MIAMI: Panel touts social media marketing options

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MIAMI - Social media provide marine marketers with new marketing options and opportunities, and a five-member panel shared its ideas for how to best use these tools with members of the Marine Marketers of America at a session at the Miami International Boat Show titled, "Managing and Measuring Social Media to Maximize ROI."

Here are each panelist’s top tips for using social media:

• Josh Chiles, CEO and founder of Engaged — Create different content for each social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.). Each of the platforms has a different audience. Also, use a management tool to keep track of your content and get it out in the most efficient manner.

• Cam Collins, president/CEO of Exuma Technologies — Blogs are useful tools to get your company’s message out, but be sure they have a focus. A business should use blogs to further its purpose. Be a part of the conversation — engage.

• Mike Dickman, general manager of BoatQuest.com — Be an authority. If consumers see you as an authority through your use of social media, they will think of you when it’s time to make a purchase. To get started, talk to people you know and get ideas about what worked for them and what didn’t. Pick one platform to start with, and then add others. Make sure you use it every day. Don’t use social media to sell. Use it to inform.

• Jared Jester, CEO of Jester Communications — Mobile apps are important. These days it’s about “mocial — mobile and social.” More people are getting their information through mobile devices, and we need to adjust to this way of thinking and bring more of these tools into use in our businesses.

• Gaspare Marturano, president of Gaspare.me and the author of “Socialize with Me or Someone Else Will” — If you’re not genuine in your communication through social media, no one will care what you say. You need to be real and represent yourself and your business in a “real” way.

    Asked to identify the best place to start in social media, most panelists agreed that Facebook was the way to go because of its audience size, ease of use and the ability to generate the most leads.

    However, Marturano said Twitter is easy and can build a fan base in the shortest amount of time. It’s the least amount of work for a first-time social media user.

    Moderator Mike Sciulla, vice president of the MMA, said the younger generation may be becoming bored with Facebook and Twitter could be the way to go, depending on the demographic you are trying to reach.

    — Beth Rosenberg

    b.rosenberg@tradeonlytoday.com

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