I’m a golfer. Actually, I’m a hacker. Okay! Okay! I like to think I’m a golfer. At least I look good dressed in the garb and carrying a golf bag. Now, there was a time when I was okay at golf. I could shoot in the low 90s and was threatening to score in the 80s. And I’m not talking about the outside temperature.
But I just couldn’t lower my score. I also knew why I couldn’t lower my score—because I always played golf but never practiced it.
I approached the game of golf like most other folk. I always thought I could shave a stroke off my score by playing more frequently. I always thought I could hit my drives straighter and longer, chip more crisply and precisely, putt with the accuracy of a high-powered scope on a rifle by merely playing. Nah! Couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t do it because I did not do what I needed to do to make an impact on my golf. I didn’t do the work it takes to master golf.
I have come to realize that most business owners make the same mistake with their social media marketing. They want to shoot par with their social media marketing but don’t do the work necessary to make it happen. They dress up by getting a profile in place and expect to succeed because it looks good. They create content without a strategy and expect it to always hit the pin from off the green. Then they post something on their profile and expect it to be a birdie that becomes a viral post every time.
They want to be pros by taking the shortcut of not doing the work. It just doesn’t happen that way. There is social media marketing content that becomes viral, but it’s accidental. It just happens. Every marketer is trying to create viral content. The reality is that there are more than 500 million Tweets a day and only a handful—one handful—becomes viral.
“Let’s go viral with this,” is a gross misunderstanding of how social media works! Tweet this
Do The Work
To become a master at golf, one must work on these things with every shot (take a deep breath): square your body to the ball, put your weight on the balls of your feet, keep your butt down, keep your head down, keep your hands in front of the ball, envision the flight of your ball, squeeze with your left hand but hold your right hand loosely, push back with your left hand, keep your heels down, keep your head down, make sure your chin lines up with your shoulder, keep your arms straight, hold your wrists firmly, push the club to the top of your head, now break your wrists, pull with your left hand while holding the club loosely with your right, keep your eyes on the ball, don’t move your head, make sure your hips do not turn your body before you’re ready to hit the ball, get power from your front leg, keep your head down, swing from the inside out, remember to have your hands in front of the club head, hit down on the ball to make it go up, hit the big ball (earth) before your hit the little ball (golf), release by keeping your arms straight, keep your head down, follow through with your arms and then look up and follow the ball.
And there are a thousand other things to concentrate at the same time, depending on the club, the lie of the ball, the distance, the environment, the slope of the ground, the trajectory of the shot, and on and on.
In the September 2013 issue of Golf Magazine’s website, Geoff Colvin, the Senior Editor of Fortune Magazine, wrote about the demands golf places on doing the work to become a master of the game:
“Perhaps you’ve heard that it takes 10,000 hours to master a given skill. That number comes from Ericsson’s 1993 study of violinists at a music academy in Berlin. The researchers gathered vast data on all the students—the brilliant performers who would build careers with elite orchestras, and the mediocre performers who would become high school music teachers—and found they were mostly the same. In fact, they differed significantly in only one measure: total lifetime hours spent on deliberate practice. By the time they graduated, the best performers had racked up about 10,000 hours practicing, while the mediocre ones had logged about half that.”
Ten thousand hours. At four hours per round, that would be 2,500 rounds of golf. At one round per week, that would make me an expert in a little more than 48 years. By that time I won’t even be able to lift a golf bag. No wonder I never mastered golf. I didn’t do the work necessary to be successful.
Social Media Birdies
No wonder businesses often fail at social media marketing. They want to shoot a social media marketing birdie every time. They want to do it without doing the work necessary to be successful.
But do not be disheartened, Madame or Mister Business Owner! Success is possible. Trust your social media marketing to an expert to do the work that is necessary to master your brand’s presence. They are doing the work necessary. Be patient because the results will come. Their success will lead to your success.
You may even have more time to play golf.