Along the top of Brian Vickery’s blog’s navigation menu is a list of clickable links to blog posts about sports. For all but one, I have a quick note:
- In high school, I was probably the worst basketball player ever.
- I played in the all-star co-ed 12″ softball game and ripped the webbing between pointer and ring man on my right hand playing second base.
- I currently play USTA 4.0 tennis.
- I just got my yellow belt in taekwondo (watch for my reaction to that evening in an upcoming Happy Friday Series post).
- I played flag football in Chicago rec leagues and LOVED the adrenaline rush.
- I coached kidlet’s rec soccer for five seasons.
- I work out, but should do more.
What’s that all got to do with anything?
The cool part is it gives me seven good reasons why I can write for Brian Vickery and belong…besides the fact that he made one of the first guest appearances for my Soulati Media On The Street series, and I’ve had the privilege of meeting him IRL twice.
Far-Fetched Sports Analogy
Whew, now that we have our bonding straight, let’s dive in and cover off on one really far-fetched sports analogy with social media.
As I play tennis about six hours weekly, I also pick up several hundred tennis balls using a hopper, that metal ball picker upper. If you try to jam three balls in between the grooves, you struggle. If you grab two balls at a time, there’s no problem. If there are oodles of balls collected in the corner, you kneel and use your hands; it’s faster.
There are so many was to pick up tennis balls:
- Do you first grab the errant singles spread around the service line?
- Do you start in the corner of the court by the tarp and work toward the center?
- Do you find the half-way mark and move right or left toward the corner?
- Do you pick up the fewest balls and leave the most to others?
You absolutely get my drift. I wrote about tennis balls and business strategy once, but today, I’m just writing about tennis balls and social media. There is no right way to pick up tennis balls; they all get picked up regardless, but it’s sure fun thinking about it (work with me).
Twitter Peeps Are Tennis Balls
Now, think of each person you interact with on Twitter as a tennis ball. I’ll give you a minute to visualize all the peeps who tweet as a tennis ball.
They could be Wilson, Prince or Dunlop. They could have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 numbers. They could be Pro balls, training balls with dots or different colors.
All those balls in the corners, collecting? That’s your live stream of all the followers tweeting all day long. On occasion, you take a look and pick through a few for a good retweet; just like picking out the best balls to serve with.
How about the balls that are your favorite brand? I always liked playing with Dunlop best, perhaps it’s because it makes tires. Wilson balls always stink; they seem to lose their bounce fastest. Prince balls are decent, reliable; no complaints.
In your Twitter stream are there Dunlops you’ve favorited into a list to track what they say? How about the Wilsons who seem to be less bouncy with little energy? Do you unfollow or ignore? And, I love those Princes who aren’t really royalty, but they’re certainly loyal.
We’re not going into racquets for this piece, as this tennis ball analogy is as far fetched and grasping at straws as I can get. Eh, Brian?
So, the next time you hit your HootSuite dashboard and see the left-most column of hundreds and hundreds of tweets streaming in, take a peek in that corner to find the best ball and serve it up to your stream as a courtesy.
When you see a peep having a downer day, and perhaps he’s a Wilson, give him a volley with a bit of snap to share some energy for a healthy rally.
For those Princes you rely on as your doubles partner? Keep their feet moving with fancy content so the team wins the match.
But, remember this…every ball, regardless of whether it’s flat or bouncy finds its way into the hopper. That goes the same for your stream of peeps, too…treat each like a tennis ball and everyone gets picked up.