Social Media Fitness – Base Building
I recently decided to take a more scientific approach to my fitness. I have been active in sports since I could chase a ball, or compete against anyone…at anything…at anytime . However, I’m getting old enough that I know I need to “change it up” in order to stay healthy and injury-free. I plan on enjoying an active lifestyle for decades to come, and old rules like calories in/calories out and defunct training methods like “three sets of five, then test your max every couple of months” may be doing more harm than good.
Enter Zone Training! Using assessments like Lifetime Fitness’ CardioPoint, you can pinpoint your heart rate zones. These zones determine when your body is
- Preparing to workout
- Burning the “right calories” (carb/fat calories versus sugars)
- Building endurance
- Increasing cardiac performance (more work at a lower heart rate)
- Developing more speed and power
My CardioPoint made two discoveries: (1) I have excellent fitness for a guy off the street, and (2) my calorie burning efficiency and VO2 Max – pardon the technical jargon – SUCK! This means that I have trained my body to perform at a high level for a recreational athlete, but it becomes an act of will and perseverance to maintain that level as both age and injuries encroach. It is not sustainable because I’ve built a high peak without building the corresponding base/foundation.
This fitness “paradox” prompted me to write a 5-part series on how our cardiovascular fitness is analogous with our social media fitness. This blog post is the first part in that series: Zone 1 – Active Recovery.
Zone 1 is called Active Recovery, and training in this zone is the beginning of “Base Building”. My cardio-trainer equated the process to building a house. Before building a roof (peak) for a house, you have to set the foundation (base). Before you can pour the foundation, you have to buy the materials. In social media, I define this zone as Zone 1 – Research / Strategy. Now, let’s complete the analogy by discussing the Objectives, Application and “Feeling” of this zone in regards to both fitness and social media.
||Prepare body for exercise, create blood flow and recover after bouts of intense training
||Before you dive off on social media because you “have to be there because your competitors are”, determine if it is right for your business, your culture and your level of commitment to support consistent engagement and consistent messaging. If you just take off at full-speed, with no sense of direction or understanding the level of effort, you run a higher risk of injuring your brand versus making it stronger. In regards to “recovery”, it is important to frequently revisit this stage of your base building as you start receiving feedback from both metrics and engagement.
||Warm up and recover or rehabilitate muscles
||Not only is it time to define measurable goals in this zone, you should also research available social media channels, best practices and case studies. Books like Lon Safko’s Social Media Bible provide excellent primers for the different social media channels. And both Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard and No Bullshit Social Media by Jason Falls/Erik Decker do a great job explaining the necessity of real metrics, cultural adoption and roles in the business, and the importance of social media policies.
||Core temperature begins to rise
||Your social media efforts are now ready to begin. There will be a natural excitement accompanied by unrealistic expectations for this “free social media stuff” to make your company the World Leader in <<blank>>. Temper those expectations early and often while still providing measurable results to encourage further investment in this “social media exercise”. Some goals will be realized immediately – like a steady increase in fans/followers/friends/likes. Seeing return on investment regarding incremental revenue increases, or reduction in expenses as it relates to headcount, will take much longer to realize. Social media focuses on engagement, relationship building, and establishing trust over time. Once people trust you, then they may purchase from you or advocate for you. Any attempts to “sprint out of the gate” with broadcast/interruptive advertising will injure your brand before you hit your stride.
- Have you ever done a fitness assessment like a CardioPoint or adopted a Zone Training program?
- Are you ready to join me in this Zone Training approach to Social Media Fitness?
- Did you know that both Fitness and Social Media Zone Training require good monitoring? I use a product called DigiFit for my fitness zone training, and I encourage you to review Mantis Pulse Analytics for social media monitoring.
- Do you have a guess on my social media parallel to Zone 2 – Aerobic Development?
I look forward to your comments as we work through this series. As always, I appreciate all social sharing that encourages the discussion of these ideas.