SEVERNA PARK, MD-The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) has launched a program that harnesses the power of social media to put boaters in touch with NMEA member companies that utilize social media. The goal is to improve boaters' knowledge of onboard electronics in order to enhance their safety and experience on the water by providing them with access to information and advice from NMEA members through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In the process, the program will help promote and brand NMEA and its members by driving customers to members' websites.
NMEA companies who take advantage of this member benefit will be able to post photos of high-quality installations they've done to promote awareness of their businesses. Boaters also can learn about the importance of purchasing NMEA 2000®-certified electronics and of working with trained NMEA dealers and installers. NMEA staff will respond to questions from boaters, tapping experienced NMEA technicians and equipment manufacturers for assistance where necessary.
"It's an opportunity for both users and members to engage," said Paul Comyns of Intellian, who chairs the NMEA Marketing Committee that is developing the program. "It's important to encourage all NMEA members and end users to engage, get boaters to ask questions and get advice-dealers and installers can post information to get a discussion going."
The social media program is part of a new comprehensive effort by NMEA to promote its members to the boater and the value of working with NMEA trained dealer installers. Other components of the NMEA outreach to boaters include the Marine Electronics Journal Buyers' Guide, an eNewsletter, a boating information website and an interactive blog. Check out www.marineelectronicsjournal.com.
NMEA has hired marine marketing specialists Saltwater Strategy to help develop and execute the details of the program. Inside NMEA, the Marketing Committee that is creating and will oversee the program includes, in addition to Comyns, Brian Kane (GOST), Sean Hatherley (Navico), Jason Young (Vesper Marine), Bruce Cole (McNabb Marketing Resources) and Mark Reedenauer (NMEA).
"Our social media campaign has been a long time coming and is primarily a great effort by our new incoming board members," said Mark Reedenauer, NMEA President & Executive Director. "When we conducted our latest membership survey back in November 2016, one of the consistent comments was to further promote the benefit of boaters doing business with NMEA member companies. Social media is a great way to get this message out there. We are ready to hit the ground running."