Five ways you can promote dealership events with social media

A majority of the dealers I spoke with did not even consider a social media marketing plan to help promote their booth at the boat show.

By Christopher Kourtakis, director of sales and marketing, 360° Industry Solutions In the past couple of months, I have been touring the country, visiting dealers at boat shows. It was a big surprise that a majority of the dealers I spoke with did not even consider a social media marketing plan to help promote their booth at the boat show. In fact, the most common response that I would get is “How would I use social media to effectively market my boat show booth?”

Below are several brief ideas on how to successfully promote your dealership’s events using the big five social media platforms.


Constantly provide updates to your customer. Tweet about the traffic in the booth. Use Twit Pic to send a picture of the boats, one boat at a time. Tell your followers how great your display is. Offer Twitter-only special promotions only to your followers such as a free night at a local marina if they purchase a cruiser at the show.


This is the perfect place to show your customers how great your display looks or the boats you have on display — tell them how grand everything looks. Provide a special promotion to your fans. A great example would be to offer a watersports package if they purchase a boat at the show.

Another great example would be to offer free tickets to the show if they are the first to answer a question correctly about your company. Even something as simple as the name of your accessories manger is a great way to engage your customers.

For larger boats that will be on display, allow good customers and potential buyers the opportunity to schedule specific time slots to walk through the yachts. This way they are not waiting in line with everyone else. It also shows that you respect their time at the show.


Develop a walk-through video of your display. If you have a new model, focus on it as you walk through your display. Develop a video that will entice your customers to want to visit your display. There is nothing better than a welcome message from the owner or sales manager personally inviting your customers to the show. Finally, having your used boat inventory online for your customers to see will force them to visit the show and discuss the used yacht to ensure it was not purchased by someone else.


Create a slideshow of the display and each model on display at the show. Posting photos of each salesperson who is working the show will invite your customers to visit your display as they can associate a name with a salesperson. This is a great way to identify your yacht specialist or your runabout manager so that a potential customer is not waiting for the wrong person and possibly wandering off to someone else’s booth.


Sending personal invitations to the show is not only professional, but may obligate your customer to make sure they schedule time for the show. Seeing an e-mail with your name and photo on it can provide a level of comfort to your customers.

Additionally, don’t forget to form a Linkedin Group for your clients to follow your dealership through daily and weekly updates.

Again, these are just examples, as there are so many ways to personally involve your customers with your business.

After the show is over, use your social media channels to thank everyone for coming or sending last-minute show specials. Finally, ask your customers what they liked about the show and what they did not like. Social media is a great way to get instant feedback from your customers.


  1. Hi Chris - Happy Holidays!

    I enjoyed you message here and wanted to share something with you and some of your readers.

    For me, it’s boating for the lifestyle and broadcast media as a career choice – life is good. I use broadcast media for business talk radio and host boaters talk radio on weekends. Today we broadcast from Newport Beach, CA. That said… this ONLY qualifies me to know what I DON’T know… in SOCIAL media.

    I do however recognize the importance and necessity of social media – and I am learning every day. I recently started using TRAFFIC GEYSER (SMMM) in cyber delivery for audio and video. Now, my reach in one week rivals what anyone can accomplish in a year by traditional marketing methods... and my cost of marketing has been cut by over 70%.

    When I do “LIVE” remote broadcasts at boat shows, I’ll archive them on my website and use “key words” to POST to 130 different Social Media environments. We will begin with the 2011 Miami Boat Show in February.

    Needless to say, I am very excited about Social Media Marketing Machine from Traffic Geyser and plan to become an affiliate marketer next year – perhaps it would be worth a look by you?

    Congratulations on choosing Social Media as a career. I implore you to get the message out to your friends and clients and drag the marine industry into the 21st century with it. Once there, these guys and gals will thank you forever. Time and money saved – profits up, even in this (marine) industry and market.

    As they say… you can advertise your business or advertise your business FOR SALE.

    Scott Smith
    Business Talk Radio
    Boaters Talk Radio

  2. Many dealers we work with use social media to simply promote they new inventory, sales events and video reviews. Using and tracking so many social media platforms can be overwhelming. I love using TweetDeck for posting and promoting the same message on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also makes it easy to comunicate with our connections and fans across multiple platforms. Very easy to use and it is free. There is mobile apps for iphone and android too :)! I would recommend it to all of businesses who use Social Media for promotions. Good luck!

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