I’ve been doing a lot of boxing lately (no, I’m not looking for a career change, purely for fitness) and after a hard session on the bags yesterday, I started to think that the different types of punches I’ve been learning relate to many of the social networks/platforms and digital activities in use today. Let me elaborate…

The Jab is Twitter

When boxing, you throw a lot of jabs, they set up bigger punches and combinations and wear your opponent down. The problem is, if you throw too many that don’t hit the target, it can be counter-productive. This is just like Twitter. You can send a lot of tweets and often you have to to see success, but you don’t want to tweet (jab) for the sake of tweeting, or people will switch off, and most likely catch you with a good punch (unfollow you perhaps). As the jab is a good way to set-up for a bigger punch, Twitter can also play a part in a wider strategy, leading people to your content, promotions etc. Think about those jabs and use them wisely!

The Cross is Facebook

The cross is an essential part of the boxing arsenal, it hits harder and tends to be used less than the jab. Facebook should be used at a lower frequency than Twitter (your jab) and have a bit more power behind it. That power is in the form of the use of photos, videos etc. Facebook updates that include an image attract far more interactions (likes, comments and shares) and in-turn have more chance of being successful. Facebook updates should never be sent at the same frequency as tweets, you are really running the risk of annoying your fans (likes!) and pushing them away.

The Hook is Your Blog

Ah, the mighty hook, it can be a fight winner, full of power, but perhaps not as fast as a jab or cross, it takes a little longer to throw it. This makes me think of blog posts. It’s all well and good having a good jab and cross, but without a solid hook, it can be very hard to win. Your blog is the centre-piece of your social media and content activity. It takes longer to shape and throw a good hook and perhaps more consideration that your jabs and hooks, however frequent use of blogging to really pull your audience in and effect them is a wise tactic for success – just like landing numerous hooks will really wear your boxing opponent down. Be aware – throwing too many hooks will make you tired and leave you open to attack – don’t blog so much that you get fatigue and let your quality slip, or the next thing you might be hitting, is the canvas.

knock out

The Uppercut is a Viral Video

A big uppercut to the chin or the body can be a finisher – that big impact that forces the KO and wins the fight. Often in digital marketing, something comes along that blows all of your other efforts out of the water. That perfect idea for a video could well be that killer blow. The idea sparks, you develop it, get it made, put it out there and BOOM!, the world falls at your feet, crowning you the heavyweight viral champion of the world. All sounds a little easy huh? It can be very hard to get that viral hit (you don’t make a viral, you make a video etc and the people decide if it’s a viral) and once you throw one out there that doesn’t land on the audience’s chin, you can open yourself up to a nasty counter-punch (rotten feedback!) that may make your knees wobble and your body concertina into the matt. Coming back from that can be tough. You need to throw that uppercut at the right time and make sure it connects.

Think Combo

Single punches are all fair and well, but the best fighters are adept at stringing together a devastating combo of punches together, leaving their opponents bewildered and shell-shocked. You want to achieve this with your digital efforts (swap bewildering and shocking for amazed and impacted) and all of your activities (punches) should come together to achieve the win.

Every good boxer has a strong coach behind them that when things don’t go so well, can tell them what want wrong. Think of your analytics and reporting as your coach. And please, always try to avoid using your cut-man, as once some damage is done, it can be hard to stop the bleeding and claim that win.

Well, that’s certainly one of the strangest blog posts I’ve written in a while, but hopefully it rings true with you.

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Mike McGrail

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Images used under Creative Commons via cliff1066 on Flickr and pj_vanf on Flickr

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