Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
Social media seems to be the only marketing platform that anyone talks about anymore. How to do facebook ads, when to post on Instagram, how to improve Google SEO… it’s a broad topic that seems to dominate the conversation in marketing.
Ashkahn and Derek explain not only why it seems this way, but the misconception of relying too heavily on social media in marketing strategies, as well as a defense of social media as a platform.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Ashkahn: Alright. Welcome, everybody.
Ashkahn: Hello, this is Ashkahn.
Derek: This is Derek.
Ashkahn: We got a slightly altered crew here in the DSP Studios.
Derek: Altered Solution States.
Ashkahn: That’s right. Graham is over in Idaho for the moment, for a couple of days, hanging out with his pops.
Derek: Yep, yep. That’s awesome.
Ashkahn: Yeah. I’ve dressed up Derek here to look like Graham.
Derek: Got my mustache growing out.
Derek: It’s good.
Ashkahn: Yeah, he’s into it.
Ashkahn: So we got a question.
Derek: Do we? You’re supposed to read it.
Ashkahn: I’m supposed to read them.
Ashkahn: Hold on a second.
Derek: We’ve got one, but really you have one.
Ashkahn: Okay, alright. The question is, “Hey guys.” Hey.
Ashkahn: Hey. “Why are most marketing strategies dependent on social media?” Yeah. I mean yeah-
Derek: What is, they shouldn’t be?
Ashkahn: Well you do see, I get where they’re coming from, right?
Ashkahn: You see so much about social media.
Derek: Well Facebook ads is the number one way people are drawing people to their float centers, according to the industry report.
Ashkahn: Right, so we see that and people say that all the time too, when people try out other forms of advertising.
Derek: I would say a good strategy would be integrated with both social media and offline procedures. But the reason that it’s heavily weighted in the outward appearance, is because that’s the hot thing that people don’t know how to do, so that’s why they hire someone, right.
So it’s like, I don’t know Facebook Ads, or understand Facebook Ads, so I’m going to Google “somebody to help me with my Facebook Ads”. Now if that person tried to respond back with more than just what the person was seeking, then it’s going to be a miss on their part.
Ashkahn: Yeah, I mean you think it’s fair to even call social media the hot thing anymore?
Derek: I would just call it a part of the thing. It’s not going away as we have found. It’s just going to evolve and change throughout time. It’s one of those things that you’re really going to need to understand either to execute it yourself, or hire somebody who can do it for you.
So again, it’s the thing that’s new. And that’s why I think a lot of people’s awareness is leaning towards social media. Every strategy involves social media, it’s because before social media, people grew businesses various ways. And those have been established for minus, the past 20 years. The current 20 years in the internet phase, we’ve introduced all these different ways to market your business.
But before then there was so many different ways that we’ve forgotten about, but are still pretty viable. That incorporates selling within your center, and community building, and print and branding flyers and brochures, and throwing events. All of that has nothing to do with social media. But we forgot about that, and the problem we want solved is social media, so that’s why everybody’s leading with it.
Ashkahn: Yeah, I guess it feels. I don’t know, to me it feels like a couple things. One of them is that in the age of internet advertisement, for a localized business like a float center, who’s selling this service to a geographic area, social media makes so much more sense than so many other things.
Ashkahn: You’re not going to just be blasting ads out on the internet, right. There’s not these communities. Even if you found a floating specific forum, it’s probably not worth your money to be spending money on advertising for it, in the hopes that a certain subsection of those people are going to be geographically around you.
Ashkahn: And see with social media it just gives you the ability to do this laser focus, like “I’m going to spend my money showing ads to people with these certain interests in a certain mile radius of my location”. You just don’t have those other tools with so much other internet advertising.
Derek: Well and it’s cheaper right.
Ashkahn: And it’s way cheaper because of that, right.
Derek: To reach 1,000 people on Facebook it might be $10 to $20. To reach 1,000 people on television you’re looking at $100.
Ashkahn: Yeah, so compared to all these other forms of advertising too. I mean obviously with the internet there’s a whole much more sophisticated platform of advertising. And I think social media specifically within that is especially well suited to something like a float center.
Ashkahn: As opposed to, if we were selling phone charger batteries, or something way more generic that people could buy anywhere, I’m not sure we would be at least thinking about things like putting ads on forums that have to do with electronics, or other places that I just think don’t make any sense for floats centers.
Derek: Well let’s look at where the attention is. If we’re wondering why the attention on business-growing strategies is heavily associated on social media, what are people tuning into more than anything else in today’s day and age?
We’re checking our phone 100 times an hour, right. So wouldn’t you want to be in front of where the other people are checking? So I think that’s why a lot of people lean on social media, is that’s where just the eyeballs are. You know.
Derek: Even people are watching TV with their phone in their hand still tweeting and Facebooking.
Ashkahn: And then watching your video in their phone.
Derek: I’ve done tha- I know people that have done that. Can we edit that part? I have not, swear, watched videos while watching videos.
Ashkahn: I feel like there’s another part of this too, where I when this thing about why are so many marketing campaigns focused around social media. In my mind, I think a more appropriate way of thinking about it, or a statement that I would make is why are so many advertising campaigns focused around social media?
‘Cause I feel like, I feel like there’s a much bigger part of marketing that if you think everything you’re doing is dependent on social media, you are, I think, missing a lot about what you could be doing to market your float center.
You know, if you listen to our podcast, you know where our opinions are coming from on this stuff. But we think marketing is the quality of the floats you’re doing, and the experience when people come in. How cushy your couches are, and how nice your tea is, how well you’re talking to people.
That whole experience of coming into float, interacting with you, having people go in and float and have good experiences and go tell their friends. To me, that’s way more important than … We could lose social media and we would still have the foundation of our marketing, which is providing good experiences and having a reason for people to come and float and spread that word against other people.
Ashkahn: To me that is so much more fundamental to what we’re doing. But-
Derek: Well the reason we lean heavier on the experience the person has is because you spend all this money on social media to bring them in, and they have a bad experience, that’s a waste of money.
Ashkahn: Right, yeah.
Derek: Again, that’s why I say, it’s more of an integrated. Social media is not just the thing, it’s a thing in a complete marketing program. So a good marketing solution would be to attract their attention on social media, get them to become a lead through email acquisition or a client through scheduling a float. From there you bring them into your offline world, right.
You’ve captured their attention online where all their attention’s at, and then you’re able to cultivate the relationships, provide them a good experience, explain to them how important a membership is and how they can save money, and then getting their friends to refer.
And guess what, it circles back to social media, because now they’re tweeting, and Instagramming, and Facebooking that they’re at your float center, and it becomes this loop. You have to prime the engine at the beginning of it to get those people aware.
Ashkahn: Yeah, and I also feel like in defense of social media, there is something nice about-
Derek: You’re defending social media?
Ashkahn: I am. I’m going to defend social media for a second.
Derek: I’m down with social media.
Ashkahn: In defense of the fact that so much advertising and stuff, or people’s focuses on social media, in some ways I think it’s a nice improvement. The content that companies put out on social media is in my mind, a lot nicer than billboards and stuff like that.
Derek: Sometimes it’s nicer than TV, which is why they’re watching their phone instead of TV.
Ashkahn: Social media, it forces companies to put a more personal, behind-the-scenes face forward. If you’re just using social media and blasting out pre-formed ads on your pages and stuff like that, people are really going to like to follow that.
Ashkahn: But if you’re putting out interesting content, or letting people get to know you guys as people, where the backend of your operations or keeping them in the loop on developments. That’s the stuff people are interested in.
Derek: Transparency is the best marketing. It builds trust and it gets people more comfortable to walk through your doors.
Ashkahn: So there’s something nice about the fact that social media has forced a bunch of companies to be more transparent and more personal online.
Ashkahn: And then when they’re not, or they suck at it, people don’t like those companies as much. To me there’s something positive to say about the impact of social media on advertising, and just what it’s forced companies to have to adapt to, and how much it’s more transparent where companies are douchebags now, which is also a nice benefit.
Derek: Right. Unless you’re the douche bag.
Ashkahn: Unless you’re the douchebag, and then it sucks for you.
Derek: Yeah. Well would you ever know? I guess you would just go out of business, and then blame something else.
Ashkahn: We’re getting into a very philosophical question at that point.
Derek: Okay fine.
Ashkahn: If a douchebag was alone inside of a forest.
Derek: Does it make a noise?
Ashkahn: So I don’t know. To me the answer is it’s not all about social media. There’s a lot more about running your business that I would encourage people to think about as marketing.
And then it also is a lot about social media, because it is a really well-built platform to reach the people you’re looking to reach, and it’s a nicer way of connecting with people than blasting them with very generic ads.
Derek: Well said, for somebody who doesn’t use social media much.
Ashkahn: Yeah, but I can sit back and ponder it from a distance.
Derek: That’s true. That’s true.
Ashkahn: Okay, good. Feel good?
Derek: I feel great.
Ashkahn: I feel really nice.
Derek: So make sure you Facebook, Tweet, and Instagram us all of your questions.
Ashkahn: Yeah, follow us on all of our social media platforms.
Derek: Or you can go to a website, I suppose.
Ashkahn: Yeah, old school. Yeah, www.
Ashkahn: That’s right. That’s right. Floattanksolutions.com/podcast
Ashkahn: That’s it. That’s where you can type in questions.
Derek: Or social media.
Ashkahn: Yeah, or just reach out to us on social media, or send us a letter, you know.
Derek: If you reach out to us on social media, I’m probably going to have to receive that, and it’s probably going to get answered.
Ashkahn: Yeah, just put up a billboard in front of our shop with your question on it and we’ll answer it for you.
Derek: That might work too.
Ashkahn: That would definitely … If someone actually does that, absolutely we’ll answer your question.
Derek: Direct mail. If somebody mails us a hand-written letter, we’ll answer it that day.
Ashkahn: If someone tattoos their question on their body and flies here to show it to us, we’ll answer your question twice, in two different ways. How about that?
Derek: That’s too much.
Ashkahn: Okay, it’s too much. Alright, we gotta go.
Derek: Alright, bye.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Any float center owner knows that these tanks and the rooms they live in are fickle creatures that need particular supplies to maintain. This Tank Topic is a great collection of practical tips and tricks for keeping tanks, showers and rooms clean and happy.
This is a simple two episode compilation about advice on building your own float tanks. The guys are pretty against the idea. Having built two of the 6 tanks at Float On in house, they personally know the challenges that arise with this and how many unexpected obstacles you have to get over to make it happen. In between their blanket condemnation of the idea, though, are really helpful tidbits of what to look out for if you absolutely cannot be dissuaded.
Something in the world of floating have you stumped? Show HighlightsIn the second of our Tank Topics episodes, we take a look at what starting a business looks like and how starting a float center is the...
Welcome back to DSP! We covered so many things over the course of 366 episodes, we thought we’d highlight some of the topics we covered in our new ongoing series of compilations: Tank Topics.
With our first Tank Topic, we’re covering how to choose a location and all the things to consider, from construction to hipness. Check it out now!
Our final episode of the Daily Solutions Podcast. Join us as we take calls from the float industry and Graham and Ashkahn answer your most pressing questions.
Watch the video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/wpTYbPAOg9E
or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FloatSolutions/videos/267233400579454/
Latest Blog Posts
We've already landed in St. Louis, checked in to our AirBnb, and have been greeted by the warm embrace of our float family here for the Rise Float Gathering. The welcome party was wonderful. Drinks were had, stories were shared, and old friends greeted each other and...
A comprehensive breakdown of everything that we know as an industry about floating and PTSD.
Rise is coming up soon, May 3rd through 5th, and while many of you have probably heard about it, most of you probably haven’t been there. I’d like to talk about how it compares to other industry events, and what makes it so special. We’ve attended Rise every year, and...
A little while ago, Float On changed from a tiered membership system to single priced memberships. There’s a lot of debate in the float industry as to which one is better but there are clear and valid arguments for and against. We even did a podcast episode...