How to use social Media most effectively

Social MediaEveryone has them, everyone knows them – but does everyone know how to use social Media most effectively.

I am now working as a PADI Regional Manager for several years and I saw many Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus – business pages of various diving schools. I also learned that today’s youth is represented on Instagram. So, if you only use Facebook – in the eyes of youth you are “Out”!

Oh dear… I thought … I’m already so old … But you have to be clearly aware that every target group uses different Medias – the diversity is the key to success

There are seven important points which need to be considered:

  • Existing social platforms
  • Which social Media do I use for my diving school
  • Target groups
  • How many times do I write a post
  • Who should write you posts
  • Insights
  • Blogging

Existing social Media platformssocial Media_2

The number of social media platforms is increasing, however, not every Platform is suitable for your business. Below you’ll find the most popular social media of our times.

– Facebook

– Twitter

– Google Plus

– YouTube Channel

– Instagram (only Mobile)

– TripAdvisor

– ScubaEarth

– Snapchat

Social Media_1Which social media do I use for my diving school?

From my experience I can say very clearly that a business without Facebook, Twitter, Youtube Channel and ScubaEarth – has clearly missed the today´s train. You have to be visible and find the customer where he is looking for you. This is called inbound marketing – means to target the potential customer, who is looking for you, will find you. That is why it is so important that your website is always up to date.It does not mean that each platform needs a separate entry. Various social media can be linked with each other. For example, Facebook can be linked to Twitter and vice versa. Then each entry on Facebook will be automatically published on Twitter. Then there is also Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a platform that manages all your social media. This means; you write an article only once and Hootsuite publishes all your messages on your registered social media. The only problem with this is that the contributions are not adapted to the uniqueness of the platform.Very important, especially for resort areas is TripAdvisor. Statistics show that diving schools, which have a TripAdvisor account and also several reviews, are much more frequently contacted by new customers.

Target groupsZielgruppe

Which target group I want to reach with my entries?

How effective are my messages?

Do I reach new customers with my photos?

These are all questions that you need to ask yourself, if you are planning a new post. A post should be interesting and exciting. The visitor of your page has to feel addressed. You want to get to your existing customers, to keep them in touch with you and show them what´s happening in your Dive Center after they leave it. After all you want these customers to come back. You also want to acquire new customers through your social platforms. Attracting and motivating the user is key. Facebook for example, it is not about how many “likes” you have, it is about how many of them are interacting with you on your page. The number of “likes”, “comments” and “shares” improves the chance that future “posts” appear in the news feeds of your “fans”. Non interaction risks that your future “posts” will disappear in the “fans” future news feeds. That is not a good thing…

ZeitaufwandHow many times do I write a post?

I know that the time is a problem – especially during high season. However, you cannot avoid to actively and effectively use your social media during high season. This is the time where you have to promote your business. You have to publish a post, for example, on Instagram and Facebook at least once a day, a blog post would be very good once a week, but by-monthly is also ok. What you want is consistency in your publications. Google, as well as your readers, will immediately notice irregularities. The great thing about social media and blogging is that you can schedule you publications, and therefore write your posts in advance.

Who should write your posts? 12188053_918898418191860_5675352402385959746_o

People are always asking me: “Who should be writing all of these articles?” Delegate your social media needs to a responsible staff member, give them a camera and your login details and tell them to go wild.

Encourage your customers to write on your wall. Animate and activate your clientele, by publishing on your wall they become advocates for your diving school. Motivate them with prices for the most liked article during the season for example.

What is the first thing you do when a customer is walking in your diving school…? Right – you say “hello” and then…? … Then you give him a Tablet in his hand and ask him to log on to their social media platform. Encourage them to like your Facebook business page immediately. It is also very important that you mention that they tag themselves in every picture where they appear.Before your satisfied customer leaves your Dive School, ask them to write you a review on Trip Advisor and / or on the Facebook Business page. It’s amazing how many new customers have been generated by TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews. People read these reviews before they decide where to go!

InsightsInsights

Each platform has a statistic. Use this well! You can read when your “fans” or “followers” read your posts, when they are active on the Internet, where they come from, how many of your visitors are men or women – and a lot more. You can find all of this within the insights. Try to find out what your most successful posts are and according to that you will write your future posts – and measure the success again.

BloggingBlog

A diving school with no blog – is like a VW without a catalyst…! It is absolutely a must have! It does not mean that you need to write a novel, even a small article is ok. But it is important that you blog frequently.It is also important that your blog has social media sharing buttons. This ensures that your blog can be shared by the readers. It is also important that your readers can subscribe to your newsletter or blog. With this they will get an email as soon as you published a new blog. Encourage your customers to share your new blog on their social media platforms.

What are the key points for a successful Blog?

– Update frequently so that the readers are coming back

– Link your Blog with Facebook / Twitter – for automatic feeds

– Use keywords to support you search engine optimization (SEO)

– Link your Blog with your website and vice versa

Your goal should be to keep your existing customers in the loop about what´s going on in your diving school since their experience – after all you want them to come back. By using the right keywords (SEO) to attract new customers, you have the highest chance that your blog will be read and shared by a wider audience. The more interesting your article is – the better. You will generate future clientele.

I hope that this article has opened your eyes a little wider and that you understand the importance of how to use social media most effectively.

If you would like to learn more about social media and Websites, it would make sense to apply for the PADI Business Academy, which is offered in various countries.

PADI Facebook Adverts viewed over 8.2 million times in May

PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa’s marketing team coordinate Facebook Advertising campaigns across multiple languages and target demographics throughout the year, each one designed to support PADI Members by driving traffic – and potential customers – to PADI businesses.

During May alone, PADI EMEA’s Facebook promotions were viewed over 8.2 million times – that’s a whopping quarter-of-a-million views every single day! The adverts also generated over 30,000 direct clicks from visitors looking to find out more about learning to dive with their local PADI Dive Center or Resort.

If you want to learn more about using Facebook advertising (and other social media channels) to boost your business, sign up for a PADI Business Academy or talk to your Regional Manager for more information.

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Win With PADI…

PADI is committed to the growth and prosperity of the scuba diving industry. Whether it’s through preserving the ocean we explore or creating innovative ways to teach the sport, PADI’s main focus is its members. PADI develops, maintains and supplies our industry with the most advanced dive training materials found worldwide.

Specifically, the PADI Retail and Resort Association provides its members with techniques and solutions to staying competitive and successful in today’s marketplace. As a member of the PADI Retail and Resort Association you benefit from more than just the prestige of the PADI brand. You also get a comprehensive suite of benefits guaranteed to drive more divers through your doors.

Find out more in the PADI Retailer and Resort Association Benefits Guide – click here to download.

Together We’re #1 In Diving!

PADI: Not just a diving certification…

In earning their scuba certifications with you, PADI divers have only just scratched the surface of the diving lifestyle. PADI enables millions of divers who share a common passion to come together – it’s all part of the PADI way of life.

PADI connects divers with each other in the world’s largest and most engaged communities – whether it’s the PADI Facebook page with more than a million fans or through ScubaEarth, Twitter, Google+, PADI Diving Society or the Project AWARE Foundation.PADI University Program Channel Islands Shoot March 24-29, 2007

Make sure your business is present and active in these same communities, where new divers are buzzing about the underwater realm every day. By sharing your latest news, and updates to top up customers’ newly discovered interests, they’ll keep coming back to you for trips, equipment sales/rental/servicing and continuing education courses that enable them to further explore and log more diving adventures with you.

Want to know more about how social media and online marketing can help you capture existing and new business? Book onto a 2015 PADI Business Academy today!

PADI Business Academy – A Testimonial by Alexandra Dimitriou

PADI Business Academy Photo Limassol

I recently went to the PADI Business Academy (PBA) in Cyprus and I simply had to share this positive experience with all of you. As a relatively new dive center owner I have had a steep learning curve making the transition from instructor to owner. Today’s marketplace is hugely different to that which I learned in my Business A-level in the UK – oh so many moons ago – the PBA was such an eye opener to ways to move Scuba Monkey onwards and upwards.

The PBA opened my eyes in three major ways:

#1: Marketing isn’t a bad thing, you just have to know your audience and be able to take a personal approach. By knowing who your audience is you can better serve them, and this is a service like all others. You can make it an enjoyable one – both for yourself and for your prospective guests. The PBA taught us how to get the knowledge of things like website keywords, using online tools that have been at my fingertips since the beginning, but until the academy, only my web designer had ventured into this realm on my business’ behalf. Sure – my web designer explained things like google analytics to me, but Mark Spiers (PADI’s VP) gave talks and ran workshops which allowed a true practical application that led to greater understanding. Brilliant. I feel more in control, I feel calmer about the future and much much less confused.

#2: The PADI Pro website. I have used this site for close to 10 years and I honestly thought I understood all the tools available to me.  Clearly not. The PBA went through every tab in the minutest detail and it was a shock to discover all the features that have been available to me all this time and had not been utilizing to full potential. Simple things like how enter your address into the store locator properly and allow your dive center to become searchable using navigation systems and smart phones.  Cyprus, as the last split capital in the world, is notorious for being hard to navigate using standard GPS…..the PBA showed me such a simple fix to a problem that I have endured since I opened my doors in 2012

#3: Social Media. I was the youngest participant in this PBA, and I have been brought up in a technology rich environment (my father always shows off that he owned the first computer on the island in the early 1980’s). I honestly thought that this element of the PBA would be something that I could learn little from…after all, I already blog, link everything to the website, twitter and Facebook….what more could there be? A lot as it turns out. Marc went through every element of each platform that I already was active on…..and taught me little quirks and tweaks that could even further my marketing success. Things like scheduled posting on Facebook and how to highlight an important post are all features that have been at my fingertips, but have failed to use. The PBA not only taught me the value of these features, but also how to use them immediately. Great. I was definitely taken down a peg or two, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I have joined most other social media sites, such as Instagram and flicker and Pinterest…..I have been a member for quite some time…however the PBA again made me feel like a speck of dust in the internet wasteland by informing me about the demographics of users of these sites. It worried me to hear that Facebook was soon becoming outdated, that the Y2 and Z generations already considered this platform for the older generations. Scary isn’t it? The academy taught me that staying current to new trends will be an essential mode for dive center survival. This information did not make me loose heart however – again Knowledge is power and power means control. Workshops allowed us to use free tools like Animoto and Mail Chimp to better serve our guests and encourage them to be more interactive over all social platforms.

Bring it on…. The PADI Business Academy slogan of “Harness the Power” is true to its word…..I feel positive and energized for the 2015 season. I would recommend it to anyone – regardless of the size and history of their dive center.


DSC_0021This article was written and submitted by Alexandra Dimitriou, who attended the Limassol  PADI Business Academy in 2014.

Alexandra Dimitriou is a dive center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner at Scuba Monkey Ltd.

PADI Business Academy – Bristol Nov/Dec 2014

Hot off the press!

The Bristol PADI Business Academy is underway. Store owners and managers from all over PADI EMEA’s territory are gathered together for their two day insight into current business acquisition and retention ideas.

Below are PADI Business Academy attendees working on increasing their inbound marketing traffic during a Blogging workshop.

Lesley and Rachael are devising new blogging strategies
Lesley and Rachael are devising new blogging strategies
Blogging at PADI
Peter and Robyn are getting to grips with new blogging ideas
Bart perfecting his new blog for the dive centre
Bart perfecting his new blog for the dive centre
Abyss, PADI PBA Bristol
Gary and Ian from Abyss diving busy writing blog articles
Callum of The Dive Centre and Abdullah of Moon divers working their way around WordPress.
Callum of The Dive Centre and Abdullah of Moon divers working their way around WordPress.

Last chance to register for the PADI Business Academy in Bristol, UK

PADI Business Academy – Bristol, UK – 30th November & 1st December

Join us for the Bristol PBA taking place on the 30th November and 1st December.  This two day programme, conducted in English, will inspire, equip and motivate you, helping you prepare your business for unprecedented growth.

To register for the programme, complete the PBA Registration Form and return it to the Marketing department.  Additional registrants from the same Dive Centre will benefit from a 50% discount and each primary Dive Centre attendee will benefit from a £/€100 credit toward your 2015 Dive Centre renewal.

About the PADI Business Academy

PADI Business Academy (PBA) is the powerful, and hugely successful, business development tool only accessible to PADI members. If you’re looking to increase your business exposure, sales and bottom line profit you can’t afford not to become one of the thousands of successful international PADI Business Academy graduates.

Take a sneak peak at one of our 2014 Business Academies!  Watch the video below:

And now see what the PADI Business Academy can do for you:

View the latest brochure

We look forward to seeing you at one of our PADI Business Academy programmes!

Your PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Team

PADI Business Academy courses in UK and Malta – Don’t Miss Out!

PADI Business Academy – Malta – 14th & 15th November

Join us for the Malta PBA taking place on 14th and 15th November.  This two day programme, conducted in English, will inspire, equip and motivate you, helping you prepare your business for unprecedented growth.

To register for the programme, complete the PBA Registration Form and return it to the Marketing department by 14th October.  Additional registrants from the same Dive Centre will benefit from a 50% discount and each primary Dive Centre attendee will benefit from a £/€100 credit toward your 2015 Dive Centre renewal.

PADI Business Academy – Bristol, UK – 30th November & 1st December

Join us for the Bristol PBA taking place on the 30th November and 1st December.  This two day programme, conducted in English, will inspire, equip and motivate you, helping you prepare your business for unprecedented growth.

To register for the programme, complete the PBA Registration Form and return it to the Marketing department by 30th October.  Additional registrants from the same Dive Centre will benefit from a 50% discount and each primary Dive Centre attendee will benefit from a £/€100 credit toward your 2015 Dive Centre renewal.

About the PADI Business Academy

PADI Business Academy (PBA) is the powerful, and hugely successful, business development tool only accessible to PADI members. If you’re looking to increase your business exposure, sales and bottom line profit you can’t afford not to become one of the thousands of successful international PADI Business Academy graduates.

Take a sneak peak at one of our 2014 Business Academies!  Watch the video below:

And now see what the PADI Business Academy can do for you:

View the latest brochure

We look forward to seeing you at one of our PADI Business Academy programmes!

Your PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Team

Don’t Miss Out on a 2014 PADI Business Academy!

PADI_BA_logo

PADI Business Academy is the powerful, and hugely successful, business development tool only accessible to PADI members. If you’re looking to increase your business exposure, sales and bottom line profit you can’t afford not to become one of the thousands of successful international PADI Business Academy graduates. Just take a look at what the PADI Business Academy can do for you!

PADI Business Academy Brochure

Join us for one of the remaining Business Academies taking place in 2014.  This two day programme will inspire, equip and motivate you, helping you prepare your business for unprecedented growth. To register for a programme, complete the PBA Registration Form and return it to the Marketing department. Additional registrants from the same Dive Centre will benefit from a 50% discount and each primary Dive Centre attendee will benefit from a £/€100 credit toward your 2015 Dive Centre renewal. We look forward to seeing you at one of our remaining 2014 PADI Business Academies.

PADI Business Academy 2014 goes from strength to strength 

25 PADI Dive Centres attended the Dubai PADI Business Academy earlier this season and we continue to receive positive feedback and testimonials.

Don’t miss out on this essential two day business development programme.  If you don’t do anything else in 2014, attend one of these programmes, implement the strategies we teach you and see your PADI Dive Centre business grow.

PADI Business Academy

 

PADI RM Meeting Italy 2014

 

This three daDSC_2900y event has brought together all the PADI EMEA regional managers to discuss and share ideas. This PADI RM Meeting has provided a multitude of ideas and business tips to share with all the PADI members in EMEA. We also discuss the fantastic content of the PADI Business Academy. We looking forward to returning back to the UK to put these into action.