If you have been reading the Dive Marketing Tips Blog for the last week you will have started to see a common theme in some of my posts. The lessons and the tutorials I have been writing all start out as a “pet hate” of mine. The things I see people do that irritate me. I don’t write about these things simply to be pedantic or argumentative, I write about them because they are mistakes that are costing your scuba diving business money. They are costing money in credibility with your customers/potential customers, they are costing you money in the time wasted and they are costing you actual money!
This post is no exception and is probably one of the biggest pet hates I have with social networks and it stems from one simple question.
Who says you have to be illiterate on social networks?
With the age of text messaging and also with Twitter, the number of letters you can use are limited and as such, a certain method of typing emerged. A world where “BRB” is used instead of “Be Right Back”. Where “LOL” is used instead of “Laugh Out Loud”. Where “K” is used instead of “OK”.
This is all well and good when you are sending an SMS message to a close friend, you are using your personal Facebook personal profile or if you are a 12 year old but remember, we are talking about your BUSINESS.
Stay Professional (Not too professional, but professional nonetheless)
A high percentage of your Facebook fans, your Twitter followers or your Foursquare followers have never had any contact with you at all. Your social networking feeds are the first point of contact. The first method of learning something about you and your service. Why would you send out the wrong impression on purpose?
Certainly, social networks should be playful and entertaining. Having a “tongue in cheek” approach will actually make you stand out from other scuba diving centers in your region but remember again, this is your BUSINESS. You are not simply posting on your Facebook page or Twitter feed for fun. You are doing it to generate a genuine interest in your product and services. Keep a professional edge to your posts and avoid the appearance that your Facebook page is managed by a 12 year old.
Think About Your Content
You have to think of your audience. You have to remember that they are all potential customers. They are all people who are looking to spend their money on diving. They are all people who have a lot of choice.
Yes, scuba diving is fun. This is why we all do it, but also remember that it is not a hobby you take lightly. There is a serious side to diving, particularly once you get into the areas of tech diving. You need your potential customers to understand that you are fun, you are entertaining but beyond this, that you are extremely serious about the job you do.
Check, Check and Check Again
When you write a Facebook post or a Tweet, check it. Check it for simple spelling mistakes, incorrect use of language, anything potentially offensive. It seems like I am stating the obvious but I see it far too often. I spend most of time in Egypt so I am used to seeing things spelled incorrectly – road signs, menus, brochures and that is because Egypt is a very multilingual society so Google translate plays quite a big part in producing literature. Added to which, the primary language is Arabic which, as you know does not even share any letters with any Anglo-European language. I have got used to this and it is not a problem, but imagine that your scuba diving business is in the North West of England. Would you run an advertisement in your local newspaper without checking the spelling? Would you paint your scuba van without making sure everything is written correctly? Would you hand out a business card if your company name was spelled incorrectly? Of course you would not, so why treat your social networking feeds any differently.
Just As Important As Newsprint
When you manage your social networking properly, it is actually just as important, if not more important than the printed marketing you are more familiar with. Your audience is so much bigger. Your ability to make yourself known is so much easier. Competing with the “Big Boys” is so much easier as the playing field becomes more level. Social networking is not just for fun. It is a very powerful marketing tool so pay attention to what you write as it will have a big difference on the impression you create.