Stand Up Paddle Surfing or SUP is a water-sport where a person stands on an oversized surfboard and while balancing on it, uses one paddle to propel themselves forward. The more you paddle the more you can control the board and the steadier you will become. Stand Up Paddle originated in Hawaii as a way for surfers to paddle long distances but more recently surfing legend, Laird Hamilton reintroduced it as a sport. SUP has grown in popularity because it’s emerged as a gentle yet physical form of exercise for all skills levels and has expanded from coastal areas to inland rivers and lakes. But how does this relate to social media?
After a recent trip to Hawaii, I have found several correlations between SUP and social media. Here are three social media lessons that can be learned from Stand Up Paddle:
- Engage with your audience – Stand Up Paddling is a social sport. Many paddlers go with others when spending time on the open water. I’ve had many “board meeting” discussions while paddling along a river or shoreline. In social media, make connections by asking your audience questions, providing status updates and engage others by being interesting, insightful and personable.
- Hang out with your customers – Many SUP events have sprung up more than ever. There are full moon paddle events where a group of paddlers travel along a bay or river and spend time experiencing a fun event during the evening hours while meeting others who also enjoy the sport. In social media, start a community on Facebook, hangout on Google+, group on LinkedIn or develop a specific hashtag feed on Twitter for your business. By having a dedicated place for your customers to hang out with you and others with a shared interest then the conversations you have with them will become more meaningful.
- Build your audience – The SUP community enjoys sharing information about the sport by encouraging others to try SUP which in turn grows the number of people who love to Stand Up Paddle. In social media, you need to constantly add new connections. Share and write interesting content to give others a purpose to connect with you. Follow others that are similar to you on Twitter and circle them on Google+. Replicate your offline network by adding your colleagues to your social networks as well.
If you’re planning to visit Hawaii and would like to try Stand Up Paddling, there are two locations in Oahu that I recommend for SUP lessons. In the North Shore area visit Surf N Sea in Haleiwa and in the Honolulu area visit Hawaiian Surf Adventures at Maunalua Bay.
What other ways can you apply these SUP lessons in your social media marketing?
Image source (lower part of image): catchsomeair.us
Cynthia Gedemer is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Coach with over 15 years of experience in growing revenue with innovative marketing programs for Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, Telecommunications, and Healthcare industries. Cynthia is also a contemporary artist and enjoys hiking and of course Stand Up Paddle Surfing. Connect with Cynthia on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.