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Marketing A Leisure Product Through Your Customers

2014 January 16

social media marketingNothing quite builds trust in a product like the testimonials from your actual customers. In order to gain testimonials you of course need to offer a superior product or service (but we are going to assume that you already have that). So since your customers are already enjoying what you have to offer, let’s discuss how to entice them to share their experience with the world! 

Ask: The worst thing they can do is not act

The first thing you should try is to simply ask. Yep, a no strings attached request should land you a few reviews. Make it as easy for the user as possible. If your leads come from a particular website such as Yelp, Google +, Trip Advisor, or AirBnB, provide them a link and give direction on how to leave a review just in case they are not computer savvy.

In the case where you as a host or seller can leave a review of your customer, do so in every instance. Last year, I used AirBnB for the first time and as soon as my stay was over the person I rented the room from left a review on me. It was a great review and immediately I felt obligated to do the same. So I did, right away and it was an equally great review towards their service and a full on recommendation.

Okay, let’s revisit the title of this section. The worst thing they can do is leave the worst 1-star review you have ever read recommending everyone to stay far-far away from your product and/or service. However, that is still constructive feedback as you can use that review to improve your service, reach out to the negative reviewer to make things right with them and do whatever you can to turn them into a fan!

Social Media

Focus on Google +, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook as far as social media is concerned. These are all syndicated or have the potential to be syndicated to build your overall online presence in terms of search.

Google + is extremely important has it has a direct impact in your local rankings. You need to outpace your competitors and collect more positive reviews than them. If they have zero reviews, get five. If they have five reviews, get ten. Outpace them and stay in the lead, and try to get reviews from your most influential users or customers (serial reviewers you might call them).

I just moved to a new area and was in search of a dentist. So I Googled “[my town] dentist”. One dentist office had 40 positive reviews and the rest had between 0 and 5. They were also (naturally) at the top of the search results.

I called and made an appointment and was very pleased with their service. Upon entering their office, they had a sign up offering a $5 gift card for anyone who leaves a positive review and a $10 gift card if you did it within 24 hours of your appointment. This minimal monetary amount was landing them thousands of dollars with each new customer acquired. Spend a little to make a lot, there’s nothing better now is there!

I’m not going to focus on the other social networks too much because if you spend time on providing quality content and honest helpful interactions they will be fruitful over time.

Twitter is simple, just retweet any positive reviews towards your company and promote them so people see from a 3rd party how great your service is. Set up custom alerts so when people ask questions on how to spend their leisure time when in your area point them towards favorite attractions amongst the locals. Don’t try to sell at this point. The mere fact that you are being helpful, will likely lead them to look further into your profile and check out your brand.

Pinterest is all about providing inspiration and creating wants. Try to take pictures of your product, service, or resort that will make people want to come. Look for pictures that your customers have pinned on the service and pin them to your own board as they will appreciate the recognition. It will also provide kudos and the Pinterest algorithm will take notice of content that is being shared and reward this content by giving it more attention amongst Pinners.

Facebook is great for providing interesting content. Please be sure that your content is actually interesting, the Facebook algorithm (EdgeRank) picks up on content that is not being shared or clicked on. If your content or your page is not deemed socially accepted by the EdgeRank algorithm, you will need to resort to promoting your content via paid promotion which will in turn cost you more and more if the social signals are not favorable. Paid promotion is never as good as organic because it does not come across as authentic, although it is very useful in achieving a massive reach very quickly to get content starting to spread, if of course it is share worthy!

Steven Clark is an content marketing expert, freelance writer, and an avid boater. He is from the Napanee area and enjoys blogging for Atkins & Hoyle about his boating knowledge and experiences on his spare time.

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