6 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 • FOGHORN FOGHORNFOCUS: SALES & MARKETING I magine if you walked into a party or networking event. There’s a room full of people ready to meet you so you walk up to a cluster of them who are chatting around a table. You sit down and interrupt their conversation with “Hi my name is Meghan and I am with XYZ Corporation. Check out this cool new feature of our product! Isn’t it so cool? Here’s a photo of someone using it. Would you like to see another photo of someone else using it? Here you go!” Obviously, this isn’t how any sane person would handle a social interaction. So why is that our tendency when it comes to SOCIAL media? The tendency is for brands to still look at social media as another marketing 10 Questions to Ask When Creating Your 2019 Social Media Strategy By Meghan Speer, Marketing Support Network Learn more! Meghan Speer will be speaking at the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2019 in New Orleans, January 17-20 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Donʼt miss her session, “Whatʼs the Point of Social Media?” on January 20. channel where we just get to tell our audience all about our products or how cool we are. While we are starting to see a slight shift away from that mindset, most brands are still treating social media as a digital billboard or a mobile print ad. The first step in en- gagement is to stop looking at social only as a sales tool. International advertising leader Craig Davis once said, “We have to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and be what people are interested in.” When a consumer follows a Facebook page or a Twitter account and all they see are posts that say “buy this” or “do this” or “look how great our company is” they will tune you out. Here’s an example: Think about your insurance company, what they sell is insurance for your home or vehicle or life. The name of that company probably tells people what they sell, so they don’t need to have a profile full of posts talking about all the services that are available to purchase. At that point, they’re just interrupting what people care about and they will not engage with them. On the other hand, what people who need insurance care about is the safety of their home, car and family. They care about how to care for those things well. So a profile full of tips for those things or quick videos from the agents on their professional tips then becomes the thing their consumers are interested in. It makes the company more relatable and encourages people to engage. Now think about your passenger vessel operation and your company name and branding. Consider if prospec- tive passengers are already well aware of your opera- tion’s mission and service. If, for example, yours is a ferry operation that is essentially the only means of transporting visitors and locals to a destination, such as an island, then re- peatedly explaining what your ferry line (which is probably in your company name) does on your social media sites would be interrupting what the customer is expecting to see. They’re on your site because you offer ferry service. Now, tell them something they don’t know. The ROI is that your consumers then share your content. Stories are created because they comment on it. Your con- sumer’s community gets to see your business because you have engaged your audience enough that they become advocates. Here are 10 questions to ask when you look at your social media strategy for 2019: GRIDCOOLER® Keel Cooler WEKA Boxcooler® GRIDCOOLER® GRIDCOOLER® Keel Cooler Keel Cooler WEKA WEKA WEKA WEKA Boxcooler® Boxcooler® fernstrum.com | 906.863.5553 | sales@fernstrum.com YOU DON’T WORRY ABOUT KEEPING YOUR COOL — UNTIL YOU LOSE IT. Get it. Never lose it. Expect peak cooling efficiency. Expect trusted dependability. Expect expert support. R.W. Fernstrum Cooling Solutions. R.W. Fernstrum & Company is an ISO 9001:2015 Certified Company