Welcome to the boat marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive. While you’re listening, subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the boat marketing podcast, it’s been a couple of weeks, and if you listen to the last episode, I talked a little bit about your website. You know, if you’re a boat dealer, the five sections or pages you should have on your website. But today we’re going to switch gears just a little bit, focus on I think, you know, what’s the latest and sexiest thing in digital marketing even today?
And that’s Facebook and Instagram. So we know that Facebook and Instagram are not so much new anymore, but they’re still wildly popular when it comes to businesses and growing their business and tapping into new customers and re-engaging with old customers. But I wanted to talk a little bit about how you can leverage Facebook and Instagram to get more sales. So in my mind, I think about Facebook and Instagram as a part of a marketing strategy. But there’s a lot you can do with Facebook and Instagram to help increase your sales outside of growing your overall brand awareness.
So today, just going to talk about that, a few tips for how you can tap into the worlds of Facebook and Instagram to reengage with old customers, find new ones, and overall just grow your business. So the first tip I have is that, you know, if you’re running a business, Facebook and Instagram page, I would just highly recommend that you plan to post two to three times per week. A lot of companies think you need to post every single day in order to make an impact.
And if you have the time, if you have the resources to do that, you definitely go ahead and make that happen. But in our experience, we found that the sweet spot for boating is around two to three times per week and to really focus on quality over quantity as far as the content that you would post. What we tend to find is that some of our clients want to focus more on inventory and more sales type stuff. But what we find gets the most engagement and contacts are posts that are more lifestyle related.
So you want to post about inventory. But I think a big tip that I have for you is to. Post images and videos that help your potential customers see what their lives could be like if they joined your boat club or rented a boat from you or bought a boat from you. So mixed in some of the sales content, along with some of the lifestyle content to get that happy medium of posts that you’re going to get more traction with, gets more engagement with, and hopefully get some customers out of it for specific content ideas.
What we’ve seen performs the best is typically pictures of sunsets, pictures of food, pictures of kids and pictures of pets. I’ve noticed, especially on Robalo social media, they post a lot about Robalo dogs on Robalo boats, which is actually quite fun. So if you can find, again, that mix of sales content, focusing on your business, focusing on your models, focusing on services you provide, and mix it in with some lifestyle photos, I think that will really help to engage your following and grow your following.
Also related to posting content, you want to make sure that you’re including hashtags that make sense. Hashtags apply to both Instagram and Facebook, but in our experience, we see hashtags have more of an impact on Instagram. And one of the biggest reasons for that is because users can follow hashtags on Instagram. So, for example, here at Boat Marketing Pros are we follow hashtags that have to do with boating in southwest Florida. So we’re in Fort Myers, Florida, just north of Naples and south of Tampa.
And we follow a lot of hashtags that are like hashtag Southwest Florida boating, hashtag Fort Myers boating. So if you can tap into those hashtags and learn what your customers might be following, see which hashtags have the most followers, use those with your content as well to help you gain exposure to some new customers. Another tip we have for leveraging Facebook and Instagram for your business and getting more customers and reengaging with your old ones are to leverage your sales team.
So depending on the size of your dealership or the size of your business, you might have a small sales team. Maybe it’s just you. Maybe you have five to 10 people. But I would recommend if you’re OK with it, that you encourage them to create their own Facebook pages, make sure that you monitor it to an extent, and ensure they’re not posting content that conflicts with your brand. Maybe you work with a digital agency that can help you manage that.
But if you leverage your sales team and if they love boating, if they love what they do, it’ll come more naturally to them. One of our clients has a sales guy who often creates videos, posts pictures of his customers on their boats. And in general, we find that that promotes him as a salesperson, helps him get more customers, but in turn, also helps to grow your following and helps to grow people who would come to your dealership to buy a boat from you or to rent a boat from you or to join your boat club.
So and they’re also the ones who are interfacing with the customers. And you get to, as you know, the business share their content. So your sales team is out there making the content for you and then you get to come in and just share it on your pages, which is kind of nice, and it helps to increase engagement all around. So if you can if you’re comfortable with it, you know, find your sales team and ask them to do some of their own social media marketing because it just helps everyone.
Next tip, and I think this is probably one of the bigger ones, you know, if you listen to our podcast before, you know, we talk a lot about boat shows, how to prepare for them, how to market for them, and then as a part of marketing, when you attend a boat show, you definitely, definitely, definitely want to post about boat shows you’re attending and then also post during the boat shows that you attend.
So we’re down in southwest Florida. So our quote-unquote boat show season is roughly between, I would say, October and April. The weather’s beautiful. You can always snap good photos because there’s hardly any rain. And if you’re attending an upcoming boat show, here are the things you need to do. First, add it to your website and the last podcast episode I talked about the sections need to have on your website and a boat show calendar is one of those sections.
So add it to your website. Add the event to your Facebook so you can if you have your Facebook page all ready to go, you have the option to create events so you don’t have to create an event with the event organizers unless they require that. But what you can do is say, you know, boat your boat dealership’s name at so-and-so boat show. So this way you can send this event to people who are like your page, get them to interact with your page a little bit more.
And in general, you just capitalize on that name in that content and get in front of people who would be searching for that boat. So users tend to flock to Facebook to find out information about local events. And if your company has posted that as an event, you could be one of the first companies that they see in addition to that kind of sidetracking a little bit. But if you’re posting the event on your Facebook, I would also recommend that you post it as an event on your Google my business page.
So not Facebook and Instagram related, but I think it’s an important tidbit nonetheless. So that way you can be recognized as one of the top companies that shows up when people search for that boat show and then try to do it. And as advances, you can just to make sure that you get in front of even the event organizers themselves. Next tip is to not be afraid of Facebook advertising. So Facebook, as we know, owns Instagram as well, which makes it really convenient for us as digital agency because we can log in to our what’s called the Facebook business manager and run clients, Facebook and Instagram campaigns, right from the same place.
So when I talk about posting content on social media, that’s more so posting organically and we get into the ad space is and this is where you create Facebook and Instagram campaigns. So Facebook advertising is a great tool for connecting you to local customers who might not know about you yet, but they’re interested in the same types of things that you offer. So, for example, boating, water, sports, and other outdoor activities, you know, a lot of what we see in our data is that if somebody is interested in boating, they’re also interested in other outdoor things.
So kayaking, maybe camping, RV, anything you can think of that takes place outdoors so you can capitalize on an audience that you might not thought of before, but that you can tap into using Facebook ads and then with a modest budget. And even I’ve had clients who can run campaigns for flat hundred dollars or you can run campaigns for up to thousands of dollars. But depending on your locale, who you’re trying to target, what kind of services and boats you offer, you know, with a small or modest size budget, you can reach a lot of people.
And then in addition to that, if you have a list of customer data, you can upload that into Facebook and then create ads that will then serve to those customers if they have a Facebook account associated with that email that you have. So you have a lot of flexibility there in terms of finding new customers, engaging with old ones, and then maybe inviting what we call lookalike audiences. So people who are like your customers already. The next tidbit I have for you about Facebook and Instagram is going to be to make sure that you respond to messages and comments to your page.
I think a lot of people and myself, I’m guilty of this, too. People often forget that social media is meant to be social. If you have the time and I recommend you make the time or hire a digital agency to manage this for you. But if you’re taking the time to post on your Facebook and Instagram or whatever platforms you might be using, make sure that you also log in, see what people are saying, comment back to people if they’re commenting on your photos or your status updates or your updates to your page and engage with them.
So if somebody sends a message, make sure you reply. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but just a simple acknowledgment of it. You know, as a digital agency, we manage this for several clients and we have a strategy and a process in place for, you know, if somebody asks about this boat, we say we reply with something like call this number to get more information. So it doesn’t have to be super specific all the time. But just make sure that you try to reply as much as you can.
And then as you do that, you’ll get certain, I think Facebook does this where you get a badge, where it’ll say, you know, company. Within one to two hours, so that’s kind of helpful for customers who might find you on Facebook. So, again, if you’re taking the time to create the content to post, to make sure that you also try to make some time, maybe a couple of times a week, a few times a week to log in and respond to people who are interacting with your page.
And again, a digital agency can manage this for you. You just have to give them pretty much full autonomy and then or a set of guidelines that they can use when it comes to replying to people. Doing this will help increase your following and just in general, your visibility on Facebook and Instagram. So I highly recommend doing that along with posting quality content. And you’ll be surprised, I think, to see how quickly you get some more engagement, maybe a few more followers here and there.
And that’s all I’ve got for this list of helpful tips for leveraging Facebook and Instagram. You know, I’d love to know what your thoughts are on Facebook, what your thoughts are on Instagram. Are they good or the bad or indifferent? Do you use it? You know, if you have anything that you’d like to share with me, I’d love to hear it. You can email me at a podcast about marketing post.com. Until then, I will talk to you all next month when we head into August already.
And until then, make sure if you have any questions, like I said, email podcast about marketing post.com. And we’ll see you next month. Happy Boating.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Boat Marketing Podcast. If you have any questions for Kristin and the marketing pros team, send them to podcast at both marketing pros dot com for additional resources and strategies to help grow your business. Visit both marketing pros dot com. That’s both marketing pros dot com.