This is the third in an ongoing series of Inns and Lodging using social media to help their businesses. If you missed the last interview, please visit Q and A with The Shoreham Inn on using social media or for more interviews visit Marketing For Lodging (towards the bottom)
Address: 18 Washington Sq. W., Salem, MA 01970
Blog: Our “daily diary” is http://www.HawthorneHotel.blogspot.com and
http://www.weddingsatthehawthornehotel.blogspot.com takes care of wedding postings.
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Salem-MA/Hawthorne-Hotel/52378799382
How long have you been using social media?
I’ve been blogging EVERY DAY for 5-1/2 years. I set up the Daily Diary blog first, and the Wedding Blog followed several months later. We started using Twitter and FaceBook last year.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you like the most?
Hmmm. . . that’s kind of like asking me which of my children I love the most. . . I really enjoy Twitter, because it is something I can learn from as well . . . but I think the blogs are the most important because they are how I can get more interesting information out there for guests and potential guests.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you use the most?
Of the social media venues out there, which do you feel you get the most from in terms in terms of SEO (search engine optimization)?
Of the social media venues out there, which do you feel you get the most from in terms of business and personal branding?
I think they go together. Here is my philosophy. I think of the blog as a magazine article, FaceBook as a newspaper, and Twitter as a radio ad or radio blurb.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you feel you get the most from in terms of actual ROTI (return on time investment) business?
The blog, just because it has the most consistency, and I can get more of the message out there through it. Especially the wedding blog. I know we book wedding receptions (and the room nights that go with those) because of what people see on the wedding blog.
How long did it take you to feel comfortable using social media?
15 minutes. I think blogging is about the easiest thing there is to do. Facebook is more perplexing to me.
Do you market your property on social media channels? and if so which ones?
You mean paid advertising? No
If you use social media for things besides advertising, which ones do you use for other aims, i.e. twitter for making connections rather then advertising or a blog to be informative to guests and future guests.
How many hours on average a day do you spend using social media (or per week or per month)?
I probably spend one hour each day on all of it combined. Between taking photos, loading and editing them, and writing posts, and monitoring Twitter, all in it probably averages that. If I had not started following Twitter, it would probably only be about 20-30 minutes. Twitter can also be distracting, because you have to follow other people, and sometimes that takes you down other paths. However, those paths are usually ones that enlighten me, so I think it is time well spent.
Do you feel the time you have spent using social media has been worth it? And why?
Absolutely. See above.
Please add any other comments you think are relevant.
I think people should just try it. It really is very easy to learn. I do think it is very important to have the “voice” be one of a senior part of the staff. I don’t think you can delegate this kind of thing with much success.
updated: August 9, 2010 Hawthorne Hotel is listing on the 50 Most Helpful Hotel Blogs
If you’re an inn using social media and you have felt that social media has helped your business positively, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pop you over the questions. I’ll be doing at least one feature a week for the I can forsee ongoing future. Cheers!