Dive shops it seems in every country around the world don’t make good use of web marketing and social media. I am in Niue and doing a fair bit of diving which has inspired me to write a bit of an industry specific blog. In a earlier life I used to run a dive shop so it’s quite interesting being able to brainstorm this one out.
- Ask your loyal customers to follow your Facebook page – Unless you’re in a major transient tourist destination chances are your dive shop is dealing with locals and a dive club. A Facebook page is the perfect way for you to communicate with your loyal customers about dives, weather updates, gear and club specials.
- Get reviews – This is perfect for both loyal customers and tourists alike. Setup a computer or an Ipad in your shop and at the end of a dive when everyone is back having a coffee at the dive shop, ask them to review your business and your dive site. Make sure you ask for honest reviews and be ready to respond to negative feedback (reviews are public and go on customers walls for all their friends to see. Good if you’re good and good if you are bad as this will make you better.)
- Use Foursquare to check in to your shop… or maybe dive sites? – Divers waiting around the dive shop and getting ready for a dive? Get them to check in with Foursquare. Perhaps you want to run a special for the person who becomes the Mayor (be aggressive – free tank hire for the mayor, free diving, Discounts on gear). This may not be practical for boat dives at sea but marking shore dives on google maps, checking in on Foursquare and rating dive sites is a great way to show off local diving to non divers in the area.
- Get blogging – Content is important for any business website and your dive shop. Do regular dive updates, the week in review, blog about special offers, hints and tips. Having good content on your site provides a base of content to share on Facebook, twitter and to email lists.
- Photos and video are powerful – Get a dive master or guide to always take a camera underwater and snap your customers. Then post them on Facebook THAT DAY. At the end of your dive tag the ones you know and remind non followers to go and have a look. This is a great way to grow fans and get onto your fans friends stream. This may seem like a hassle logistically but you can take photo’s and video on auto pilot by using something like a HDHero. IF you’re a large dive shop that charges for photos don’t just give prints, but share digitally as well.
- An empty boat is not making you money – I have never heard of someone doing this really well but consider taking an airline approach to available seats and change the price to fill the last seat if it’s empty. Use your head. If you drop your price at the last-minute all the time then everyone will wait till the last-minute to book. While you’re at it why don’t you really get into the yield management stuff and open a few seats on you boat on an early bird special if you book a month out and then put your price up a little to compensate for the rest of the time.
Pass this onto your dive shop owner if you’re a keen diver and want to help your dive shop. If you run a shop let us know if you are using social media and web marketing and how it’s working for you.