I’m a Content Strategist here at EVG, and I moonlight as a Level- 1 CrossFit trainer as well. And while we CrossFitters are often accused of being a tad bit crazy, I haven’t quite gotten to the point when I do five burpees every minute on the minute during the day. I’ll leave the burpees for later.
What I will do is share ten things that CrossFit can teach you about social media marketing. No heavy lifting is required, I promise.
1. Have a goal
Compete in the CrossFit Games. Play tag with your grandkids. Run a 5K in 10 minutes. OK, not quite that fast, but you get the idea: CrossFitters usually have goals in mind and do CrossFit as a way of reaching those goals.
You need to have a goal in mind when managing social media marketing too. Small businesses usually use social media to build their brand, attract customers, support sales and engage fans. Being goal-oriented keeps you focused so that you’re not randomly posting.
2. Have a plan
One of the best things about doing a CrossFit workout (called a Workout of the Day, or WOD) is that you know exactly what you’re going to do. There’s a plan that a CrossFit gym makes up each day or that CrossFitters can get from the CrossFit organization itself. Having a plan takes the guesswork out of exercising.
So that you’re not shooting from the hip, social media plans come in handy too. You can plan exactly what content to share or how often you plan to share. Social media calendars are a great way of keeping track of how often you’ll post.
3. Include variety
CrossFit combines weightlifting, metabolic conditioning and gymnastics. The variety is intended to develop a host of physical skills such as stamina, strength, balance and more. Since there are so many weightlifting, metabolic conditioning and gymnastics movements, no two CrossFit workouts could ever be the same.
Variety keeps social media marketing as agile as a gymnast too. Depending on your goal and capabilities, you should choose a variety of social media platforms to fully engage your audience. Also, keep the content you post (text, videos, pictures) varied as well.
4. Scale down if you have to
All CrossFit workouts are scalable. That means if you can’t do a pull-up, and pull-ups are in the workout, try an assisted one with a band instead. Can’t quite do that? Try ring rows. All movements have ones that fit your ability and comfort level.
This is the same with social media marketing. If you’re just starting off, scale down. Choose one social media platform and go. When you get a hang of that one, add another. It’s crucial to keep in mind your social media goals and your audience. No use tweeting daily to an empty room. Only extend your social media presence as far as your resources and skill level will allow you.
5. Set time limits
Because of their intensity, most CrossFit workouts take less than 30 minutes. Some are timed, requiring athletes to do as much as possible in 5, 10, 20 or however many minutes. Some have time caps. Others require you to do a certain number of rounds as quickly as possible. Time is always a factor.
It’s a good rule of thumb to set time limits when managing social media marketing as well. Time constraints will help keep you focused. Of course, how much time you spend will depend on how much time you have. A lot of this depends on the size and scope of your social media marketing. For a really small business, 15 to 20 minutes might work. If you are a little bigger, it might take an hour. Many organizations are large enough that they require a team that is listening, posting and monitoring social media channels around the clock.
6. Constantly learn.
One of the coolest things about CrossFit is that eventually you don’t think about working out. That’s what you’re ultimately doing, but what keeps your attention is learning new movements. Not every CrossFitter knows how to do every single one, and some are better at some movements than others. But you’ll enjoy learning the kipping pull-up, the pistol squat, the clean…
Social media seems to evolve every second. How can anyone keep up? What’s in today will be gone tomorrow. Keeping up with changes in social media is fun in itself. So is learning about the best uses for each of the outlets. Try keeping up by reading blogs and other resources from industry experts like Social Media Examiner or Social Media Today.
7. Enjoy the challenge
A CrossFit workout is tough. It’s meant to be. The idea of CrossFit as a general physical preparedness program is to prepare you for anything you’ll face in life. To do it, you’ll need to enjoy the challenge of pushing yourself further than you thought you could go.
Social media marketing is tough. Sure, you won’t be gasping for breath after retweeting, but finding creative ways to use social media is tough work. That’s why it’s important to have a strategy and just as important to enjoy the challenge that social media marketing presents.
8. Measure results
The CrossFit organization has made up benchmarks and challenging workouts that devotees do regularly. Plus, CrossFitters measure their reps, times and weights during workouts. Why? So they can measure progress. Everyone likes to know they’re moving forward when putting in hard work.
Social media marketing should be measured too. Depending on your goal, it’s a good practice to use free tools provided by the social media platform itself or Google analytics or even a paid one. Whatever you choose, make sure you are using some type of tool to conduct social media analytics to measure the performance of your efforts. Keep in mind what you want to get out of your efforts when you measure.
9. Own it
There’s a million different exercise programs you can choose: running, Zumba, T-25, whatever. Because of the challenge, CrossFit takes heart. You’ve got to own it to push yourself in each workout on a regular basis. That 10th straight burpee is always tough.
Likewise, you’ve got to own social media marketing to use it effectively. It’s not a responsibility you can pass on as part of a part-time employee’s day or an intern and expect it to get the results you want. You need to invest the time and energy in your efforts. Or pass it along to someone who can.
10. Have fun
Lo and behold, CrossFit is a lot of fun. Seeing the workout just before doing it is fun. Learning new movements is fun. Pushing yourself almost to the point of meeting Pukie the Clown is also fun. The best workout regimen is any that you think is fun. It’s challenging, but it’s gotta be fun too, which is why CrossFitters do it.
Social media should be a serious part of a marketing plan, but it’s one that you must have fun with for it to be effective. Remember that you’re interacting with people on their time when you attempt to engage with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. They mainly want to have fun while they are on your page, so make sure that all the content you post is fun and appropriate.
Now. Do 10 squats while holding your chair over your head. Or leave any questions or comments you have in the section below. Whichever sounds more enjoyable to you.
Stacy Dyer – Content Strategist