Carefully Crafted on October 07

A Social Media Lesson from Baseball

Not only am I a die-hard baseball fan, but I’m an avid New York Yankees fan. (You can take the girl out of Jersey, but …)

Some of my favorite childhood memories involve baseball — watching games with my parents, learning to keep score, attending dozens of games at the original Yankee Stadium. Heck, we took in a Giants game on our honeymoon! Bottom line: I heart baseball.

So, it irks me around this time of year when fans of small-market teams complain that championships can be bought. (I promise, there’s a social media point … go with me on this.) The notion that the Yankees or any other big-market team is buying a championship is just wrong. Of the teams with the top 10 payrolls in baseball, only two — the Yankees and the Phillies — even made the playoffs. The Mets, Cubs, Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Mariners, and White Sox? All home, wishing their teams knew how to spend money. Because, as we know from franchises like Tampa and Minnesota, it’s not how much you spend on your team … it’s how you spend the dollars.

So, what does this have to do with social media? There’s a lot of importance placed on website traffic, RSS subscriptions, fans, followers and so on. And, to a certain extent, quantity does matter — otherwise, you’re spending a lot of time just talking to yourself. But, the size of the network isn’t the most important ingredient to success. Instead, success is determined by how you interact with and leverage that network.

In social media and in baseball, it’s not about the size of your wallet or the size of your network. It’s what you do with the dollars or followers that counts.

Photo credit: my honeymoon (and husband’s Flickr photos)

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