This is the seventh 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 Alley-McKay House Bed and Breakfast on using social media or for more interviews visit Marketing For Lodging (towards the bottom)
Address: 180 Main Street, Freeport, Maine USA
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/BrewsterHouseBnB
How long have you been using social media?
I began blogging irregularly in 2007, got serious about it in late 2008. Started on Twitter, Facebook and a few other places in early 2009.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you like the most?
For us, each has its own value, so it is difficult to pick one. I suppose I prefer blogging to the others, because I enjoy the writing.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you use the most?
I suppose Twitter, but really all of them. This is partly accomplished by tying them together, so that those tweets that are appropriate to Facebook are duplicated on Facebook, or those Facebook posts that are appropriate to Twitter also show up there. Of course, blogs are pushed to all the others.
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)?
Definitely the blogs. Some of our blog posts rank extremely well for frequently searched topics of local interest.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you feel you get the most from in terms of business and personal branding?
Our blog, as it allows us to “speak” in some detail on topics our potential guests are interested in reading about.
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?
Again, our blog. Currently Twitter and Facebook have begun to generate some business, but their primary value to date has been in building relationships with potential guests and with others in the industry.
How long did it take you to feel comfortable using social media?
Not long after I started – perhaps a couple of weeks. I had done a lot of reading in advance, so I already had a fair idea of the “best practices” – the common mistakes, and how to avoid them, etc., by the time I got started.
Do you market your property on social media channels? and if so which ones?
I consider all of our activity on Twitter, Facebook and the blog to be marketing, so, yes. If you mean paid advertising, then, no, we do not currently do that.
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.
I see the blog as a combination SEO tool and way to be informative to potential guests (somewhat like a more traditional newsletter – whether email or hard copy). I see Twitter as both a branding tool and a relationship-building tool. Facebook is a little of both of the other tools.
How many hours on average a day do you spend using social media (or per week or per month)?
Probably 1-2 hours per week. Some more, some less.
Do you feel the time you have spent using social media has been worth it? And why?
Yes it has been worth it. Even though the results can be difficult to measure directly, the time spent is beginning to pay off, as relationships turn into bookings. In addition, the new friends we’ve made have resulted in building a network of others in the business who share information and help.
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!