Facebook Is Testing “Saved Replies” To Help Pages Manage Customer Service Messages http://marketingland.com/facebook-is-testing-saved-replies-to-help-pages-manage-customer-service-messages-131055 As the post mentions, it “could” be a boon for small businesses, but for innkeepers it may not be, but it’s good to be aware of this as it may have potential future applications. Of the 40+ B&B Facebook pages I am the admin of, 99% of the incoming messages would not have been a good fit for a canned response. I do think it may have some value if you are outsourcing your social media, and you do have a very well crafted response done up in advance for your outsourcer to use for something like a complaint, or a basic booking inquiry.
Google Says It May Unverify Inactive Local Business Listings http://searchengineland.com/google-says-it-may-unverify-inactive-local-business-listings-222414 Why is this important for innkeepers? Because many innkeepers have gone ahead and claimed their pages thinking that is all they need to do to them, and have never returned to them again. Google+ pages of all of the social media platforms out there seem to be the least used and utilized amongst innkeepers.
Why should innkeepers bother to keep an eye on this? If your page is unverified and someone leaves a review, you will have to re-verify it before you can respond. Google says they will try to contact businesses via email before un-verifying, but innkeepers may ignore this as a spam solicitation. “In some cases, we may contact Google My Business users via email to confirm that they are still actively managing a business page. If a user is unresponsive to our attempts to contact him or her and has not logged into Google My Business for a significant length of time, then we may unverify pages in the account.”
I would recommend innkeepers (even if they are not going to actively use their Google+ accounts) put it into a calendar that every few months go over to their Google+ account and login to avoid the possible future inconvenience of having to reclaim their pages again.
Mike Blumenthal has a thread going about this topic with further information as well. http://blumenthals.com/blog/2015/06/04/google-now-requiring-null-edits-to-keep-accounts-active-in-us/. A question to Mike about what constituted logging in to the Google+ account came back with. “In conversation with Google they noted that Logging in would be logging in as the page in any respect — so that would be any of the following– seeing the GMB dashboard, – making an edit, – posting, etc. So, yes, posting to G+ would “count.” And “Google has confirmed that any activity including that of a manager is enough to keep the page from going into “default”.
Coming soon: Buyable Pins! https://business.pinterest.com/en/blog/coming-soon-buyable-pins Why is this of interest? Because if innkeepers have an inn gift shop including inn cook books, uploading good photos of products can push sales. Inns Associations can also take advantage of this if they have produced an Association cook book. Keep in mind, the images in Pinterest can be recipe photos from the cookbook, not just an image of the cookbook itself. Businesses can get on the waitlist for buyable pins at https://business.pinterest.com/en/get-list-buyable-pins. You can currently create Pins directing people to your availability link url directly from a photo and promote them as well but the Buyable Pin option (from what I understand) are Pins you can mark as purchasable (there is no layout of funds like Promoted Pins) and they will show up within your Pin boards.
Instagram Adds Call-to-Action Buttons, More Relevant Ad Targeting http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/instagram-adds-call-to-action-buttons-more-relevant-ad-targeting Because Facebook owns Instagram, and it’s ad platform is integrated with it, this could be a huge plus for inns wanting to cater to the Millennial market. They have not yet rolled it out, and while it says buttons will offer “buy now”, “app install” and “sign up” options, I lean towards thinking it will also offer a book now option as well. Even if it does not, the “buy now” button could be redirected to a booking link, and a “sign up” could potentially boost an email distribution list. Caveat, similar to Facebook’s current Book Now option, if your reservation system is not mobile friendly, even though your website is, and Facebook is, expect a high bounce rate and an even higher abandonment rate from a potential booker.