6 Social Media Marketing Lessons That Samurai Can Teach You

Originally published in the “Social media marketing” category by Rishabh Dev on AgoraPulse.

Inspiration is everywhere. All that is needed is observation.

For social marketers, especially, this inspiration can come from the most unsuspecting corners, like the Samurai. The Samurai principles of life, the Bushido, have always intrigued people all over the world. This unwritten code, passed from generation to generation, has inspired pop culture, books, poems, and movies in the modern world. Even though it remains unwritten, many Japanese scholars have penned their versions of Bushido. This provides a documented source for the rest of us to draw inspiration from. Here are a few of the best, deepest quotes and principles of Samurais. These principles can help the modern-day Social Media Marketing Warriors in their digital conquests.

1. Know the Ways of Your Competitors

“In battle, if you you make your opponent flinch, you’ve already won.”


On the battlefield, knowing every little detail about your competitor is a sought after skill. Whether on the battlefield or in marketing, success and failure depend on this knowledge as much as it depends on the skills of the warrior. Fighting the war without knowing who you are competing against is as good as accepting defeat before choosing your weapon. Closely observing your direct competitors can give you insights into your buyer’s persona, selection of social media channels, customer behavior, and acceptance rates of different content and campaign types. All this information helps you achieve success in planning and executing your campaigns.

2. Know the Way of All Channels

“You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.”

sam-ma-2Relying on a single weapon on the battlefield is a weakness waiting to be exploited by your opponent. The digital marketing ecosystem needs more generalists than specialists like Facebook Advertising Experts or LinkedIn Marketing Specialists.

Having a single channel of choice is a weakness that can blow your overall strategy to bits. The vastness of social media demands generalists who possess the capability to handle communications with target audiences on multiple channels. This is contrary to the popular belief about specialists like Facebook Advertising Experts or LinkedIn Marketing Specialists who know how to manage only one channel.

SEE ALSO: 30 Offbeat Lead Generation Channels

3. Know the Way of Your Industry

“Examine your environment.”

sam-ma-3A warrior must maintain constant vigil of the changes in his immediate environment if he wants to maintain his advantage over the competitor. Winning a battle is not just about the deft strokes of the weapon. It is also about taking advantage of the surrounding environment to its maximum for a decisive victory.

Social media is a young discipline that is evolving each day. Marketers, therefore, need to stay abreast with these changes at the same pace and know everything they can about the social media ecosystem, user psychology, industry updates, user behavior and personality types.

4. Know the Way of Improvement

“At the moment of victory, tighten the straps of your helmet.”


Celebrating success is important, but not at the cost of lowering of guard, for the next battle is always around the corner. A warrior will make mistakes on the battlefield. No matter how vigilant he is or how decisive the victory was, there will be another engagement, and at that moment, awareness of his mistakes or weaknesses will ensure victory in the next battle.

Celebrate every success, but also make a point to learn at each step of the way. Analyze every result, dissect every ROI and find out ways to improve on the next campaign. Learning is a key factor in staying on top of the social media marketing battle.

5.  Know the Way of the Process

“A samurai, even when he has not eaten, uses his toothpick.”


A warrior must not shy away from maintaining a regimen, and this regimen must never be interrupted by anything in his immediate environment.

Similarly, for digital marketing warriors, a well-established process of learning is crucial in saving time and ensuring successful execution of the campaigns. Make checklists, create workflows, use automation, find the right tools, and ensure your strategic plan is executed at all times, and your brand maintains the right positioning and image that your campaign intended to project.

6. Never Underestimate the Need for Strategy

“Immature strategy is the cause of grief.”

sam-ma-6Going into the battlefield without a strategy is the shortest path to defeat that strength alone cannot compensate for. A warrior must devote ample time to build a strong strategy that will serve him in time of adversity and help him snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

For digital marketing warriors, strategy is the key to opening doors that lead straight to success of the campaign. A strong strategy that covers all the important aspects related to campaign, be it identifying customer persona, their favored channels, or their expectations from the brand etc. can make the difference between the success and failure of a campaign. A strong strategy allows marketers to ensure that there’s always room for improvement and course correction as required, so that nothing remains stagnant or defeats the very purpose of the campaign.

In conclusion

There’s a saying that the wisdom of yesterday never goes waste. Samurai warriors may not be a part of the modern day society, but the wisdom they have left behind is still applicable in the modern day digital marketing battlefield where acquiring the undivided attention of the target audience is the victory and the weapons are the various channels available to the digital marketing warriors. It’s only a matter of unraveling the link between this wisdom and its possible applications, and that’s all that really matters to ensure that every campaign is a success story in its own right.

2 thoughts on “6 Social Media Marketing Lessons That Samurai Can Teach You”

  1. When I first clicked on this blog post I was really curious since I really couldn´t think of a correlation from samurais to social media marketing. I am surprised how you teached me wrong. Awesome Blog Post, very educating and entertaining at the same time, keep it up! There is indeed a lot we can learn about social media from this post 🙂


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