3 Boxing Lessons For Social Media

I took up boxing about six years ago. I used to play rugby until dragging my arse down to training on a Tuesday and Thursday night in the torrential rain became too much for me, so I thought what will provide a comparable amount of physical pain on a regular basis? Boxing it was. I decided I wanted to have a crack at the amateur circuit rather than just do it for the fitness so spent a significant amount of my spare time in boxing gyms. If you’ve never been in a ‘proper’ boxing gym then I can highly recommend it. The people are cool, the coaches always willing to help, they’re cheap compared to the mainstream gyms that have infiltrated most high streets and you will be left in no doubt that you have done some exercise. More people should box!

The one thing I have always loved is the inspirational quotes which are invariably scrawled on the walls and l think some of them can be applied to a social business.  See what you think of these three I’ve picked out:

Learn to Listen

This one is from my first club in Lambeth (South London). They have some of the best amateur coaches in the country and if you listen to them…you will stand a far better chance of staying upright! In social media, listening ( aka monitoring, research) should be the corner stone of any preparation before beginning your activity, and then form part of your tool kit for ongoing brand management and program evaluation.

Protect Yourself At All Times

As one of my favourite boxers, Ricky Hatton, likes to remind us – Boxing isn’t a tickling contest. The first lesson all new boxers get taught is to keep your hands up and your chin down (which is easier said than done after a few rounds, I assure you!). If you do that and nothing else for the whole fight, you may lose but its unlikely you will get badly hurt. In social media, we have seen plenty of examples of brands getting burnt because they have had no strategy in place for a social media crisis. They don’t have their staff trained to deal with negative posts, they are too slow to respond to a crisis or they go missing completely. One of the first things a business should do before launching themselves in social media is protect themselves against getting badly hurt. Too many of them wander in with their hands down and their chins’ in the air!

It Aint The Size Of The Dog In The Fight…

From my second gym in Eltham (South East London). We all know the second half of the quote …’It’s the size of the fight in the dog’. While boxing bouts are organized by weight, as you move up the weight classes it is possible to get some major disparities. When David Haye fought, and beat, Nicolai Valuev for the heavyweight title last year , he was giving away about a foot in height and seven or eight stones (about 100 pounds) in weight! For businesses, social media can be a great leveler and provide SME’s with the same opportunities as the big guys to become major players in their sector and spread their content to the widest possible audience. You don’t have to spend millions on traditional advertising or marketing to be successful (although it helps!). By putting the hours in and being passionate, dedicated and having a great product, service or team, you can compete with the big guys and punch above your weight!

Those are just three that I picked out but I am sure there are more from other sports that could apply. If you have any favourites, then drop them in the comments.


About author

Ed Hartigan
Ed Hartigan 15 posts

Ed has been involved in new media and emerging technologies since 2001 when he co-founded OnCampus and built it up to be the largest online publisher in the UK student market until leaving in 2008. Founder of Spearfish Labs, a communication company in 2010. We use the latest emerging and social technologies to help organisations of all shapes and sizes communicate better, internally and with their customers with a focus on the Sports & Entertainment industries and specialise in builidng programs that bring the clubs or athletes closer to the fans.

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