Everyone knows someone who knows someone who likes chess. Chess is probably the only sport where you sweat as much as a marathoner, yet still maintain the same BMI after. But nonetheless, centuries of prestige and elitism have showed us the amount of brilliance and skill it takes to win a chess match, let alone be a world champion. 

And yet, when you look carefully, there is more similarities between mastering chess and mastering Social Media marketing than what meets the eye. Take for example these 7 principles: 

  1. Sometimes you WIN, sometimes you LOSE
    • 2013-04-29_1204Let’s face it: you won’t be on the trending list forever. Getting there is hard enough, staying there for a prolonged time is near-impossible. You’ve never heard of a chess Grand Master come out of a season with a zero-loss record. Heck, even Deep Blue lost to Kasparov at least once. It’s the art of accepting and adapting to the ever-turning wheel of cyber-fame that makes the difference between a one-hit wonder and a resilient success. 
  2. Practice makes PERFECT
    • In case you’re unaware of this, but Chess GMs need to gain hundreds (even thousands) of officially recorded games just to be considered for grandmastership. The same is true for SEO. Visibility and a stubborn presence (stubborn in a good, I’m-always-here way) allows you to be there when booming opportunities happen. This however, is not a permission for you to spam people’s feed to death. No spam. Not even a BIT.
  3. It’s not always YOUR move
    • Chess is a two-player game where both players move alternately. It’s you against another player. Social Media is a you-against-the-rest-of-the-world game. It requires you not only a smart “mouth” but also attentive “ears”. Simply put, you need to learn how to listen. We ought to grow out of our selfish, teenage selves. Success in cyberworld is not based on how we see ourselves. Which leads us to the next point…
  4. It’s all REACTION-BASED
    • The best chess players are those that can adapt to every situation being thrown at them. Whether it may be a double rook sacrifice or a space clearance, they observe how their opponents react and they strike accordingly. They watch and study every single detail and adapt their gameplay to the game move by move. Social Media should be treated the same way. Future ventures and posts should be based on how your audience reacts and not how you yourself reacts. This is why listening is important. 
  5. Textbook Plays aren’t FOOL-PROOF
    • Despite the numerous known tactical plays of chess, it’s always a different game every time. Various reactions merit various results. Which makes chess (and SEO, at that!) a game where you can’t rely on good old-fashion textbook plays. People come up with new tactics every time. Those who are creative and adaptable enough to set-up sound fallbacks and plan Bs are those that win. 
  6. Results aren’t INSTANT
    • 2013-04-29_1205Chess games can take HOURS. Social Media results can take DAYS (even MONTHS!) before any significant traction happens. Patience happens to be a virtue. And it proves well in these scenarios. Keep listening, keep watching and keep waiting. If you’re doing things right, success is bound to happen. 
  7. Timing is KEY
    • In chess, if you move too slow, you lose. If you move to quick, you lose. Same goes for Social Media. Be current. Stay relevant. Keep adapting. Your business lies on the hands of your consumers. Consumers that have individual, ever-changing minds. Time your moves right and BAM! You win. Big time.

[Disclaimer: Mastering the art of Social Media does not make you a better chess player than Garry Kasparov.]

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