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1st Jun 2022 by Rightboat

Do you really believe that social media sells boats?

As we scramble to find the best deal online, sales and reviews received directly via social networks continue to grow.  What we see and interact with online plays a huge part in our decision-making process in our everyday lives.

But have you thought about just far back the term 'social media' goes?

Who remembers Sixdegrees.com in 1997? Or MySpace in 2003?  Way back then the go-to sites for customizable public profiles with photosharing capabilities really emerged.  Talking, sharing, and connecting started to take hold. Facemash > Facebook > now Meta was born.  (I still haven't quite got to grips with the new branding - that's the evolution for you!)

However, even further back in our history of buying and selling; we remember that word of mouth advocacy dates back as far as we do.

One person telling another about great service, talking about products and services they like, good or bad places they've been to, reviewing and sharing experiences. As human beings, we love to talk and share, it’s part of who we are.

I think it's fair to say that social media is actually quite a historic term - as with all things now transferred into our digital age. It's a long-term commitment we have to adapt to in our personal and business lives.   Clearly we need to go where our customers are, we can’t expect them to come to us.  There’s a whole lot of choice and competition out there as a consumer and also as a business.

We need to ask ourselves if we solve a customer's problem at the right time, can we help them accomplish their dreams. Are we the best we can be?   What is the problem, and what is the solution?   I ask myself this every day in my role here at Rightboat, helping boat sellers reach boat buyers.

Finding a customer’s pain point, at the exact moment in time is the key.   Now we can engage promptly using blogs, videos, visuals, forums, and social media updates to build a community and we aren’t just relying on word of mouth anymore in the traditional sense.   We all want to find like-minded individuals to discuss our likes and dislikes and joining online groups, forums, and communities allows us to do just this.   As salespeople, we can use these outlets to our advantage if we start thinking like a consumer.    

Consider what each platform's audience wants to see, for example, Instagram offers wonderful images, lifestyle, dreams v. reality, and videos, you can sell the dream set the scene; this could be you, anything is possible.  Twitter is all about a quick message with a punchy image, a call to action, here and now, great for customer service feedback and bursts of information.   

Re-purposing content across different platforms works well, but only if adapted to suit the audience and not repeated verbatim, consider converting video to audio, articles to downloadable brochures, and images to video.  To get the best out of Facebook and Instagram you will need to 'pay to play' to benefit most. We've found our organic posts only reach 20% of our follower's news feeds so engagement is limited.  Spending hours posting like this isn't going to benefit you unless you have an audience.  

I can say confidently that I have brought many times from social media - things I didn't even know I wanted.  I've joined groups of like-minded individuals talking about holidays, fashion, and events, boats, jet-ski's and been sold to before I even knew I needed said item!  I've brought bendy plug hole unblockers (they didn't work btw), shoes, and even cars; the best one was when I nearly booked myself onto a three week sabbatical training as a veterinary nurse in South Africa at the age of 49.  I was THAT close to booking it!  A reality check was needed and my work colleague James encouraged me every step of the way but, of course, wasn't surprised when I arrived at the office the next day.  What I'm saying is we can all dream and who knows maybe I will do that trip one day.  The power of social media - once the seed is planted you have an outlet to sell to. Digital media will remember that like, share, or momentary 3-second glance at an article or blog, giving paying advertisers the opportunity to target and re-target, re-iterate and remind over time.   The digital footprint is there for the taking.

This is how brands connect and develop.  Evoking thought and engagement with an existing community and finding new ears to listen to their messages for future generations. The marine industry can learn from this too.  The purchase price is irrelevant if the desire is up for sale.   

What I mean is that if I wanted to buy a boat, I'd be looking at vessels way over my price band, I'd then be hooked, learning, discussing, and reviewing possibilities and yes one day I will buy that boat. Albeit, a much smaller version of my initial dream no doubt.  I'll remember the yacht broker that indulged my initial enquiry and gave me a few minutes of his time, or the receptionist on 

So as salespeople we must all adapt our services and thought processes as we grow into our marketplace.  There is no single demographic for a product anymore - our audience is diversifying at each moment in time and our products/services need to follow suit.

In answer to my initial question - YES - but only if you adapt your messages to the right audience on the platform.

Food for thought.  STOP using social media as a platform for what YOU think people need to hear, think about what their problem is, and how your business can solve it.

Would love to hear your feedback.

 

Delivered by Nicky Tucker, www.rightboat.com


 


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