What Warcraft farms can teach you about social media

The newest version of World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria, has been a phenomenally fun experience to play. There’s so much to do, so much to learn, so many different ways to play the game, but one aspect I wanted to highlight today is farming. Previously, this meant the laborious activity of gathering minerals or herbs around the world, but with the latest expansion, you get to operate an actual farm in the Valley of Four Winds.

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Nothing says delicious like organic farm-grown goods grown by a Death Knight

In order to successfully manage your farm, you must cultivate your plots of land, plant appropriate crops, and occasionally grab your sword to kill giant garden pests. Each day, you’re given a certain number of daily tasks to do in order for your farm to thrive, and once it does, it generates plenty of farm goodness, from food to materials you need for your characters.

What makes this different from other farm game implementations is that it’s on a daily rotation. Unlike other farming games such as Farmville, Warcraft’s internal timer forces everything to a once-a-day routine. You can’t buy anything to make your farm go faster. (yet, anyway)

In many ways, this digital farm exemplifies how you should handle your tactical social media planning. Think about what your daily “farming” quests might look like if you operated social media like a Warcraft farm. Here is a sample of what my daily list looks like:

! Endorse 5 people on LinkedIn
! Unfollow 10 bots I accidentally followed
! Write 1 blog post
! Reply to people who messaged me
! Read blogs and pick 5 items to share
! Post #the5
! Wish happy birthday to people on Facebook
! Block and ban blog spam

Note that like your Warcraft farm, there’s not much you can do to accelerate the process. What makes both your Warcraft farm and your social media work blossom and bear fruit is consistency, executed daily. Make a list of the things you need to do daily and share it with your team, and start growing your social media as surely as giant turnips in World of Warcraft.


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  • http://scoop.it Guillaume Decugis

    Hey Chris! Not sure you remember me but we met at the #140 conf last year. As a gamer and a social media entrepreneur, I just love this post. I gave up WoW some time ago but your post makes me wanna try again. Is it that good? Really?

    • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

      Mists of Pandaria is by far the BEST expansion ever for WoW. They knocked it out of the park.

      • http://scoop.it Guillaume Decugis

        Ok so now I have to try it… Thanks Chris!

  • JeffreyVocell

    Great post Chris! As a former World of Warcraft player (I have really wanted to get back into it, but between kids and my startup havent found the time) the analogy really resonated with me.

    I would be curious to know if this sort of planning also plans out your day as well. I mean, the daily farming quests for Social Media likely take a portion of your day – but do you then move to larger quests that represent strategic activities?