Search for fresh content, schedule posts, wait for the avalanche of likes and shares, then...nothing. Keeping your yacht brand's social media pages active soon feels like a giant time suck and, for the majority of companies, it is.
Social Media Doesn't Pay Off When...
Social media activity consumes a lot of time for companies - 5 to 15 hours per week on average - but the "The problem is not social media itself, but that “most business owners are doing it wrong, which not only makes it a waste of time, but can actually hurt your business,” says Pia Silva of Forbes.
Almost 75% of businesses have some type of social media presence, yet less than 50% are using their accounts consistently, according to the 2017 Social Media Survey by Clutch. Abandoned, or severely out-of-date, social media pages send the message to potential new clients that your shipyard is struggling or closed for business. Unless a designated staff member or hired agency is willing to put in the time to keep accounts updated and active, it's better not to have them at all.
Posts about what you ate for dinner or where you're cat sleeps aren't going to help your business reach its goals. Going too far off the mark will lead to followers ignoring your activity, unfollowing you or, worse, decreasing your company's overall reputability.
Collecting, curating and posting images to Instagram, for example, which are popular with fanatic followers in India, a local bar and some fitness guru across the continent is like painting a picture just to throw it in the trash. Sending out random content into the black hole of social media only appreciated by random users, even if it results in a higher number of followers or a peak in engagement, is entirely useless. It doesn't help communicate with target users, increase brand value or entice potential customers to your door.
Social Media Does Pay Off When...
The best long-term strategy is to select one, or maybe two, social media platforms which make the most sense for your company in terms of reaching your target audience through your most impactful medium (i.e. articles, images or videos), and do it well. Post regularly and limit content to your field of expertise. In this way, your followers will grow over time and come to respect you as an authoritative source of information.
Content counts! "While the supply and demand shift for paid media becomes more saturated, it leaves an incredible opening for the brands that make great content to grow the right way," explains Gary Vaynerchuck, a venture capitalist and early investor in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Uber. Refocusing your social media efforts in order to transmit quality content is the only way for users to actually receive your message through all the interference that is on the web today.
Don't just talk about why your company is wonderful or which yacht models have been sold. Share content from other companies in the industry and related sectors - sponsors, suppliers, brokers, yacht managers and charter agents - who will return the favor and become a more reliable source of referrals, even if indirectly.
If social media is done right, the pay off can be big, but it will be virtually impossible to track. “Within two years, more than 50% of small businesses agree social media helps them increase sales; within five years, 70% of small businesses see ROI from a social media presence,” according to Steve Olenski of Forbes.
Even for the big names in the yacht industry, social media activity continues to be an dubitable investment. The fact is that customers can only be swayed over time, through multiple interactions with your brand, that they want that particular version of luxury. Social media is just one point in the constellation of interactions with future potentials which boost your business in the long term.