This is the sixth 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 Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls on using social media on using social media or for more interviews visit Marketing For Lodging (towards the bottom)
Address: 306 E Delta St., Jefferson, TX 75657 (NE Texas)
We also update as mckayhousebnb on Buzz, Bing and FourSquare and V. Hugh Lewis II on MerchantCircle and LinkedIn
How long have you been using social media?
We were one of the first BnBs in Jefferson to start using Social Media. We started 2.5 years ago on MySpace, but moved to Facebook and Twitter quickly.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you like the most?
We are torn between Facebook and Twitter. However, we’re continuing to join and update other services/sites so we can cover as many bases as possible for maximum exposure.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you use the most?
We use Facebook and Twitter the most. More detail goes into Facebook to most posts start there, but we have the accounts linked, so we can reach all of our contacts.
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)?
I haven’t really done much research on these yet. I would guess, however, that FaceBook is giving us the best SEO right now.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you feel you get the most from in terms of business and personal branding?
Facebook definitely. The continual guest and friend/fan comments and interaction is driving business up. We’ve also tried to cross brand with other businesses in town and of our families in other cities so we’re continually opening up more avenues for potential guests to find us.
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?
It’s probably a toss up on Twitter and Facebook since the accounts are linked. We went from about 60 fans to over 700 in 3 weeks due to a contest we ran. We’ve gotten a number of bookings directly related to this and a lot of our guests are commenting they saw us on FB and read through our postings and that was what made the decision for them to come stay with us.
How long did it take you to feel comfortable using social media?
Twitter we adjusted to very quickly. Facebook, we’ll we’re still trying to figure it all out.
Do you market your property on social media channels? and if so which ones?
This is a whole area we’ve not looked into yet. It’s on the list, but, we’ve not done enough research to jump in this area. We want to and hopefully we will in the next couple of months.
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.
Our guests are constantly contacting us about specials, recipes, asking what’s blooming in the gardens, etc. It’s become the best feedback tool we have and the absolute best way of keeping up with our guests and they with us. All of our guests are like family to us and we hope they feel the same way about us.
How many hours on average a day do you spend using social media (or per week or per month)?
The downside to social media is that it’s a serious time drain. We estimate at least 2-3 hours per day for each of us, so combined, probably 4-6 hours per day on a busy day. More if it’s slow around the house…
Do you feel the time you have spent using social media has been worth it? And why?
Most definitely. We’ve been in the bnb business for 8.5 years and we’ve never felt so connected to our guests. Keeping up with it all is daunting, but words cannot express how worthwhile and rewarding social media has been to our business.
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 email@example.com 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!