter how much other people tell you how to do it, you still have to do it yourself to find your rhythm. I have been doing a LinkedIn study for over a month now and am learning more about how I can be great with it than any other blog or book has taught me. In the end, I will be able to harness the power of LinkedIn without thinking too much about it because I'll have the instincts and habits to put out great stuff.

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

That is outstanding analysis, Paul. And I agree...practice builds the muscle memory/instincts/habits whether it be sports, social media or just about any other professional/personal task. Thanks for adding to the discussion.