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Social Media – And the Offseason

I just came back from a fantastic 7-night vacation at the Grand Marival in Puerto Vallarta. The whole family loves the resort, and the all-inclusive really spoils you.  Being a sports guy, I still managed to play tennis 5 times, workout twice and play beach volleyball a handful of times…yet still gained 7 lbs in 7 days :)! Here are a few pics…

View outside our room at Grand Marival

Vickery Girls before dinner at the Marival - Somebody didn't want a picture ;)

Bringin' some Texas Longhorn style to Grand Marival

We didn’t get that “completely unplugged” vacation last year, so this was a real treat. We did not turn on our cell phones, check our Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn accounts or catch up on email. Marival does a great job of encouraging that behavior not only with the outstanding resort amenities and activities…but also in the $18/day wireless internet fee!! Seriously, if it was free, I probably would have compromised the relaxation I desperately craved from this vacation by staying plugged in at least 1-2 hours/day. I’m curious, what would you have done?

Of course, I couldn’t help but think about my next blog topic when I got back to the office. So, let’s equate this little vacation to a sports offseason and discuss some pros/cons along with the ever-present social media parallel.

Sports Offseason

Social Media (Work) Vacation

Pros

Rejuvenate

Athletes use the offseason to rejuvenate their minds, focus on the next season, and define new goals. They may also need to physically heal from the injuries of the previous season. Sometimes you need to step away from the computer to come up with new ideas or overcome writer’s block. This is also a good time to reflect upon your “performance to date” without worrying about a daily/weekly deadline.

Cross-Train

If a body becomes accustomed to the same form of activity, then athletic performance can actually degrade.  Cross-training can “keep it fresh” and improve conditioning to ensure peak performance Are you in a rut with your social media efforts? Have you gone away from generating original content and are now just riding the tide of sharing/retweeting other content? Perhaps expanding personal experiences by starting a new hobby, or doing volunteer work, will provide new ideas to incorporate into your social media efforts.

Add to Your Game

During the offseason basketball players will work on their free throws or low post game, tennis players may add a topspin serve, and a defensive lineman may work on a new technique to shed a blocker. If you have been a social media lurker, perhaps it is time to take the next step and add comments to others’ posts.  Maybe it is time for you to start writing your own blog. Perhaps you want to explore a new channel by producing videos on YouTube or micro-blogging on Twitter.
Cons

Rusty

Several sports have preseason games because players need to “knock the rust off”. Even if practicing individual skills/techniques, practice does not take the place of game/match conditions. Remember when you were in college and your current course planned on using that Calculus you conveniently forgot over the summer? You can forget how to interact consistently and efficiently if you step away from your social media channels for too long.

Non-Paid

For many sports, athletes only get paid when they play. Tennis and golf take it a step further and truly “pay for performance” in regards to prize money based upon where you place at a tournament. I was on vacation for a week. If you came up with “the greatest content since the white filling in Oreos” within that week, and you do not repost it, I’m probably not going to see it. Therefore, I will not click through to your corporate website (or your client’s) and purchase products and services. If you are the one taking the vacation, then you are not posting new content in that period to generate sales or maintain client relationships.

Out of Sight → Out of Mind

Some athletes make much more money promoting products than they do for athletic performance (Remember Anna Kournikova); however, they only get those promotion opportunities when they perform in the public eye. I jokingly mentioned that my Klout/PeerIndex scores would suffer while I was unplugged. I have not been a social media influencer for the last 7 days, and my followers have not been subjected to my witty banter which is usually good for at least one exclamation of DORK from my buddy Robert Caruso ;). I fully expect to be dinged for my inactivity.

Now for the final tally of pros and cons for my recent vacation. The winner is: I am ecstatic I took the vacation!! I feel refreshed, and I treasure the time with my family where I always hope to have the greatest influence. Now I look forward to rejoining all of you in the sharing/retweeting/blogging social media stream! Meanwhile…when is the last time you had a good vacation/offseason?

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Brian Vickery

I love my wife and two daughters. I am blessed in that I also love my job as a principal and EVP of the Rocky Mountain Region for Mantis Technology Group. I am excited to promote our Pulse Analytics social media monitoring and sentiment analysis solution as well as our core software development and business intelligence services. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin. You can find Brian on .

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2 comments
Chrissy
Chrissy

I remember in Jamaica you could only use the internet for 30 minutes a day, you had to sign up for it and then you walked to the creepy spot far away from the resort to get on.. it was dial up.... and you had to pay $2 a minute... We are SO spoiled in the U.S. :)

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

Totally agree. They had a nice business center at Marival, but it was use their computer for about $16/hr or get wireless for $18/day. From a personal use standpoint, I weigh that along with the "reset on stress" it would create as soon as I plug-in...so kinda glad they do it. I need at least one week/yr where I'm unplugged! Even if I read the news, I get amp'd up!

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