Getting Personal with Marketing
Who we are, and maintaining who we are, is one of the top 5 things on my list at the float shop.
You can ask me about the other 4 later. :D
(Quick side note: there are a couple affiliate links in here because I really want to give credit to where it's due. Without these people and groups, we'd still be in the stone ages, eek!)
But trying to give a consistent experience and high quality float to everyone that walks through our door is vitally important. And a lot of times that begins with them finding us online.
So how do you take all this human genuineness, our passion for healing and the earth, our drive to make the float shop as streamlined, comfortable, and clean as possible, to the online world?
To others it might be a simple answer, but I LITERALLY spend hours combing all sorts of websites (pinterest is a fav!!), reading articles, taking classes (udemy.com rocks your socks off) and constantly learning just to keep up.
Maybe I'm too picky, but it doesn't feel right to put anything out there that isn't US. Plus we want to represent the entire float industry well. So anything that that immediately doesn't feel genuine to both causes is scratched without looking back. And it seems like nowadays you can't find genuineness online. You don't know if you're talking to a real person or not (automation, however, does help us business people save a bunch of time) and if what you see online will be the experience you have in the store.
Back to the main point. After hours and hours of scrolling the web and looking for inspiration, I finally come up with ideas of what to put out there that tells everyone the story of Blue Oceans Float. That welcomes you and all our other floaters into our 'ohana, our float shop, and this world of floating for just a little bit.
Here's a glimpse into the making of a year's worth of social media and marketing.
Thanks to Angie Gensler, I've found the perfect calendar to help keep my mind straight for monthly posts. It's difficult to plan out each day, let alone an entire month of posts and topics, and an entire YEAR. It all has to come together like you're baking an apple pie (it's that time of season!!). Resources like the year-long calendar she provides REALLY help plan out well-rounded content. It also saves me time so I can craft more genuine posts and get back to what I really enjoy - being in the float shop.
Take November 2019, for example. It's what I'm working on right now.
For November, each day has a theme to it, some topic you will focus on. These topics, like 'quote image' or 'ask a question' will be repeated each month. Like I said above, it helps you build a consistent brand image and message. You can tailor them to fit your business, whatever it is. I've simply taken those ideas and tried to fit them into who we are at the float shop.
That includes sharing information with floaters to help them improve their floats, or learn more about the benefits, or tell them about upcoming events and offers we have so they can float more often.
Either way, this is the first step: finding out what I need to post each day, or each week, in order to remain helpful for all our floaters. You, as a floater (I'm hoping you are. If you're not, then go float RIGHT NOW. Don't worry, this post will still be here after you're done. You'll thank me for it.) rely on us to be the go-to people for all things floaty. And we as the float gurus, are here to provide everything you need to have the most spectacular experiences.
Step 2 involves searching online and my own photo catalogue for photos and graphics that fit into our style (remember that story we're trying to tell?). This also includes fonts, graphic designs, and more.
From here, I use Canva.com, Pinterest.com, Unsplash.com and my own hard drive of thousands of photos from Hawai'i and elsewhere. These three resources, alone, are preventing me from going crazy with all the options out there on the internet.
When looking for inspiration, it's more of a feeling as to whether something FEELS right or not. If it doesn't feel right - like I don't get good "aloha" vibes from it - I'll move on to the next one.
What we want you to feel when you visit the float shop is something akin to a vacation at your favorite beach in the world. You're on the sand, next to the gorgeous sparkling ocean, and feeling the cool salty breeze across your skin. There's no man-made noises around, just the lapping of the waves as they fall on the shore. You have no worries in the world, it's just you and your beach.
So I have to break that feeling down into individual parts across a month's worth of posts.
The Pinterest account has many board and pins, just thoughts and ideas for later. But most of it just comes from a lot of thinking, pondering, scratching my head, and looking out the window hoping for some sort of miraculous event to happen to inspire a story.
After I find the inspiration, and also hear feedback from floaters like YOU (have you floated yet), we get to the creative design side. I work with a few other members of the staff at the float shop. We craft everything from our gift cards, business cards, flyers, promos and social media posts on Canva.com. It's easy to handle and the site provides a wealth of ideas if you're lacking some.
You're about to see some TOP SECRET STUFF, that hasn't been released yet, so look away.
Ok, you ready?
This is a view from our Canva page, where we've just created some new content to be released in 2020.
Some items we can create quick, as we have the perfect idea and design in mind. Other times, it's a bit more of a hassle because the first design doesn't fit our model. Like the top left graphic, for instance, of the triangles and stars. While I think that design is quite neat, it may end up on the cutting board.
After graphics are done and our text is fleshed out, we head over to Tailwind. This site is optimized for Instagram and Pinterest.
As of today, I'm quite tired of facebook. There's just TOO much going on, and too many expectations with it.
So while we'll still be on facebook, I'd really like to delve more into Instagram and Linkedin (and Pinterest of course for more funny cat and shark photos I can share with you).
Tailwind is very useful when it comes to quickly and efficiently scheduling a bunch of posts in a short amount of time. It even will tell me the best time of day to post something so all our followers will be sure to see it and be wiser (or more floaty) for it.
After scheduling is completed, I get to sit back and watch the masterpiece fall into place (insert evil laugh here).
This can seem simple, yes, but with a Type A personality, and being a business owner, I think that sets me up for long hours of pouring over even the tiniest detail.
But hey, if it means that I have a floater come in one day and comment how easy it was to view our website that I built and still to this day edit, then it was all worth it.
For it's all about you and our floaters, and making sure YOU get the most benefits from floating.
Until next time, floaters!