The Pros and Cons of using the Big 3 Social Networks for Lodging for marketing

I recommend that inns at least start with blogging, its easy to learn, easy to maintain and easy to keep secure and gives one complete control over what appears on it.

Step two would be either Facebook or Twitter, tackle one at a time. Youtube is also a great avenue for lodging to use for marketing as well, but a topic for a different type of post.

some articles here to help with marketing and setup of social media: Marketing for lodging

The Pros & Cons of a Facebook Fan Page

Pros:

  • It’s free
  • You can engage guests and future guests in a public online venue that everyone can see including the search engines.
  • You have the ability to spend as much or as little time as you want on it.
  • Unlike review sites over which you have no control, you have the ability to add and delete content, but not edit it once its posted to a wall.
  • Search engines love Facebook fan page content.
  • You can post pictures, video and links to just about anything you want.
  • Post updates go directly to your “fan/likes” news feed, cheaper and more cost effective then email marketing.
  • It’s public, so you can use it as a venue to both advertise your business and engage with people.
  • You can give multiple people the ability to add content to it as the page admins.
  • You can post to it using your mobile phone or by email

Cons:

  • Facebook changes how the internal workings look and act fairly regularly, this can be confusing. (Go to Mashable for the latest updates and usually articles have walkthrough explanations of the new settings. Or better yet subscribe to the Mashable newsletter.
  • It’s public, if you open mouth and insert foot, lots of people can see it. (take a breath before hitting publish and double check what you post)
  • It’s not intuitive, it needs to be learned or observed by watching others do it well. The best way to find out good posting tactics and topics is go stalk other lodging facilities and your competition as well. Either fan the page or revisit a list frequently, this is the best way to get good tips, topics and habits for other social media avenues as well.
  • If your Facebook account gets hacked or you have an employee as an admin there is the ability for them to delete your fan page. Be careful of your passwords, keep your antivirus up to date and use careful browsing and most importantly be careful who you give admin rights to.

What can you do with it and why you should use it for marketing and interaction

  • Search engines love Facebook fan page content
  • Customer and future customer interaction, engagement and retention
  • Advertise specials and special offers
  • Advertise local events going on locally
  • Post photos and videos to the fan page
  • The ability to let guests post content (praise, photos, videos, comments) to your fan page. No one loves customer reviews as much as seeing their own and this is visible to the whole net as well.
  • Spotlight and Highlight recent events at your inn and also guests as well.
  • It’s free

The Pros & Cons of a Blog

Pros:

  • Most of the good platforms are free to set up and use
  • Search engines love blog page content
  • You have the ability to spend as much or as little time as you want on it.
  • You can post pictures, video and links to just about anything you want.
  • Unlike review sites over which you have no control, you have the ability to add and delete content at any time, as well as edit content after the fact
  • Comments can be deleted, published as well as edited.
  • You can engage guests and future guests in a public online venue that everyone can see including the search engines if you enable comments.
  • You can post to it using email
  • A recent notation by HubSpot found that businesses with an active blog get 55% more online traffic than those without a blog. More then anything else it’s a great reason to have a blog.

Cons:

  • There is a misconception that it has to be time consuming and that there has to be lots of content (with the ability to email posts to your blog account and also preschedule and prewrite blogs this cuts down on the time spent. Content does not have to be a lot of text or other forms of media.)
  • Its public, if you open mouth and insert foot, lots of people can see it. (take a breath before hitting publish and double check what you post)
  • It’s not intuitive, it needs to be learned or observed by watching others do it well.

What can you do with it and why you should use it for marketing and interaction

  • Search engines love blog page content
  • Advertise specials and special offers
  • Advertise local events going on locally
  • Post photos and video to the blog
  • Post recipes
  • Talk about your passions and interests, especially interesting to readers and search engines as well if its relevant to innkeeping.
  • There is no length constraint to what you can post
  • It’s free

The Pros & Cons of a Twitter account

Pros:

  • You have the ability to spend as much or as little time as you want on it.
  • You can post pictures, video and links to just about anything you want.
  • It’s public, you can write something and spark an online public discussion
  • You can ask questions and frequently get them answered.
  • It’s public, so you can use it as a venue to both advertise your business and engage with people at the same time.
  • It’s free
  • Search engines love twitter content
  • You can post to it using your mobile phone

Cons:

  • It can get addictive (as can many things, but the pluses of time spent generally outweigh the time lost on it)
  • People can lose interest (keep content interesting and non-repetitive)
  • It does have length constraints but there are work around alternatives to it, such as twitlonger and twitwall as well as URL shorteners, twitter is coming out soon with its own shortener which will though things loopy with tracking code etc etc
  • Its public, if you open mouth and insert foot, lots of people can see it. (take a breath before hitting publish and double check what you post) Even if you delete a tweet, its still archived, so think before you tweet.
  • It’s not intuitive, it needs to be learned or observed by watching others do it well.

What can you do with it and why you should use it for marketing and interaction

  • Customer and future customer interaction, engagement and retention
  • You can search for guests and future guests
  • You can network with other businesses that can be beneficial to your own business that you would have never had met otherwise
  • You can use it to news watch
  • You can use it to refine news relevant to your industry by following or listing people that frequently tweet news items or articles that are of interest to you.
  • Connecting with people frequently goes off of twitter (sometimes right after the initial online engagement) and proceeds to email, phone calls and other forms of media., much of the contact you see online is only a fraction of what goes on behind the scenes, at last count, for every 6 tweets I exchange or post, there are at least 3 DMs (direct messages) and almost always an email sent in relation a dozen times a day from a conversation on twitter.
  • It’s free
  • Search engines love twitter content

A great twitter guide just came out (I learned a few things I didn’t know as well. mom, this is how twitter works. NOT JUST FOR MOMS!

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About Chef Forfeng

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/marketing-for-lodging-resources/
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