Lessons About Social Media – from Micheal Jordan

Michael Jordan, also known as “Air Jordan”, is a living legend. He was named the ‘greatest North American athlete of the 20th century’ by the ESPN. In fact, he still holds the NBA record for the highest regular season score with 30.12 points on average.

His astounding NBA performance (five regular-season MVPs and three All-Star MVPs) and hot endorsement deals make Michael Jordan appear to be a super human. Yet, here are some of the things most people don’t know about Michael:

  • He didn’t make it into the sophomore High School basketball team due to his size.
  • Went through an expensive divorce.
  • Scored only 2 points in a game, twice, the lowest score of his career.
  • Missed more than 9,000 shots in his career and lost almost 300 games.
  • He once said he can accept failure, but cannot accept not trying.
  • According to Forbes, Jordan earned an estimated $80 million last year from corporate partnerships.
  • Owns 6 restaurants, a motorsports team, a car dealership, and 80% of the Charlotte Bobcats, basketball team.
  • Michael Jordan’s official Facebook page counts over 22 million likes, and is still growing.

Here are 5 key lessons you can learn from Jordan about social media success that will hopefully take your business to the next level or enhance your current marketing campaign.

LESSON #1 Play to achieve goals

“I play to win, whether during practice or a real game.” Michael Jordan

Facebook is not a pond to be neglected; its user base grew considerably from 58 million to 1 billion in the last 5 years alone. Regardless, lots of entrepreneurs and small business owners are blindly following the trend, and step into social media without having a proper plan or strategy. Weeks or months later, they quit, going back to blogging, or whatever they were doing before.

The right way of starting with social media is to have realistic goals and specific methods set into place, otherwise you could be making lots of assumptions and wrong decisions.

For example, I have a dedicated team member that once a day goes through my blog’s archives as well as through other niche relevant sites, grabs the hottest posts, and shares the goodies with my fans.

She only spends about 30 minutes a day doing so, strategically.

I truly believe business is about winning and keeping customers, not just making money. Your sole option should be entering to win the game; only then social media become viable and can fructify your outcome.

LESSON #2 Stick to the Basics

“The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether it’s proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.” Michael Jordan

Once you’re into the social media game, there’s no turning back. You either win the game, or somebody else will. In fact, if you don’t play to win the game (hint: achieve your objectives) then social media would be just another “tactic” added to your marketing that may, or may not work.

The Right Mindset

Do you think positive thinking sucks? Then what happens if you don’t believe Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is worth the effort? You won’t try. And where there’s no pain, there’s no gain.

Think about it: if others found a way to make social media work for them, there’s a chance you’ll find your way through as well.

If I’d had given up on “list building” and SEO, then I’d have lost access to a loyal following of 12k + “fans” that are waiting to hear from me, count on me, trust me, and buy from me.

Therefore, start building your list. You can then funnel the traffic back to your Twitter and Facebook profiles, and vice versa, growing your fans into the thousands, and tens of thousands. Ok, numbers do count, but the quality of your members is far more important.

The basics (e.g. profile completion and customization)

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get the most out of your social media accounts. Of course, that requires you to complete your profiles, from A to Z, and more importantly customize your header, and background images. Your profiles need to reflect your brand image, otherwise they’re falling into the “me too” category.

As a marketing author and speaker, Seth Godin, would say: you’re either remarkable or you don’t exist.

The goals you’d like to achieve
This goes back to the first advice. Have realistic (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly) goals and follow them accordingly. Make no excuses.

LESSON #3: Take action

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.” — Michael Jordan

I have a flexible plan of action which enables my team to know exactly what to do on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

For example, once a day, we use BufferApp to schedule the most important information and share links of interest with our Twitter followers and Facebook fans. This grows our database over time and helps nurture relationships.

Once or twice a week, another team member goes into content sharing and social bookmarking sites (e.g. SERPDBizSugarStumbleUponReddit) to spread the word about our best content, as well as industry insights that we find valuable.

This method brings additional traffic, word of mouth, and revenue.

Monthly, we monitor our brand and niche. HootSuite and other similar tools are used to check the competition, find red-hot content ideas and discover mentions of our brands, products and services all over the web. Priceless!

Once a year, you can meet with your team for two or three days and immerse yourself into analytics. You’ll compare the best vs. worst traffic sources, check out related metrics, and analyze the content that got the most popular with social media, and in the blogosphere world…

You cannot really take action unless you have a specific game plan set in the right place.

LESSON #4 Diversify

“We estimate that Jordan earned $60 million over the past year (2010-2011) mainly through his endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports and Five Star Fragrances. He also owns five restaurants and a car dealership in North Carolina.” Forbes

I cannot amplify and highlight enough why you need to get people onto your mailing list and funnel them through to different offers and special products based on their level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). This is the true key to generating multiple streams of income, and building targeted lists and social media profiles.

I almost want to cry when I see businesses having one source of revenue (their blog or their Facebook account) or one source of traffic (Twitter or guest posts).

One day they could be kicked out of the game because they didn’t play it cautiously. The best backup plan is to have your mailing list your main focus, the ideal asset most can only dream about.

Diversify and funnel traffic between your social media accounts, mailing list and website/blog. That’s how I’ve been able to build a loyal tribe of leads and customers. And I’m just getting started… If I ever lose my site or social media accounts, I can always rely on my mailing lists and keep nurturing the relationships.

In my opinion, the most essential assets in order of importance are:

  1. Your mailing lists (yes, build more than just one per project)
  2. Your site/blog
  3. Your social media profiles

LESSON #5 Fail to succeed

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan

At the beginning of last year, McDonalds started a sponsored Twitter campaign with the hashtag #McDStories and #MeetTheFarmers. Users were asked to share feedback with their Happy Meals experiences.

The campaign quickly turned wrong; Twitter got flooded with criticism and negative comments, coming from anti-McDonalds “activists”.

So what could we learn from the McDonalds’ case? Social media is a constantly evolving industry. It’s also open to risks. Once you say something, you cannot really take it back. Plus, you can have your account hacked, or competitors talk bad about you and your brand, as in the case of McDonalds, regardless of the reality of the matter.

This does NOT mean you have to stop or quit social media because of its transparency!

If you want to be on top of things and one step ahead of your competitors, then focus on mastering the basics, (and monitoring your brand and the conversation), while leaving the others struggling with non essentials.

Set clear goals and follow your game plan. You’re here to win, not to make friends!