Buffer and the new Pinterest Integration for Innkeepers, Is it worth a look?

Pin1In my opinion Pinterest is still one of the fastest growing social media networks that Innkeepers should have a presence on, and Buffer (Bufferapp.com) one of my favorite pre-scheduling tools out there. I am a big fan of the free version, up to 3 social media accounts and up to 10 pre scheduled posts. I have been on the fence for awhile about upgrading to the awesome plan (12 social media profiles and pre-scheduling up to 200 posts at a time). The Pinterest/Buffer integration may just put me over the edge where I decide to upgrade ($10.00 a month).

Buffer is letting people sign up for the Pinterest access for a free 7 day trial (no credit card required) to test it out. I’ve found some pros and cons, but mostly pros so far in playing with the trial.

Why do I think this would be of interest to Innkeepers? Pinterest is fantastic for search engine optimization, boards can be brought in to a Facebook page using free apps, plus Pinterest boards can have widgets added to both websites and blogs enhancing visual appeal, plus visual is what “sells”.

Plus Pinterest is super easy to use, one of the easiest to learn (and also the most addictive). Using Buffer to preschedule images to Pinterest will A. save valuable time for innkeepers as it will give the ability to space out posts and B. they then won’t have to login to Pinterest and get distracted tracking down that delish bacon recipe or getting sidetracked seeing cool new renovation ideas for storage in guest rooms (and I am not being sarcastic, Pinterest can be a time sucker and it’s super easy to get distracted). This will allow innkeepers to better spend that time on actual marketing.

Cons, I have not found a way to easily post a photo from an exterior page using the Buffer toolbar button. So using Bufferapp to pin photos from your website may not be an option at this time.

Pros, You can upload your photos, put in your descriptions and set what exterior links the photo will link to in less time then it takes to upload and do within Pinterest itself (The photo uploader in Buffer seems to be at least 50% faster than the Pinterest uploader especially with higher resolution photos) AND it gives you the ability to repin photos from within Pinterest itself, and send them into your pre scheduling queue, much better for marketing for both things, as it spaces your posts out more so you have more of a potential of more eyeballs seeing your posts at different times.

I would recommend if you have a business Pinterest account, taking a look at your analytics and then pre-scheduling not more than 3 posts per peak time period.

Tip: when pre-scheduling Pinterest posts, go into your Buffer dashboard to schedule, using the Bufferapp toolbar button to open a new scheduled post tends to glitch.

Posted in How tos, marketing, Social Media | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Bed and Breakfast Associations and Social Media Part Two

oregon B&B for post

In this second post about B&B associations using social media, I’ll cover associations use of blogs, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Google+ and Linkedin. I’ll follow up with another post next week with some suggestions on how associations could increase the use of social media to help promote tourism and their member inns.  The first post (which includes the B&B associations that were assessed for social media use (Facebook) can be found here: Bed and Breakfast Associations and Social Media

Blogs

Out of 91 Inns Associations, 26 of them have blogs, 18 of them are active, with multiple posts since the beginning of the year, 8 of them have not posted anything since last year. All 26 blogs are linked off the main websites. I don’t know if there are free floating blogs out there for Associations but there may be. I’ll be doing another blog post about Association blogs in the near future and an indepth search will be made for any I missed at that time. I did not take into account blog optimization or content, that is a subject for another post.

Best at Blogging Frequency including posting photos:

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild

http://www.obbg.org/index.php

http://blog.obbg.org/

Best Use of Photos:

Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association

http://www.laketolake.com

http://www.laketolake.com/blog/

Second Best at Blogging Frequency including posting photos

Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia

http://www.innvirginia.com

http://www.innvirginia.com/blog/

Third Best at Blogging Frequency, No Photos

Maryland Bed & Breakfast Association

http://marylandbb.com

http://marylandbb.com/blog/

Tied for Third Best at Blogging Frequency, No Photos

Pennsylvania Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns

http://www.painns.com/

http://www.painns.com/pabbi-blog

Other Notable Blogs:

Texas Bed & Breakfast Association

http://www.texasbb.org

http://www.texasbb.org/blog/

Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns

http://florida-inns.com

http://florida-inns.com/blog/

Romantic Inns of Savannah

http://www.romanticinnsofsavannah.com/ 

http://blog.romanticinnsofsavannah.com/

Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah

http://www.bedandbreakfastsofsavannah.com/

http://blog.bedandbreakfastsofsavannah.com/

Twitter

Out of 91 Inns Associations, 37 have twitter accounts, 18 of them were active. 19 of them started and abandoned. 30 accounts were linked off the Associations websites, 13 of the abandoned accounts still have a link from the home page of the websites. 6 of them were just feeds from Facebook to Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/twitter) 4 of them were not linked off the websites and were abandoned, and 3 active ones had no link from the Association website to Twitter.

What I found the most interesting is very few use of lists, https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460-using-twitter-lists. Similar to Facebook, associations can use lists  to keep track of members and other area tweeters of note and pass those posts along on their own accounts. Many of the associations are also not taking full use of their bio area, many using less then the 160 character account allowed and many have not uploaded a primary header image.

Best Association Twitter Accounts:

California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns

https://www.cabbi.com

https://twitter.com/CABBI

*Is not taking full advantage of character space for bio

Is using lists and has members on a list https://twitter.com/CABBI/lists/cabbi-members

Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah

http://www.bedandbreakfastsofsavannah.com/

https://twitter.com/BBSavannah

Romantic Inns of Savannah

http://www.romanticinnsofsavannah.com/

https://twitter.com/RomanticInns

Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia

http://www.innvirginia.com/

https://twitter.com/innvirginia

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild

http://www.obbg.org/index.php

https://twitter.com/oregonbbguild

Up and coming Tweeters

Maine Innkeepers Association

http://www.maineinns.com

https://twitter.com/MaineInnkeepers

*no link from website to Twitter page

North Carolina Bed & Breakfast and Inns

http://www.ncbbi.org/

https://twitter.com/ncbbi/

*No main header image

Youtube

Of the 91 Associations, I could only find two that had Youtube channels. Associations could be boosting their Youtube use by creating a playlist of member inn’s videos https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/57792?hl=en. Youtube is fantastic for search engine optimization. Once it’s set up, SEO value is ongoing and you can use the content to send to Google+, have a custom tab on Facebook, pin the videos to Pinterest and embed them in the associations websites and blogs.

Bed & Breakfast Association of Pittsburgh

http://www.pittsburghbnb.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/pittsburghbnb

Saint Augustine Historic Inns

http://www.staugustineinns.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJrsjp-NjMEOA2Dh4JQzTAQ

Pinterest

Of the 91 Associations, surprisingly I could only find 5 that had Pinterest accounts.  One of those five (not included here) was set up and abandoned with only board, and two associations had Pinterest icons on their websites but no accounts. Pinterest accounts can also pin videos (think member videos from Vimeo and Youtube) and can have a custom tab on an association’s Facebook page. Plus they can be pinning content from member’s websites, as well as many members have Pinterest boards already set up and being used.

Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah

http://www.bedandbreakfastsofsavannah.com/

https://www.pinterest.com/BBSavannah/

*Link on main page doesn’t work to main website

There is a board for each property

California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns

https://www.cabbi.com/

https://www.pinterest.com/cabbi/

*Is not taking full advantage of character space for bio

North Carolina Bed & Breakfast and Inns

http://www.ncbbi.org/

https://www.pinterest.com/ncbbi/

Bed and Breakfast Inns of Utah

http://www.bbiu.org/index.php

https://www.pinterest.com/bbiu/

Google+

Google+ has 26 B&B associations with Google+ accounts, but only one active one and four others that are somewhat sporadic. Of the rest, 21 of them have been abandoned, many claimed and optimized but last posts were long ago or no posts at all. The one active one has a link/icon from their website to Google+, the four others do as well. 11 associations have links/icons from their websites to inactive accounts. 10 have no links from their websites to their inactive accounts.

Best Association Google+ Accounts

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild  (by far the most consistent poster)

http://www.obbg.org/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ObbgOrg/

Sporadic Google+ Posters/Semi-active but still of note

Empire State Bed & Breakfast Association

http://www.esbba.com/

https://plus.google.com/+Esbba/

Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri

http://www.bbim.org/

https://plus.google.com/114503428380384470983/

*has not claimed custom URL

Authentic Bed and Breakfasts of Lancaster County Association

http://www.padutchinns.com/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Padutchinns-Lancaster-PA

Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia

http://www.innvirginia.com/

https://plus.google.com/+Innvirginia/

Linkedin

Linkedin Business pages I didn’t expect to find any, but I did find a few. One abandoned and linked off website and 5 completely abandoned and not at all optimized. Associations really should take advantage of least optimizing and setting up their Linkedin business pages, it is one more place to post updates and it does contribute to search engine optimization.

Kudos to Iowa for at least optimizing their Linkedin business page and posting a few updates.

Iowa Bed and Breakfast Guild

http://www.ia-bednbreakfast-inns.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/iowa-bed-&-breakfast-innkeepers-association

A final note, 14 of the Bed and Breakfast Associations had no social media of any type (that I could find.) Facebook is by far the most utilized by B&B associations with blogging and Twitter running a long second and third place. Pinterest, Youtube, Google+ and Linkedin running at dead last and I couldn’t find a single use of Instagram at all by any associations (if your association does use Instagram PLEASE let me know in the comments!)

Posted in B&B, Hospitality News, Lodging, marketing, Observations, Social Media | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bed and Breakfast Associations and Social Media

Facebook snip for blogIn doing some information gathering about Bed and Breakfast state and regional associations, I finally got around to doing a study that I’ve had on my to do list for a while. How do B&B associations use social media? Are they using it? And are they using it to promote their members or promote tourism or both.

Facebook business pages were the most used social media platform across the board for B&B associations. Blogs were second, followed in very small amounts by Twitter, Google+. Pinterest, Youtube and Linkedin business pages.

This article will be focusing on just Facebook business pages, with a follow-up shortly with findings on the rest of the social media platform usage by B&B associations.

Out of 91 inns associations, 72 had Facebook pages. Of the 72, 55 were active and had posted at least once in the past month, 20 of them were completely abandoned and hadn’t been posted to for months. 35 had claimed their custom Facebook URLS (https://www.facebook.com/notes/equine-calculator/how-to-claim-your-vanity-url-for-your-facebook-page/474147772600069), 43 were linked off the homepage of the associations website, and more interestingly 31 of them had Facebook pages with no link from their website to Facebook. Broken down a bit more (41 active pages and had a link from their website, 13 inactive pages and had link from website, 10 active pages but had no link from their website, and 9 inactive pages and had no link from their website)

A few observations about the association’s pages: across the board not many of them are sharing members content. For those who may not be aware of it, putting members on an interest list https://www.facebook.com/help/135312293276793/ (you need to be logged in as your personal account) can help aggregate all of the association’s members content easily. You can also put state tourism, and any other pages of interest on there on multiple lists. It makes content sourcing and ways to promote members much much easier.

None of the associations were tagging photos with their association pages tags. Similar to tagging a person, associations can tag their photos with their association’s page links. More about tagging here, https://www.facebook.com/help/366702950069221. Why tag? If a photo gets shared, it helps track back and brand the association. You can go back and tag any already published photos.

Very few associations had feeds from Facebook to Twitter set up. http://www.facebook.com/twitter. Even if an association isn’t going to “use” twitter, I suggest setting up an account and setting up a feed. Posts on Facebook are not necessarily going to help your SEO (search engine optimization) but Twitter posts do. It also helps build brand awareness and if you look at https://twitter.com/nhinns  for example, it does help get people to A. follow you and B. Click through to your Facebook posts and C. because your website link is in the profile, people do click through to the association site. Since a feed for this account was set up, there have been 224 click throughs to the association site (for basically just setting the feed up). How’s that for free advertising?

Facebook also has a rather high abandonment rate, almost 1/3 of associations have stopped posting on their pages. I find it very curious that 10 associations have active Facebook pages, but no track back from their website on how people can find them, i.e. no icons or links to their pages. You have to advertise the fact you have Facebook, people don’t search within Facebook for pages.

From the perspective of not looking like an association cares much for their marketing, there are also 10 associations that have Facebook (and other social media platforms) linked off of their home pages that they have completely abandoned. My recommendation to them would be if you are not going to use them, have them removed from your pages. From a guests perspective it doesn’t look good.

I would recommend that if associations have social media platforms already set up, put in a calendar (and track it) that at least two posts per month be made (less then 5 minutes of time) to keep the accounts active, especially if your linking them off your website, otherwise take the links/icons off and put a last post in tracking back to your website or if you have migrated to another social media platform, tell people where to find you including the site link.

What can associations do to boost their Facebook content?

Share members content like: https://www.facebook.com/354252340241/photos/a.10151937920145242.1073741828.354252340241/10153181713130242/?type=1&permPage=1

Share area and state pages content like: https://www.facebook.com/OgunquitMaine/photos/a.70403608412.97059.68071783412/10153279869768413/?type=1

Share recipes from pages like: https://www.facebook.com/gourmet.magazine

Share other association’s content: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1031345400226385&id=342965155731083

Think about it, 4 post examples, 4 times a week or once a week, 4 times a month.

I think part of the issue with associations posting is many don’t have paid staff. In any B&B association I’ve always found at “least” one inn that posts to Facebook frequently. Ask that person or persons if they would take charge and post once a week or a few times a month to the associations page. (a side note, I would recommend having at least three active innkeepers be administrators on the Facebook page, so you never lose access. You can also assign people as content providers as well).

Social media is a terrific way to help promote your members and promote your state or region and it doesn’t cost anything except a few minutes of time. Using lists to aggregate members and tourism content takes the stress off an association to have to come up with  their own unique content all the time. You are then using social media to promote your members and promote the area in which your members are located.

A list of suggested Bed and Breakfast Association Facebook pages to check out. You can also check out an aggregated list of Associations here https://www.facebook.com/lists/10203050492561821 (You need to be logged into Facebook to see this, you can follow the list if you would like, and it also includes some bigger lodging associations on it as well). When I went through associations pages the number of likes was not a consideration, as a Association that’s been online longer will statistically have more likes then one that was started six months ago. Posting frequency, what was posted and shared were what brought these pages to the forefront for attention.

Example of a Facebook Bed and Breakfast Association Member list aggregate

Example of a Facebook Bed and Breakfast Association Member list aggregate

Best at Sharing Members Content:

Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado

Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inns-of-Colorado/73699358511

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Best at Promoting Members and Tourism:

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild

http://www.obbg.org/index.php

https://www.facebook.com/oregonbedandbreakfast

Best at Promoting Members and Sharing Members Content:

Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association

http://www.laketolake.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michigan-Lake-to-Lake-Bed-and-Breakfast-Association/140936427379

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Best at Sharing and Sense of Humor:

Maine Innkeepers Association

http://www.maineinns.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-Innkeepers-Association/165168072281

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Other Notable Well Done Facebook Pages:

Bar Harbor Bed and Breakfast Association

http://www.sleepbarharbor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bar-Harbor-Bed-and-Breakfast-Association/168008369901467?sk=timeline

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

*no link from website to Facebook page

Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association

http://www.illinoisbnb.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-Bed-and-Breakfast-Association/125851197474932

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah

http://www.bedandbreakfastsofsavannah.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bandbofsavannah/

Louisiana Bed and Breakfast Association

http://www.louisianabandb.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Louisiana-Bed-and-Breakfast-Association/187872881231800

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia

http://www.innvirginia.com

https://www.facebook.com/BBAVirginia

https://www.facebook.com/StayInnVA/

California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns

https://www.cabbi.com

https://www.facebook.com/CalifAssnBoutiqueandBreakfastInns

Below is a list of all inns associations that were gone through for evaluation. If you have a B&B association that I missed please bring it to my attention in the comments, and I will review it and add any applicable numbers into my content. Thank you!

  1. Bed and Breakfast Association of Alabama
  2. Homer Alaska Bed & Breakfast Association
  3. Mat-Su Valley Bed and Breakfast Association
  4. Anchorage Alaska Bed & Breakfast Association
  5. Bed and Breakfast Association of Alaska
  6. Alliance of Better Bed and Breakfasts
  7. Arizona Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns
  8. Prescott B&B Association
  9. California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns
  10. Authentic Bed and Breakfast Inns and Cottages of Pikes Peak
  11. Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado
  12. The Bed and Breakfasts of the Mystic Coast
  13. Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns
  14. Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association
  15. Palm Beach County Bed and Breakfast Association
  16. St. Petersburg Area Bed and Breakfast Association
  17. Key West Innkeepers Association
  18. Saint Augustine Historic Inns
  19. Romantic Inns of Savannah
  20. Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah
  21. Hawaii Island Bed & Breakfast Association
  22. Idaho Bed & Breakfast Association
  23. Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association
  24. Chicago Bed and Breakfast Association
  25. Lodging Along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
  26. Indiana Bed and Breakfast Association
  27. Iowa Bed and Breakfast Guild
  28. The Iowa Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Association
  29. Kansas Bed and Breakfast Association
  30. Louisville Bed and Breakfast
  31. The Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky
  32. Louisiana Bed and Breakfast Association
  33. Maine Innkeepers Association
  34. Bar Harbor Bed and Breakfast Association
  35. Maryland Bed & Breakfast Association
  36. Five College Area Bed & Breakfast Association
  37. Western Mass Hills B&B Association
  38. Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association
  39. Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Association
  40. Bed and Breakfast Association of Mississippi
  41. Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri
  42. Montana Bed and Breakfast Association
  43. Nebraska Association of Bed and Breakfasts
  44. Country Inns of the Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region
  45. Monadnock New Hampshire Lodging Association
  46. New Hampshire Bed & Breakfast Association
  47. Lake Regions Bed & Breakfast Association
  48. Country Inns in the White Mountains
  49. Bed & Breakfasts Inn MWV
  50. Preferred Inns of New Jersey
  51. Albuquerque Bed & Breakfast Association
  52. New Mexico Bed & Breakfast Association
  53. Historic Hudson Valley Lodging Association
  54. North Fork Bed and Breakfast Association
  55. Empire State Bed & Breakfast Association
  56. Adirondack Bed and Breakfast Association
  57. Finger Lakes Bed & Breakfast Association
  58. Wayne County Bed and Breakfast Association
  59. Maggie Valley Bed & Breakfast Association
  60. North Carolina Bed & Breakfast and Inns
  61. Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association
  62. Ohio Bed & Breakfast Association
  63. Port Clinton Bed & Breakfast Association
  64. Oklahoma Bed and Breakfast Association
  65. Central Oregon Bed and Breakfast Association
  66. Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild
  67. Authentic Bed and Breakfasts of Lancaster County Association
  68. North Central Pennsylvania Bed & Breakfast Association
  69. Pennsylvania Mid-State Bed and Breakfast Association
  70. Pennsylvania Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns
  71. Bed & Breakfast Association of Pittsburgh
  72. Newport Inns and B&B Association
  73. South Carolina Bed and Breakfast Association
  74. Bed and Breakfast Association of Tennessee
  75. Smoky Mountain Bed & Breakfast Association
  76. Texas Bed & Breakfast Association
  77. Heart of Texas Bed and Breakfast Association
  78. North Texas Bed and Breakfast Association
  79. Granbury Area Bed and Breakfast Association
  80. Bed & Breakfast Inns of Utah
  81. Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia
  82. Loudoun Bed & Breakfast Guild
  83. Washington Bed and Breakfast Guild
  84. Inns of Excellence
  85. Seattle Bed & Breakfast Association
  86. West Virginia Bed & Breakfast Association
  87. Inns of the Scenic St. Croix Valley
  88. Madison Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Inns Area Association
  89. Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association
  90. Wyoming Hospitality & Outdoor Adventures
  91. Vermont Inn and B&B Association
Posted in B&B, Facebook, Hospitality News, How tos, Inns, Lodging, marketing, Observations, Social Media | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Reputation Management Links and Tips for Innkeepers

Reviews? I Have Reviews?

Additional Recommended Reading: The Art of Responding to review sites for restaurants and lodging.

Check to see if your business name is taken on social networks:

-Don’t sign up for the service, just use it check (and be cognizant of the fact that they don’t seem to be right 100% of the time)

Social Media Monitoring:

*****Suggested

Other

Real Time Search

Review Sites (ones marked by ** are the most likely places that a B&B will be reviewed)

blog1

blog2

blog3

Posted in B&B, Reputation Management, Reviews, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Innkeepers, Pinning Posts? Be Careful of the Date!

I noticed something last week that should have been blindingly obvious to me and probably to everyone else out there, but I seem to see a lot of businesses doing this on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and perhaps not even realizing it. I pinged to it myself last week, when showing someone the ins and outs of Google+ (logged in as themselves) and we visited my own personal Google+ page and my client said, “Hey, you haven’t posted anything since November, and your telling me to post frequently?” I said, “No, wait, I do post fairly often on my personal page and many times daily on my business page!” Hmm!

Google+ Pinned Post (Stays Pinned until you take it down) Snap of what the page looks like only above the fold.google+ pinned post

It took me a minute to realize that we were above the fold of my Google page and we hadn’t scrolled down so the last “actual” post, so to someone coming to my page for the first time it’s backdated several months, and looks like I haven’t posted in awhile. I started doing some searches on various platforms and came across lots of instances where posts on Google+ and Twitter were months old but much more frequent posts were made on the pages/accounts but not visible until (and more importantly IF someone scrolled down to look). I’ve also come across several inn’s and other business Facebook pages guilty of repinning once a week, a post that was months and months old.

Facebook Pinned Post (Stays Pinned for a Week and you can repin as many time as you want to, again for a week at a time) Snap of what the page looks like only above the fold.fb pinned post

While I love the ability of all three platforms to pin posts to the top, I think inns need to be cognizant of what it looks like from the external viewer, i.e. someone coming to visit your page or account for the first time. I love Twitter for example and I almost didn’t follow back an inn that recently followed me as the last time it “looked” like they posted was 4 months ago (Pinned to top tweet above the fold) and in actuality they had posted about an hour before.

 Twitter Pinned Post (Stays Pinned until you take it down) Snap of what the page looks like only above the fold.twitter pin

I think inns need to use the option wisely and if it’s an important post that they want to draw attention to, repost the original with a more recent date and time stamp. Who knows how many potential Likes/Followers or Fans you’ve lost because it doesn’t look like your accounts are active even if you are.

A nice little post on how to pin to top Tweets and Post from my favorite people at BufferApp https://blog.bufferapp.com/best-practices-how-to-pin-tweet-facebook

Posted in B&B, How tos, Inns, Observations, Social Media | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Honey, Frangelico and Marscapone Filled Crepes with Frangelico Chocolate Drizzle

crepes1

Crepe Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 3 tsp. Sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil

Preparation:

  1. Whisk Ingredients well until smooth.
  2. Heat a non-stick crepe pan on medium to high heat.
  3. Spray surface with cooking spray when pan is hot.
  4. Using a 4 oz ladle, ladle batter into the pan and swirl until batter is spread thin.
  5. Cook crepes over medium to high heat (medium if you are using gas, high if you are using electric) Once you see  a few bubbles forming on the top of the crepe, use a heat resist plastic spatula to flip the crepe over.
  6. After both sides are cooked, layer around an overturned soup bowl and let cool.

Yields 15-20 7 inch crepes.

Honey, Frangelico and Marscapone Filling Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups Marscapone
  • 1 Tbs. Honey
  • 2 Tbs. Frangelico
  • 1 tea. Kosher Salt
  • Orange zest optional

Preparation:

Whip Marscapone, Honey and Frangelico together for 3-5 minutes on medium to high speed until well incorporated, Refrigerate until needed.

Frangelico Chocolate Drizzle Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 6.5 oz. Good Quality Dark Cooking Chocolate like Callebaut or Valrhona, finely chopped or very very small chips
  • 1/3 cup Frangelico Liqueur

Preparation:

  1. Combine the heavy cream, chocolate and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. If you prefer, you can use a double boiler.
  2. Stir in the liqueur and cook for an additional few minutes or until well combined.
  3. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly. Serve immediately or let cool to room temperate for a thicker sauce.
  4. Store covered in the refrigerator when well cooled. You may need to warm slightly if chilled to drizzle if sauce is done in advance.

For Service:

These crepes are good served hot or cold and can be rolled in advance of service. The rolled crepes are best stored on a saran wrapped sheet pan and then topped with saran to prevent crepes edges from drying out.

Lay crepe out and spoon 1/3 cup Marscapone filling and spread, roll up crepe and put on chilled plate, garnish and serve or reheat in a 350 oven for 5-8 minutes until warm. If doing crepes à la minute (to order) reduce oven time, filling tends to get too liquid otherwise.

Drizzle with Frangelico Chocolate sauce and garnish with seasonal fresh fruit to serve.

Whipped cream and toasted chopped hazelnuts are also optional.

Frangelico marinated strawberries with orange zest also makes a delicious alternative garnish (marinate strawberries overnight in liquor and zest).

*Photograph and Recipe credit Heather Turner

**Photo credit location at The Glynn House Inn, Ashland, NH

Posted in recipes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pros and Cons of Social Media for Innkeepers-Linkedin

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

© Prykhodov | Dreamstime.com – Businessman Holding IPhone With App LinkedIn On The Screen On A Photo

This is the fourth in a series covering social media pros and cons for innkeepers, following will be Google+, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Please check out the others in the series: Pros and Cons of Social Media for Innkeepers-Blogs the second, Pros and Cons of Social Media for Innkeepers-Youtube and the third, Social Media for Innkeepers-Twitter.

Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com (for personal)

http://www.linkedin.com/company/add/show  (for a business page)

  • You need a personal account to create and maintain a business account (you must have an email that goes through a domain name associated with the business in order to register a business page, i.e. janedoe@janedoeinn.com).The email address must be registered as an additional email address in your privacy and settings tab (top right logged into Linkedin, click on your avatar/photo icon).
  • Personal accounts have contacts.
  • Business pages have followers.

Pros of Linkedin

  • Customer Service and Networking.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
  • Ads are not expensive, but there needs to be relevance and targeted and specific ad parameters.
  • Guest Outreach.
  • A great place to source, vet and verify the legitimacy of potential vendors
  • Moderated forums can be great venues to source vendors, get ideas, get questions answered and connect with potential guests as well as if you have specific niche markets, business travelers, the wedding market, pet friendly, etc, the forums can be a great place to find specific pockets of niche guests.

Cons of Linkedin

  • Occasional Linkedin Spam and Sales Pitches
  • Non-moderated forums are fairly useless as generally overrun by sales pitches

Why Should Innkeepers Use It

For the Linkedin Business Page: Search Engine Optimization reasons only, once the page is set up and optimized. (it takes literally about 15 minutes or less to set up and optimize) it can be left “as is”. It also has the option of being able to accept updates just like Facebook/Google/Twitter. So if you have happenings going on at the inn of interest, you have a special offer running, or you are in the news, take the 5 seconds to post in the Linkedin business page. The SEO value alone is more than worth it. Don’t expect to get a huge amount of followers, comments or likes, it’s not like a Facebook business page.

The personal profile also has significant value for SEO if the profile is set to public, both for the innkeeper and for the inn/B&B. Optimizing a Linkedin profile takes less than half an hour and then you can “set it and forget it” or it can also be used to publish updates about yourself as the innkeeper and the inn. On the personal profile try to stay away from promotional posts (that’s what the business page is for) and instead use it for news, updates and helpful or pertinent information. There is so much more to Linkedin including content curation and networking if innkeepers choose to use it.

If you are a larger inn, Linkedin is a great place to source and vet potential employees and staff as well.

Why Shouldn’t Innkeepers Use It

I can’t think of any reason why innkeepers would not want to use the free (non-upgraded) version of Linkedin.

Recommendation going into  2015

Beef your Linkedin personal profile up and create a business page if you have not yet done so. Doing both for the Search Engine Optimization reason alone is more than worth the less then an hour of time to takes to do. And keep in mind, Innkeeping may not be your forever job, you may at some point return to the broader job market, and when and if you do, spiffing up your Linkedin profile now will return the effort in spades when the time comes to look for something else.

Some Fallacies about Linkedin

It’s only for job seekers and companies looking for employees.

 

Posted in B&B, How tos, Lodging, marketing, Observations, SEO | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments