You’re probably wondering how these two loves of mine are even remotely related aren’t you? Well, believe it or not surfing the wild and wonderful internet and surfing that big mountain of water coming towards you do have a number of similarities…
And here’s the first one – competitiveness – Both the digital world and the ocean are competitive places! (And I don’t just mean in the big game of professional surfing). I’m not the strongest surfer that’s for sure, but I love getting out in the water for a paddle… But getting out there with all the locals when you’re just an ‘every now and again’ surfer is intimidating. Social media can be intimidating too. When I’m in the water looking around at the clearly experienced locals sitting on their boards having a good ol’ chin-wag, I notice their utter respect for each other, for the water, their love for surfing. I watch the way they paddle, the perfect timing when they jump up on their board, each carve and charge after the next. Their steezy finesse (that is – style and ease – a groovy man once told me) is what I use in attempt to develop my own
style steeze. The same can be said for online activity and creating a social media presence. There are experts out there and plenty of them! Look at their use of #hashtags, the repetition of themes or messages over different media platforms, the times they’re posting, how often, what it is making them successful. So much can be learnt from the regular, popular, avid surfers, both in the water and out.
Here’s another similarity… consistency. What I mean is, surfing is a hobby that realistically you need to be doing all the time to really improve, to learn the way of the water. Otherwise you’ll end up like me.. an extremely average and well, embarrassing surfer (truth be told). Social media is the same! If you really want people to notice you, read your thoughts, opinions, see your pictures, then consistency is key. Posting once every few weeks isn’t going to help build up your following… ideally you want to be posting at least once a day (of course it varies depending on what platforms you’re using but we’ll look at this more another time). Keeping active is essential in order to develop a relationship with other online shredders. For a detailed explanation regarding online consistency have a looksie here!
A final (although there’s plenty more) correlation between surfing waves and surfing the internet is the sense of community and heightened experience once you’re part of the crew. Like Kaplan and Haenlein explain (check it out here), it is essential to keep your own online presence interesting, to be humble, not always professional, and to be honest. You want your potential crew to relate to you easily, enjoy reading or watching all you are sharing. These are fundamental both in social media marketing and in the ocean. Whether you’re sharing content or sharing the water, earning your mates trust and respect is ultimately going to make your experience that much better! Responding to comments online, giving credit where it is due, or throwing a shaka at your fellow surfers will help build that sense of community that both the internet and the ocean have on offer.
- Julian Wilson – Photo: Peter Taras
On a finishing note, one of my favourite pro surfers, Julian Wilson (also just a generally sexy man) expresses his tips when using social media. This interview covers some fantastic truths when it comes to social media marketing and is actually just a great read! I’d advise you all to check it out! Surf Lessons in Social Media. Let me know what you think!
Can you think of any other similarities between surfing, and well, surfing?
Or do you have a favourite hobby, sport or interest that on the surface has nothing to do with Social, but when you think a little more, there’s a bunch of similarities? Please do tell!!
And if there is anything you did or didn’t like about this post chuck a comment just below, Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! 🙂