Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To Facebook or Not To Facebook

(0:57) I'm chatting with a marina owner about the best way to fill his empty spaces when he suddenly asks, "Should I get a Facebook page?" "Why would you do that?" I ask. "To get more customers," he replies. "How will that bring you more customers?" No reply.

(0:49) It's easy to feel like you're missing the boat - pun intended - when there's a new idea or medium available that you are not using. But to use any medium effectively you need to understand what it can and cannot do for you.

(0:42) Like any tool, there are things that Facebook does well and things it is not well suited for. In my opinion, having a Facebook page is a good way to communicate and keep your current base of customers happy and loyal to your marina. Remember the adage that it's far easier to keep your existing customers than to bring in new ones. However, I question the likelihood that a Facebook page will actually draw in new customers. After all, my "Friends" are, well, already my friends.

(0:30) If you have an active boater community within your marina - a liveaboard community, yacht/boating club, or other regular group of boaters - then a Facebook page is a great way to let them know about upcoming events and happenings, share pictures of get-togethers, and make them feel more involved and part of the group. These are very real benefits for your marina.

(0:21) If you do decide that it makes sense to create your own Facebook page then make sure that it is regularly updated with news, photos, information about events past and future, etc. In today's world of instant access your customers expect your content to be fresh. A stale Facebook page is worse than no Facebook page at all.

(0:13) So what can you do that will bring in new boaters through Facebook? What you are hopefully already doing. Offer every boater a superior experience. Give them reasons to talk about your marina and some of them will talk about it on their Facebook pages. This will offer another critical word-of-mouth medium that will get your marina in front of new customers in a positive light. After all, many of my Facebook friends are fellow boaters.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.