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Top 5 Signals That Your Social Marketing Plan Has Gone Astray

By Gary Druckenmiller, Jr., co-founder, TheOpenSea.com We’ve all been there.  You spend hours putting together your marine plan for, well, something.  Could be communications, operations, marketing, etc., and you come to realize that all those hours have returned very little.  Now that you’re knee deep in execution, you sense something isn’t right.  Not that you didn’t try your best, your plan just is not working — either in comparison to what’s out there across the marine landscape or what you expected going in.

Unlike more “traditional marketing plans,” social planning clashes against conservatism.  In a realm that moves so darn quickly, your social plan needs to be fluid … ever-changing ... and in liberal harmony with the world that surrounds us.  In other words, it has to change and if it doesn’t, it can go off track very easily.  Here are some signs that your well-intended marine based social plan is on a death spiral.  Does any of this sound like you?

  • Facebook (once the centerpiece to your plan) has become the ONLY place you spend any online social engagement.  As a matter of fact, you now spend more time on Facebook for personal reasons than you do for business reasons.  Not good.  Your business contacts don’t want to be “nudged.”
  • That blog you started 3 months ago?  Abandoned.  You either forgot about it, lost interest, didn’t see any response or the worst sin … YOU FORGOT ABOUT IT!  Social planning and execution is all about consistency and persistence over a long term.  Remember, good things sometimes take time.
  • You spend most of your time in antiquated “forums.”  These places were really cool … in 1997.  Forums are so dated in fact, that not one in the marine sector that I have found has added any sort of comment sharing or social plug-in to make the technology at least remotely relevant for today’s day-and-age.  Painful experience to say the least.
  • You use LinkedIn to boost yourself … not your business.  When LinkedIn started, it was touted as the best way to connect professionals with professionals.  A big online resume.  Now it’s one of the best ways to build alliances, find partners, capture leads and become educated.  These tools evolve quickly.  We need to keep up.
  • You spend all your time focused on non-marine social sites.  Go where your customers are.  Marine is very niche.  Not everyone boats.  But there you are spending countless hours traversing MySpace (are they even still around?) for just one boater.  Focus your attention on marine-only sites.  There is a bunch out there now and more and more boaters are starting to move to them.

And here’s two more for good measure …

  • You are not using Twitter.  I will admit … it’s hard to keep up with.  But it is a requirement. Find an interval that works for you.  You don’t need to tweet every second like some people do, but just be there and stick with it.  In whatever form is convenient to you.
  • You spend no time on your peers’ or customers’ blogs.  This is a big one.  The best way to manage your network is to let others in your marine sector know that what “they say” matters and that you are indeed listening.  Comment back on a blog post.  Tell them “I agree,” or “I don’t agree,” and then explain why.  Just one reply back will go a long way.

If you fall into any of these scenarios, it’s time to reassess.  If you fall into all of them, it’s time to start over.  Social marketing is not for the faint of heart.  If you are not ready to commit, then don’t dive in.  Starting and doing nothing is typically more damaging then doing nothing at all.  It’s the truth.

4 comments

  1. You're wrong about forums. I have a feeling your views on them are more about your own site and the competition you get from forums. I don't operate a forum at all so I'm not biased toward them - I just know how well they fit the market. And not for 1997 like you quipped - more like 2017.

    Why don't you publish some statistics about your site versus, oh let's say cruisersforum.com or thehulltruth.com? I'd bet they get more traffic in a day than you get in a month or a full season.

  2. In response to "A real Boater"... Chill brother boater! There are 1000 views on social media and the "parts" that fit. I love forums - sometimes. But, I'd rather generate "phone rings" vs. expounding on therory. Anywy, each company will have a different style on operations and focus with regard to social media - hoping for the best result. It doesn't require a PHD in Computer Science - just a dedication to the platform.

  3. "I don't agree" and here is why. It sounds to me like you are simply looking at a numbers or satistics report and not a results report.
    When customers come in to my shop I ask them about their social networking. Not one time has anyone admitted to tweeting! The younger generation may use this type of social media, and perhaps in the future it may be of use. However by the time these folks grow up and have the money to spend on boating there will be some new trendy platform to socialize on.
    I feel that it is more important to target the people that have the funds to put into boating, rather than just throwing your name into the cyberhat and hope that someone just might pick your business.
    It may be "old fashion" but we are still in business, despite the economy.
    The other factor you failed to mention is location. Rural areas may not have access to all of the fancy technology.
    Every business is different, you seem to be trying to sell a one size fits all. I just don't agree.

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