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Old 20 November 2012, 11:11   #11
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Social Media

I have attended about three presentations with the FSB covering Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the figures we were shown suggest that you do need to join in and use every site.
Facebook search engines have a massive pulling power and as we can see numerous people now use these and look also at recommendations on the sites. Interestingly Facebook is used for emailing people more and more and the biggest area of take up is an older age group no longer the 15-22yrs but 45-60

As for business, yes several bookings through facebook and twitter in last year, bare in mind these are free adverts its a no brainer and you can keep other clients up to date with what is happening and what is on offer.
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Old 20 November 2012, 13:10   #12
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A local rib tour operator here in San Diego has a Facebook page. While his website stays static and he probably pays someone to update and maintain it, the Facebook page can be updated personally. He can add pictures and videos of stuff he's seen out on the water and keep it more up to date. Without new content, people won't come back just to browse.

If you're selling items though, it's going to have to be you website or ebay.
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Old 20 November 2012, 14:08   #13
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Have a look at this - http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollection...ia%20(New).pdf

I manage two national Facebook pages and whilst I don't agree with everything in it, its a great starter guide.

You should look to use Facebook to make people aware of products and deals but I am not aware of people selling directly on Facebook in large quantities.

Have a look at Icom/Mercury/Volvo Sailing pages and compare them.

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Old 20 November 2012, 14:35   #14
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My village has a Facebook group set up to advertise: sales, services, exchanges and items wanted.

If you had one of these set up for engines people would automatically get updates when you added a new engine.

I get e-mail updates from Pacer Marine (10 miles away from me) when they add new items to their on-line shop.
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Old 20 November 2012, 14:46   #15
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Would I personally buy something from facebook, no. Do I look at FB yes I have an account. I google any products I am looking for and the cheapest place including shipping gets my business. Sometimes they take me to FB pages, which most of the time are set up just to sell one product.

Having a FB page that gets updated with customers pictures and the like gives the business a face. Running contests is even better. For instance best photo of the month, or randomly picking a customer that shares a photo, then give them a t-shirt or? The FB page needs to be active or people will view it once and never come back. If there is action they will want to join your FB page. Now you got their attention and can offer specials/coupons, and put together meet and greats etc. Customer appreciation BBQ with discounts offered can be shared, so when someone does come to the page, and sees all their buddies eating and having fun at the shop...well you get the hook idea. If the FB page isn't fun and active, with weekly posts, then it is not alive. Customers sharing videos and photos needs to be not only encourage, but somehow rewarded. Or so my non marketing thoughts go.
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Old 20 November 2012, 14:55   #16
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The only thing I've 'liked' on FB is the new Dallas page. Who would of thought that mad Rebecca Ewing would turn out to be Cliff Barnes' daughter? I never saw that one coming!! Roll on the second series!
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Old 20 November 2012, 16:19   #17
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Dave,

For the sort of stuff you sell Facebook might not be crazy. e.g. there will be several people on here who are "friends" with Redbay boats, Bananashark (and possibly others) and so get the latest news, pictures of builds etc. But it really needs to be something like that where you have some "brand loyalty" and "following". I'm not sure if that applies to you but I think it could.

Will you sell anything directly? probably not. Will you seem more accessible to customers? possibly if you work at it.
Will it back fire and make you look crap? not if you are careful... (beware the tone in some of your posts on here could backfire).
Could it help you raise your profile in the W. of S. Boat owning world? Yes. But you need to think what will make people share your link etc - either really cool stuff, or some sort of competition etc.
Will your business survive without doing it? Almost certainly.
Will the people who communicate with you be actual customers? Possibly not. Use your time wisely.
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Old 21 November 2012, 03:42   #18
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Dave,

For the sort of stuff you sell Facebook might not be crazy. e.g. there will be several people on here who are "friends" with Redbay boats, Bananashark (and possibly others)
We have nearly 1,000 people following us who presumably get our updates on their page automatically - I guess our content is more interesting compared to a "for sale" page as it's photos, videos and news of the next big race like the Venture Cup.

I think some people follow a brand such as Redbay or Scorpion as it may be an aspirational brand rather than something they are planning to purchase?
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Old 21 November 2012, 04:07   #19
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We have nearly 1,000 people following us who presumably get our updates on their page automatically - I guess our content is more interesting compared to a "for sale" page as it's photos, videos and news of the next big race like the Venture Cup.

I think some people follow a brand such as Redbay or Scorpion as it may be an aspirational brand rather than something they are planning to purchase?
I am, but since you mention it, I haven't seen anything for ages, Facebook pages tend to drop off your news feed unless you set it to all updates.

I think you're right about the aspirational side and also just a common interest that provides new pictures of stuff. I get fed stuff from yours, Redbay, Ribcraft etc but have no plans to buy another boat! I have to say the only thing I use FB for that is commercial is a local "ebay" type site here in the Falklands, I've really never considered it for any other commercial purchasing, and the only businesses I know that do use it are tourism type businesses here where photos and experiences are sort of what they are selling.

Part of the problem with anything advertised online is the sheer number of companies - not just marine but everywhere - who simply can't be bothered to reply to an email enquiry from a customer wanting to spend money. Many suppliers would do better to fix that fundamental failing before screwing around putting stuff on Twitbook. That isn't a dig at anybody on this thread, just one of my perennial gripes about online suppliers
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Old 21 November 2012, 07:02   #20
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Here is an example of good use of facebook business pages
http://www.facebook.com/bhgmarine
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