A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Setting Some Social Media Project Goals for Bed and Breakfasts and in it I said, “And one size (or channel) doesn’t fit all when it comes to lodging. What works well for one inn may not work well for another, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not being done correctly, it may mean that the lodging’s target demographic is not using it. An inn in northern California may find high engagement using Facebook while a similar inn in South Carolina may not.” I got a comment by email from an innkeeper in Florida asking me advice on which to use, because as she said, “She hates Facebook and doesn’t want to use it,” so I want to expand upon that a bit more.
Use the social media channels that you feel comfortable with, not the ones that marketing people TELL you, you have to use.
I look at it as it relates to food. And being food people this might help for innkeepers.
I am a former chef by trade and my specialty is as a saucier. I make wicked good soups and sauces.
But I excel at the things and sauces I like the flavor of. I make a mean Béchamel (but I’m not crazy about Béchamel) but I make a kickass, knock your socks off Marsala sauce, because I happen to love Marsala sauce.
If you look at that in terms of online marketing, the innkeepers that like to use Facebook, are generally getting return on their time investment, the innkeepers that have fallen in love with Pinterest and are using it, are generally getting a return on their time.
Just like in everything in life, if you have enthusiasm for something, it will show through. If you hate Facebook and hate using Facebook, your posts are not going to be interesting, not going to attract attention and do zero for you for marketing. So don’t use it!
If you find you are interested in something on a personal level, it can be applied for business.
Images and photos are what sell a business, and engagement can be had using any, all, or just one social network.
Find one or two you LIKE to use, not ones you are told you MUST use. Social Media, even though it’s a necessary evil for marketing shouldn’t have to be a chore.
You can post photos/images on a blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+ and Pinterest and you can engage with guests and potential guests on all of the platforms as well. It’s the same idea on all of them, just different mediums. One is not necessarily better than any other one. (With the exception that I still think Facebook is dying a slow and painful death for small business use.)