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4 Lessons the SEC Can Teach about Social Media Success

4 Lessons the SEC Can Teach about Social Media Success

Please welcome Ryan Currie as he guest posts the 4 Lessons the SEC Can Teach about Social Media Success. You know I must be unbiased if I let a guy come write on my blog about the SEC!! Of course, I’m thinking the Longhorns should have played Florida for the National Championship in 2008…and we lost Colt McCoy in the first quarter in the National Championship game against Alabama. The Longhorns could have disrupted that SEC National Championship dominance!

Regardless, the SEC is THE dominant NCAA football conference, and Ryan is going to give us a few SEC lessons to use in our social media efforts…enjoy!

Oh, the Southeastern Conference: The juggernaut of NCAA football. Few conferences are as revered, as hated, or as emulated as the venerable SEC, currently looking down the barrel of an unprecedented eighth consecutive National Championship.

If you’re not a fan of an SEC team, it’s pretty easy to sit back and name the ways your conference is superior, but why not instead learn from the best? Few can argue at this stage of the game that the SEC isn’t doing something very, very right, and its lessons can be applied on the field, off the field, and even in the world of social media.

Here are a few lessons the SEC can teach you about social networking success:

1. It Takes Time to be the Best

Of course, the BCS National Championship game is a relatively new concept, but the SEC hasn’t always ended the season on top of the game. The Big Ten, the ACC, and even the Pac-12 have all had plenty of glory over the years. The difference is that the SEC is built on a foundation of consistently well-rounded, high-ranking teams, never counting on one or two schools to carry it through to the end. Consider this year’s pre-season rankings: four of ESPN’s (current) top-ten teams are part of the SEC. The same goes for social networking. It takes time to build a reliable network of followers, friends, and connections but all that foundation-laying pays off in the end when you can count on your diversified network.

2. Competing Against Yourself Only Hurts…You

How many times in the last decade has an SEC team lost to another stellar SEC team late in regular season play only to be rewarded with lower rankings, culminating in less overall SEC representation in the final BCS top ten? Social networking is no different: don’t spread yourself so thin you’re cannibalizing your own efforts. Don’t post exactly the same thing on all your networking sites and remember that who you irritate on Twitter is likely on Facebook, too.

3. Never Underestimate the Little Guy

Vanderbilt. Kentucky. Mississippi State. Otherwise known as “spoilers. These underdogs of the SEC have a way of sneaking up on unprepared top-ten teams and winning one out of nowhere. And that doesn’t even take into account non-conference shakeups. In social media it’s important to remember that the little guy can be your downfall (incessant brand-bashing on Twitter, anyone?) or your salvation (spreading the word about your site to his friends, one of whom is Matt Cutts.) With social networking, everyone’s on equal ground and he who has few followers today has many tomorrow.

4. Sometimes the Top Can be Tough

If there’s one thing the SEC knows, it’s disdain. Being the best has its pitfalls, for sure, some of which are constant scrutiny, harassment, and mockery. When you reach 10,000 Twitter followers or 2,500 Facebook friends or whatever milestone you take to mean you’ve “made it,” you should prepare for the same. Whenever so many people gather for one thing there’s bound to be skepticism and plenty of “Haterade” to go around. When the backlash starts just keep up the good fight: Tweet, poke, and Instagram like you always have and your true fans will stick with you.

In social networking, as in life there’s an invisible hierarchy that must be maintained. Right now, the SEC sits at the top of football’s podium, but the ride may not last forever. While it does, take a few lessons from the most admired, most despised conference in the country and apply them to your digital life.

Photo Credit: SEC Championship Game 2012 – Atlanta by Charles Atkeison, on Flickr

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Ryan Currie

Ryan is a product manager at, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.

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