OPINION: Social media and superyachts; more than just a photo opportunity?


Could social media could play a much bigger role in facilitating the superyacht industry?

For an industry wedded to the latest high-tech developments in marine engineering, naval architecture, green propulsion systems and the like, does social media play its full role in the sector?

Yes, social media platforms and the internet in general are awash with lavish photos of the latest launches and stunning, internal décor designs installed by well-heeled owners. But are there other ways social media platforms could be used to share knowledge and experience and to exploit opportunities?

Of course, straight off, let’s deal with the two c-words. The first is confidentiality. This will always be a prime consideration when dealing with high-net worth individuals. Respecting their confidences and privacy is absolutely paramount to key to any discussion about social media in the luxury yacht industry, and rightly so.

The second c-word, and one that is becoming extraordinarily important, is cyber-security and, indeed, security in general. Accidentally revealing an individual’s location – particularly a VIP – can critically endanger not just the person’s personal safety but the integrity and privacy of their digital footprint. This must be a growing concern in an age when cybercrime is becoming increasingly weaponised – not just by organised crime but by rogue governments too.

Cybercrime is becoming weaponised

Those crucial questions aside, there are ways in which social media could play a much bigger role in facilitating the superyacht industry. Take for example, Superyacht Investor’s coverage last week of recruitment apps. Luxury yacht recruitment agency Cotton Crews recently reported achieving more than 5,000 downloads for its Cotton Crew Hire app, which enables captains and owners to locate top-quality team members worldwide. Since the launch of the free app a year ago, which makes full use of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, more than 1,000 CVs have been downloaded.

What a neat solution to the challenge of matching crew looking for work with superyacht vacancies worldwide. Getting the right calibre of crew in the right job – and keeping them there – is a key concern for superyacht captains, managers and owners. As our superyacht captain contributor Iain Flockhart reports in his column View from the Bridge: crew management problems are “the number-one gripe of owners”.

Talking of crew problems, perhaps social media platforms could play a more significant role in helping vulnerable individuals cope with the loneliness, isolation and anxiety than can come with life aboard a luxury yacht. If social media could play a bigger role in helping individuals, particularly younger crew members, to manage mental turmoil, it can only be a good thing.

Manage mental turmoil

Meanwhile, Superyacht Investor is committed to the responsible use of social media. We believe using social media is a key way of building a community who shares the same passions as we do: the financing, operation and future development of the superyacht industry.

We are active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (and occasionally Instagram at @superyachtinvestor) to break news, share our views or analysis and to engage with all our readers who share our passion for superyachts. So, why not join the debate today?

Social media could play a bigger role in helping individuals, particularly younger crew members, to manage mental turmoil.

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