Ahoy, Ahoy! Charter Boats Are Already “On-Board” With Social Media

“In this day and age the most successful (boat) charter companies are the ones that embrace new technologies and connect themselves directly with their target audiences,” explains Jonathan Bowker, founder of Maritime Media.

This comes across as good advice from a very knowledgeable authority in one niche industry confronted by the new marketing realities of today. Jon Bowker knows that the Social Media Marketing “ship set sail” awhile ago and that his own charter boat clients were on it due to his sound consultation.

Frankly, Bowker’s above quote applies to just about every other type of business, whether niche or mainstream. Reliable statistics show that very few industries have not already begun integrating Social Media Marketing strategies into their traditional marketing plans. Any savvy marketer knows that he/she must be wherever their audiences are. It’s a sure bet that their audiences are already engaging others, including their closest competitors, on Social Media.

Charters are On-Board with Social Media Marketing

Boat and yacht charters really lend themselves well to Social Media, because they depict pleasant visual experiences that engage readers through multimedia content shared via Google News and Social Media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Linked and more. It’s all about creating an attainable daydream for consumers. Successful bookings can result if they are emotionally inspired to envision themselves setting sail against a backdrop of periwinkle blue skies, medium blue waters and with a clear ocean spray caressing their faces. Within their vivid imaginations, they watch as their daily stresses shrink behind their charter boat as it approaches the setting sun.

Charter boat companies sell pleasurable experiences. They represent the anti-dote for stressful living and serve as a welcome alternative to the repetitive “everyday.” When effectively harnessed and shared with others through a variety of Social Media outlets, the power of traveler experiences can be an awesome sales tool for charter boat companies.

Customer reviews are the most effective social tactic for driving charter boat sales. They are followed in strength by question-and-answer features and also by having a well-done Facebook fan page where they regularly post customer-oriented information. This is all per an Etailing survey of 117 companies taken back in September of 2009. A related survey also found that 90% of online consumers strongly trusted the recommendations of people they knew. The 90% is in contrast to the 70% of online consumers, who said that they trusted opinions of unknown users (Econsultancy, July 2009).

In another related study, 84% of consumers said they were more likely to check online for reviews prior to making a purchase in 2009. This is compared to the previous twelve months of 2008 in which only 72% made a similar claim. These results were according to a survey by Brand Reputation in its Retail Bulletin publication, October 2009 edition.

The following is an actual customer comment posted online after he completed a charter cruise that apparently inspired him to provide a great review for others to read.

“As an avid charter sailor I congratulate you! Your new social media strategy has helped me learn more about your company at the time I was actively searching for information. Your past customers have corroborated the great service and clean yachts you advertise…Hooray! Your transparency has boosted my comfort level because you aren’t afraid to let me see ratings and reviews from your customers… and you’ve even used a 3rd party site which greatly increases my confidence that the reviews are real and not cherry picked! I’m ready to book!

And then, when my charter was finished, another remarkable thing happened; you invited me to Rate My Experience! And of course I’m happy to oblige because the experiences of others lead me to your business and I want to pay it forward too. In fact, I’m flattered because I know you sincerely want my opinion. By the way, the next time someone asks if I have any recommendations, I’ll just point them to your branded space on Yacht Charter Advisor!!!”

It would seem that this particular charter cruise customer was equally impressed with the charter boat company’s use of social media for customer service as he was with cruise. This is a real Social Media Marketing success story. It is one that most marketers can only dream about calling their own.

In addition to sharing positive customer reviews online there are many other ways Social Media can increase business for charter boat companies.

Smart Use of Social Media Can Lead to Significant ROI

Shannon Webster owns a Florida-based charter company that offers cruises to New England among other places along the East Coast. Some time ago, Shannon posted the following late offer on her company’s Facebook page:

“New England is booking very quickly as the summer is coming to a close. There are very few available larger motor yachts that have an open calendar. Many owners are using their boats at the end of August, causing further lack of inventory. Northern Lights, the 132′ Westship, and Sovereign, the 120′ Broward, still have open time on their charter books. Inquire today before they are gone!”

In less than a week, Shannon was able to claim a 10-day booking. This was a direct result of her Facebook post. Regarding this happenstance Shannon shared the following wrap-up: “It pays to use Social Media. Just booked Northern Lights yesterday for 9 nights, only 4 days after posting her availability in New England on my Facebook wall.”

Is anyone wondering what the ROI on Shannon Webster’s single Facebook post was? Well, her yacht Northern Lights has a top weekly base rate of $90,000. The cost of posting an offer like hers on her Facebook pages is zero dollars. Need anything more be said of her ROI in this case?

Being a Creative Marketer Can Often Yield Great Results

And, there are other ways Social Media Marketing has been used to produce great business results for charter boat companies and their strategic partners.

FourSquare is a check-in platform that keeps everyone posted as to one’s current whereabouts. “Checking-in” at various business locations also often qualifies consumers for special gifts and discounts. So, what happens when you are on a boat? Just ask Milwaukee Wisconsin restaurateur, Joe Sorge, who used Foursquare to get a flash mob of 150+ people into his alongside-the-dock restaurant, AJ Bombers. Joe’s lure was a charter boat experience. Here’s how Joe pulled this one off (please watch the video).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw69XdYYkKk&feature=player_embedded#at=18

Joe Sorge’s

FourSquare event is further proof that charter boat companies and other related businesses are only limited by their imaginations as they consider how to use Social Media platforms to market their goods and services. In fact, Joe took his event one step further and posted the photos showing his customers enjoying themselves aboard the charter on Flickr. Thus, the fun lives on in Social Media – every day – and should excite future customers looking forward to Sorge’s upcoming FourSquare charter events.

Raise Your Website to Set “Sales”

It’s a no brainer that all of this Social Media Marketing revolves around a charter boat company having an effective website with effective landing pages that trigger successful call-to-actions. An effective website forms the basis for everything else expected to take place online from consumer research to charter bookings to praiseworthy testimonials. There can be no “full package” without first having a professional looking website, which offers all the sights and sounds of the wonderful experiences that previous charter boat guests have enjoyed. Your customers must first embark on your website before they can plan to set sail on your charter boat or yacht.

The Essence of Distinction – Titanic Movie Review – Marxist Criticism Approach

In the movie, the old Rose is the one who told the story. The story started when Jack Dawson won tickets to be aboard in the RMS Titanic after playing a card game. On the same night, Jack saw a woman running that pass in front of him. He followed the woman and realized that she is about to end her life. Luckily, Jack manages to talk through her and prevent her from committing suicide. The woman is Rose Dewitt Bukater. Then he was invited to come in the party that is exclusive to First class passengers. There it was explained why she wants to end her life and it is because her family decided her to have a fixed marriage with a rich guy named Caledon Hockley. Because Rose want to run away to her problem she always meet with Jack and because of that she experience what it feels like to be with Third class passengers and be like them. While she is with the Third class passengers she felt important because the third class passengers welcomed her and treat Rose as their equal. The next day came and it is the last day the ship and more than half of the passengers had seen. None of them had expected that an iceberg will hit and make the unsinkable ship sink to the bottom of the ocean. The First class passengers were the first to get ride on the boats while the other class passengers are locked up in their hallways. Cal at the time tried to bribe the officers of the ship to let him get to a boat as fast as they can. While Cal has managed to ride on a boat already, Rose came back inside the ship and tried to find Jack that has been locked up by one of Cal’s underlings. She manages to save him and they both reached the uppermost part of the ship but did not get a boat because the boats are occupied already. After a while, the ship breaks in to two parts and then manages to sink fully in the deeps of the ocean. Jack found a wooden door floating near them. He lifted Rose and put her at the top of the floating door. Then Jack tried to get up on the door too but the door will sink if he tried to, so Jack chose to let Rose on the door. After several minutes, only one boat from the ship that sank came back and luckily saw Rose but Jack already passed away because of the freezing cold of the ocean.

Considering the Marxist criticism approach, the movie clearly depicted the social classes that are happening in the world. In all parts of the movie, the first class passengers are given priority by the whole ship. Even when the ship is sinking, the officers gave priority to the first class passengers and even locked up the third class passengers to prevent them from trying to get out of there. At most time, in the movie some of the first class passengers are criticizing other passengers just like Ruth, Rose’s mother and Cal that judged all of the third class passengers including Jack. But when they are tested it really showed what kind of attitude they have. Cal who tried his best to safely get a boat and did thought of saving other lives. Rose, on the other hand, showed the other side of a rich person. She symbolizes that love can change a person’s attitude. In the flow of the story, it was showed how Rose understood the hearts of the poor people and even risked her own life trying to save her love. Lastly, Jack depicted the poor in our social standings but he did not have any second thoughts and save Rose’s live at the end without considering his own life.

Titanic really is a very well-made movie. It has great effects, great actors and actresses, cinematography, music, and story well showed the kinds of social classes. It clearly showed that the attitude of every person is not fixed or unbreakable. The movie showed the types of people and how they will react in front of a disaster. The line of Jack “I am the King of the World” really is the right term for him because he is a worthy king because of her attitude that he will never leave his own love in any problem and is ready to sacrifice his own life to save his love.

Boracay’s Famed Dragon Boat Competition

White Beach on the tropical island of Boracay in the Philippines, honored by many praising reviews… Sweltered vacationers relax on the chaise lounges in the salvational shade of the palm trees of one of the most famous beaches in the world and… observe a group of brave women fiercely exercising on the Beach… (!!!)

Boracay Dragon Boat Festival, promoted by BIPA (Boracay Island Paddlers Association) has been held for the last four years and was crowned with “international” status from the first splash of the paddle. For the small Boracay community these competitions became the essential part of its social life.

Not the Festival itself but the Great Joy of Friendship, Fun and Health building brings people together. You may happen to paddle together with GM of a big resort, yacht owner, web-designer or a chef-cook. The variety of participants can be compared only to the diversity of exotic plants in Mimie’s garden. Mimie with her husband Ariel own and manage the charming boutique Boracay Beach Club (BBC) hotel. They are known as generous hosts to their guests (from guest’s comments on TripAdvisor) and caring “parents” to their employees (from all the happy smiles of BBC’s dedicated staff).

Mimie joined the dragon boat team “Master Bathers” two years ago. Somehow people managed to pronounce second part of the team name slightly differently which sounded as “only for adults” content. As a result their team had trouble finding new adherents and the President, Candy de Tagle Ledesma, Tootsie Rohnholm, and the club members decided to change name for “BumShells”. That’s how the team entered modern digital history book – Boracay Dragon Boat Festival webpage.

Preparation for the competition began four months before the actual Dragon Boat Competition. Twice a week Bumshellers would gather for Sport, Sun and Friendship and to be observed by surprised tourists. In the heat of Boracay sun they devoted some hours of their precious time to prepare for the Competition. Not only is the striving for the golden medal moving their bodies in the heat of Boracay weather but desire for the golden relationship, Island Team Spirit.

They want to have Fun and share it with everybody around…. That’s why Boracay Beach Club’s restaurant Ariel’s House, for a day, became the office which helped other teams to get information and organize their visit to the Festival. BBC became the “BBC” of the Dragon Boat Competition: this small spot on Boracay map became broadcasting station for Boracay dragon boat festival information.

One month left before the competition…Atmosphere tensed. Exercises became every day practice. Warmth from limbed up bodies heats up already hot air.

One day before the Opening Ceremony all Mimie and other Bumshellers came to Boracay Beach Club to prepare for the presentation of their team at the Welcome Cocktail. Taking Mimie’s and her friends’ opened hands & mind & heartfelt attitude to life and people her group managed to bring together an incredibly international team: Livonian, Latvian, Mexican… And that’s when all the Fun started! Wigs, gigantic glasses, rainbow stockings enhanced by great enthusiasm, rays of striking energy and happiness.

Here you are, Great Day of Festival Opening! First day participants underwent one of the hardest trials- enjoying welcome cocktails without feeling hangover on the next day of competition:)!! During that event teams presented their Songs of Soul & Cries of Heart to introduce themselves.

The next day was 500-Meter Men’s, Women’s & Mixed Open Races. That day Mimie silently returned to BBC We were able to see her only in the evening, tired but smiling, she told us about some difficulties and exhaustion of waiting in the sun but with the consolation of joy that the camaraderie brings.

On third day teams had 300-Meter Men’s, Women’s & Mixed Open Races which went easier and more smoothly. Same day, 24 April, at the Awards & Farewell Dinner Party medals were given away. Bumshellers enjoyed participation and making new friends as the supreme reward for months of preparation! Not only new friends but new guests as well: one of the Canadian Dragon Boat participants moved to stay in Boracay Beach Club.

After the competition some of Bumshellers went for Nature & Adventure & Relaxation – to Ariel’s Point Trip. 30 minutes cruise on the speed boat brought them to the beautiful corner of Buruanga. Flourishing nature enhanced by creative thoughtful care makes this place unforgettable experience for many travelers. The main fun of this place is cliff jumping/divingfrom different heights, swimming, snorkeling, savoring barbecue lunch, and unlimited drinks, and enjoying Grand Life!

Ariel’s Point Trip has become THE Must-Do attraction on Boracay: It hosted Miss Earth 2009, part of “Nokia Team Building 2010” and was featured in TV Program Sports Limited, in the Manila Bulletin, Boracay Sun and other TV programs and publications. Great place for well-deserved Dragon Boat contestants to restore their strengths and get ready for new forthcoming competitions… plus the added Fun, as Ariel Abriam (owner of Ariel’s Point) declares: “God is good! Life is good!”

The Exciting 2011 Boracay International Dragon Boat Competition will be in April. The exact date to be announced.