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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Belfer

Social Media for Our Business Model

Over the last few years, we've used certain specific social media platforms for information about our business. Our website is our hub, where you can find everything from a background on our Director of Education and owner to what programs we offer to schools, camps, and scouts. You can contact us directly through our online messaging system, you can order our resource books through our online forms, and you can browse other activities to do on your own through our Kids Page.

Our Facebook page connects us to our followers and schools we have visited with our programs. We can share cool, fun marine science facts from our partner groups and those we follow as well. We can even share our blog posts, like the one you're reading right now.

The unfortunate side of our social media is the lack of interactions and the lack of connections we have with our followers and interested program participants. Other than sharing our website address on a constant email blast with teachers, and other than sharing a blog post monthly or some pictures about where we are on Facebook, we do not have a constant stream of conversation with our clients and supporters.

Now, some people have already suggested hiring a full-time social media and marketing employee who can devote more time to our online presence. Although this may be one option for other business, we neither have the finances, nor the wherewithal, to monitor a second employee's work and business etiquette. We also have seen the suites that correlate one social media post to many different platforms, thus cutting down on time and energy to post and keep up with them. Neither of these options works for our type of business and the audience we hope to continue to build.

Our business is unique, in that our target market for clients is educators, camp leaders, and homeschool parents, yet our audience for programming is kids from Kindergarten through 12th grade. So while we want to hit the mark of marketing our programs to adults to schedule activities with us, we also do not want to forget that kids can teach their parents from what they learn through our activities and social media interactions as well. While we do have a Kids Page on our website, it does not have any of the interactive games, puzzles, and fun facts about marine science that some sites have. While we may share really cool information on Facebook, we don't interact with kids on that site at all.

So now we have reached a pinnacle of our current social media platforms. At this time, our website isn't interactive enough for kids and our Facebook page isn't as interactive enough for adults. We will be using the upcoming weeks and months to search for and update our social media platforms to align better with our audience, as well as our mission and vision. We believe in being the change we want to see in the world, and that begins with how we speak to our audience about the amazing and sometimes critically endangered ecosystems and species found in and around our waterways.

In our programming, our message for conservation is very clear. We are cultivating the next generation of marine biologists, conservationists, environmental advocates, and educators. We truly believe that without the interest in the natural world, there will not be a natural world for kids to grow into. Thus, we need to find a more suitable social media platform that also reflects that message. We want to connect with and grow our following based on a shared interest in teaching kids what it means to care for the planet, not overuse or abuse its resources. We also want a social media platform that isn't centered around sponsorship, advertising costs, or making money selling our resource books. Although we are a for-profit business, part of our "profits" comes from making sure the children of today understand the importance of their world outside of social media.

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