This is the tenth 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 Adobe Nido Bed and Breakfast on using social media marketing or for more interviews visit Marketing For Lodging (towards the bottom)
Address: 62 Beachmere Place, Ogunquit Maine 03907
Website Address: http://www.beachmereinn.com
Twitter Address: http://twitter.com/BeachmereInn
Blog Address: http://www.beachmereinnblog.com
Facebook Fan Page Address: http://www.facebook.com/TheBeachmereInn
How long have you been using social media?
For a little less than a year, same for our blog
Of the social media venues out there, which do you like the most?
I enjoy Facebook for my guest interaction. Its easy to use, visual with photos and video and for those just learning SM, Facebook seems to be the place to start. I enjoy Twitter for to the point, quick interaction, the ease of photos and video posting, but this is more for others in SM than for guests who have stayed with us over the years. That being said, I’ve had twitter followers become guests. Furthermore, Twitter has become a place that I learn from others, gain insight and education from. It helps point out blogs, sites and info that I would not normally have time to find.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you use the most?
I use both Facebook and Twitter daily.
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)?
Twitter but that is a guess as I’m really not sure.
Of the social media venues out there, which do you feel you get the most from in terms of business and personal branding?
Twitter gives me more in terms of business, Facebook for personal branding.
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?
Facebook. Most of the followers on Facebook are currently a customer or will become a guest, a more direct ROTI in my opinion. Just today, I posted a 3 night opening for a last min. room cancellation and had a FB follower call within 38 min. to book. However that doesn’t mean that a twitter follower will not make a booking for an event, meeting or wedding that will match that ROTI in the future. I believe in patience.
How long did it take you to feel comfortable using social media?
A couple of months, and I know I still have a lot to learn. When I posted a question on a blog post by @ChrisBrogan, I was later contacted by a @KeithBurtis who helped guide the waters in getting started. This made my learning curve much faster. He checks in with me to see if I need any help with SM and often DM’s tips on how to do something better or suggestions on my posts. Keith was also instrumental in helping me launch http://www.beachmereinnblog.com something that I felt was too much for me to tackle on my own.
Do you market your property on social media channels? and if so which ones?
Do you mean a paid marketing approach? At this time, no, I feel that would not be well received by those using SM, as SM seems to be the softer approach.
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 use twitter for making connections and educational purposes and for planning our tweetup events. I find our blog is still in it’s infancy, but I’ll use that to share my knowledge about the area, guest relation programs as well as general information for anyone who finds it or subscribes. Eventually I will incorporate a sales piece into it. Facebook is all about maintaining and increasing relationships with our guests. So many of them are generational, that they know me from when I was a child. I try and assist them with bookings, reservations, and information about the inn as well as posting photos of the area, which many have responded to being one of the best features of our FB page.
How many hours on average a day do you spend using social media (or per week or per month)
Some days more time than others. I just leave it running on my desktop and hop on and off throughout the course of the day. at least 1-2 hrs a day. IT can become addictive, but now that the newness has worn off, I’m better at managing my time.
Do you feel the time you have spent using social media has been worth it? And why?
Yes absolutely. My guests love it, and I hear from them when I post or comment on something on FB. I have made great connections on Twitter, and have learned and been offered information and help that only comes with a community like SM. I’ve been offered to guest write for blogs and have had others write about us on theirs, which only came about due to SM. When I have a need, I can post on Twitter and know that someone will assist me in finding the answer with a RT or will offer to help. When I asked a question about pet friendly rules and guidelines, you were very gracious to offer that help, and if someone on twitter needed help for Ogunquit (even if they didn’t want to stay here) I am more than happy to assist.
Please add any other comments you think are relevant.
I believe this medium is here to stay. In my opinion its been a valuable resource for my relationship with past guests and potential guests. I am in the people/customer service/hospitality business, SM is a perfect fit for what our industry does every day.
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!