Published Nov. 22,


3 Reasons Why Facebook can be your marketing enemy

The Scuba Industry, like many industries has become extremely dependent on facebook as a marketing platform & tool.

I have been carefully observing this phenomena and have some information to share, which I think would be useful to any dive shop, liveaboard, photographer or anyone promoting their brand. My main focus however will be on dive shops, centres & liveaboards.

So firstly, I’d like to loosely define ‘Dive Shop’ as any business that sells/rents scuba equipment, provides dive certifications, dive trips or all of the above and is a physical location.

Here are a couple of characteristics that unite all aforementioned ‘Dive Shops'.

1. They are completely locally targeted.

Whether it is someone from abroad searching for a suitable dive operation or whether it’s someone in your area, what unites them is local searches. For example, both your potential customer from a different continent and the diver down the road are going to search “scuba diving in ” or dive centre in , or if the country is small enough, e.g: “open water course in ” etc.

The only alternative is that you would be ranking for world-wide/general terms like ‘what is scuba diving’. This is I believe to be bad strategy. In most cases even if you managed to rank for them, you wouldn't be able to convert them.

One of the issues with facebook is the low ability to be locally optimized. Surely, you can grow a following through friends and their posts, and frankly this is probably your best bet - if you are looking for an operation in your local area, but NOT when you are looking to travel to a new place.

2. The need for sales leads – not eCommerce purchases.

Unless you also sell online through your website, you probably just want to the customer to: find your business, be convinced that you provide a quality surface and show up at your location or alternatively give you a call or send you an email inquiry. If your counter-argument for that is that you sell equipment online, I believe this to be a mistake aswell, but that's a huge topic to discuss.

To sum up our main target

‘We need to rank for local searches that will convert to sales leads’.

Facebook Sin #1: Index unfriendly

If you notice, articles and images published on facebook never appear in search results. Try & remember, do you ever see facebook results in google? Perhaps the group or fan page will be included in the results but not the content published within it.

Try it. Google something like: 'Diving in ' or 'Dive Shop in ' or literally ANYTHING for that matter.

As a result, I see plenty of dive shops publishing really well written articles only on facebook – giving them no inbound traffic. Granted, it is likely to get shared within the facebook network – but having published this content in a blog first would have a lot more bang.

Here is an example of what ranks for 'Scuba Diving in Dubai'.

As you can see, 'Al Boom Diving' absolutely dominates that rather popular search term and most probably gets 90% of that search traffic.

Why Don't People Post on ther Blogs?

Problem #1: Bad Webmasters or Poor Platforms

In some cases, the person who really does have something to say just can’t do it. The people who built this site either built it in a way is too difficult for a lament to work with, or simply keep the client on a hook by not granting them access and educating them on how manage their own platform.

Problem #2: Lazy Users

In others, the users have a comfortable program like wordpress but its takes them 3 extra minutes to log in, get set up etc and once the article is written they have to then share it to Facebook & twitter as links etc. It takes more time, and a little more effort.

The EASY way is to just open up Facebook, new article and write away. Once its written, its already published on Facebook automatically – and if you have twitter connected it does that automatically too.

This is the bottom line: "Facebook content does not rank".

Any experienced digital marketer will confirm that the conversion rate for customers obtained through organic local based search is pretty much the gold mine of web trafffic. Why? Because there is business intent.

I can like a page on facebook without much thought, but when I am searching for something like "cheap diving in , I have clearly shown intent. I'm ready to spend money.

Facebook Sin#2: Twitter Abuse

Beside that article not weighing in positively on your rankings, many businesses either ignore twitter completely, or use it in my opinion in a horrible way.

The Really Lazy Community Manager

This community manager has no experience with twitter and doesn’t beleive it to be a good way to grow traffic. That should be a clear indication for you to get a new one. If the community manager is you, take the time to educate yourself about twitter.

The Lazy Community Manager

This community manager is almost more dangerous or ineffective than the really lazy one. He simply connects his facebook to a twitter post and lets it flood away. As a result, you a horrible time-line of just facebook links without context. Don’t do this.

The Good Community Manager

The proper community manager will post all new content to the blog first and post to twitter and facebook seperately.

Tweets must be well composed and contain enough information and pull to get a clickthrough. You must try and have a conversation on twitter, not just 'publish'.

Twitter is a fascinating platform and as you will see, truly experienced digital marketers put most of their emphasize on this platform. For example, @neilpatel has something like 5-10k facebook likes and around 150+k twitter followers.

Facebook Sin#3: Ego Massage

Sometimes I like to think of facebook as an ego massage parlour. Basically, it makes you feel better about life without a measurable result. It seems that people lose track of the fact that likes and comments are not the goal itself.

Your latest video got 75 likes in the first 30 minutes of it online….so?

How many visitors did you site get? How many of them converted? These are all difficult questions to answer without in-depth analytics.

The exposure that facebook provides creates a sort of subconscious stimuli for publishing content since it is seen. The reality is that, of all those likes, probably very few are new customers. Sure, I agree that facebook is a great way to maintain relations with old customers, but I dont see it working effectively as a way to gain new ones.

It is possible that your facebook is really killing it for you, i.e: your audience really does convert into buying customers. I will provide a set of videos on how to find out if that is the case. The image below is a starting point of the data you should be looking at for your dive centre before deciding whether facebook as a strategy is even worth it.


“If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed”.

Unless you have a way of knowing how many sales leads your facebook page generates, or atleast how much traffic it drives to your site, you are under a false illusion of effectiveness. Facebook like everything consumes time, time which may have a more effective output vs. input ratio.

The thing is, there is no need to reinvent the bicycle - just look at what top content marketers are doing.

Your WEBSITE is your number 1 resource. EVERYTHING else is just a way to funnel into your site.

7 common digital marketing mistakes is a good article for further reading that can help to contextualize facebook in the bigger picture.

I hope you found that useful, you can send your comments to t{at}diveadvisor.com or in the comment box below.



digital marketing


scuba industry marketing


Load more comments
  • tn

    Mike Veitch 11/23/2014 1:05:41 PM Enjoying this series of articles, good work

  • tn

    Timur K 11/24/2014 8:39:01 PM Mike Veitch, thanks Mike, they are mainly intended for the business owners on our site - but I think others may find it useful aswell

  • You must be logged in to leave comments. Please sign in or register.

Sorry, but we all hate spam bots

Haven't registered Yet? Register Now.



Forgot Password

Already a user? Login


Register On DiveAdvisor


Much like a facebook page - you need to first have a personal account through which you can login and manage the business page.

After creating a personal account, you will be directed to 'My Dive Shop' section where you can claim existing listing or create a new one.

Got It
By Using this Site I agree to the Terms & Conditons
Or Register With:

Hey there,

hopefully you are sufficiently intrigued with DiveAdvisor to become a member and see it in action

Much like a facebook page - you need to first have a personal account through which you can login and manage the business page.

After creating a personal account, you will be directed to 'My Dive Shop' section where you can claim existing listing or create a new one.

Got It

Or Register With:
By Using this Site I agree to the Terms & Conditons