Twittering Innkeepers, Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!

Twittering Innkeepers

This is the second in the series of social media shoutouts/examples of Inns and B&Bs using social media. Please visit Blogging -Innkeepers Oh My!!! for the first one.

There are a ton of B&Bs on twitter, many doing it well and also many who have just started getting into it and have the right idea.

My criteria (listed near the bottom of the post) for making the list out was pretty strict, If you have low counts currently (which was one of the criteria) don’t worry, everyone starts out small and it takes a while to raise that bar, so don’t be discouraged.

Twitter does take awhile but it can really pay off, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I see several hundred B&Bs out there doing great at the 250 follower/ee ratio and your going strong. Keep it up!

There are several B&Bs out there that used the auto get more followers programs and those were automatically axed.

Quality over quantity is very important on twitter, so if you have people you are truly engaged with, no matter the number, your doing worlds better already then the folks who used an auto follow program, and now have 15,000 followers and maybe 20 are relevant.

Similar to the Blogging list this is subjective on my part. Not everyone sees marketing the same way.

No human being can do all the aspects of social media at the same time and not every platform works well for everyone. As you will see in future posts (and the past blogging one) Facebook or Youtube may work better and have a better comfort level for some inns, then blogging or using twitter. Focus on at least one and don’t expect (and no one else expects you to be) to be spiffy at everything.

A few personal notes:

Klout is supposed be to a good indicator of influence online, but I honestly find the results very skewed, so I am not using them as a measurement point for this. Scores can change daily and from the several dozen tweeters names I have sampled as tests, how can one be influenced by someone who hasn’t tweeted in over a year, plus other inconsistencies.

You might notice that many of the tweeters are overseas and a high percentage of active tweeters that will be on this list eventually are also over in the UK. This raises some interesting questions in my mind about why that is (but a post for another time).

Most of the B&Bs listed here at first glance don’t look like they are promoting their inns, but keep in mind active people on twitter may post numerous times, so you may miss something at first glance when you take a look.

Examples of tweeting Inns and Bed and Breakfasts:

Additional Mentions to:

For just opened and currently opening up a B&B, who we followed and are following, through the process:

For quite a bit of online activity, primarily lots and lots of RTs, not suggested but an interesting strategy:

If you think you belong on this list and you hit the criteria, I may have missed you and please let me know so I can add you in.

You might also note that many B&Bs/Inns talk to each other online. I have seen questions asked and help given, their specials and packages retweeted by others, support when someone is having a bad day, RTs for inns looking for vendor suggestions and answers, “my inn is booked, who has some rooms I can send peeps to?” Questions asked and answered from past guests and future guests, friendships and business partnerships developed.

So twitter is not just about guest sourcing, it’s about customer service and networking.

Keep in mind much of what you see on twitter (or don’t see on twitter) is all the private direct messages that go back and forth between people. Inn to Inn, Inn to Guest and vice versa. There is much below the surface, including the contacts that move offline to phone and email.

The Criteria for aboves list:

  • Up to date/current postings.
  • Bio, photo and weblink/url to either website or blog filled out.
  • Must be a clearly stated B&B, there are some great country lets, small lodges and guest cottages but must serve breakfast. I’ll try to do another post soon on general lodging of all sorts, because there are some other types of really terrific lodging tweeters out there.
  • RTs (Retweets) others, not all the time, but occasionally is good, it’s not all about, me, me, me.
  • Interacts with others, having a Facebook or blog feed is fine into twitter (and I encourage it) as long as not ALL of the posts are auto feeds.
  • The posts are not just sales tweets, quite a few inns were knocked off the list because the only interactions they had with other tweeters was thanking them for RTing (Retweeting) something they posted (a sales post at that) and/or ALL their tweets were sales tweets.
  • Over 500 followers (this list will change as many of the other inn tweeters get to this point, but I had to start somewhere to categorize, ping me if you hit this and I will add you please)
  • A non-skewed follower/followee ratio, so no following 800 people and 120 follow you or vice versa. If your not checking out your followers to see who they are, you can be missing good business contacts and some great potential guests. Not every follower is worth following back, use your own judgment. If you see the above criteria being met for example, that’s usually a good rule of thumb to follow. If you following a lot more people then are following you back, consider unfollowing some and if you want to stay on top of their tweets, add them to lists instead, you can still track their tweets and interact with them even if you are not actually “following” them.

As @unmarketing likes to say, Stop Marketing, Start Engaging

If people want to browse more lodging on twitter (over 1500 inns, B&Bs, hotels, motels and cottages, the list grows daily)


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
Aside | This entry was posted in B&B, Hospitality News, How tos, Inns, Lodging, marketing, Observations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Twittering Innkeepers, Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!

  1. Thank you for the mention! (it’s Emily at Kiltearn House). I find Twitter invaluable if I am seeking some advice or need to ask a question and we have made some good friends along the way too. Also made some great contacts in the area in relation to our business. As you say it does take time and perseverance and you have to work at it if you really want to get something out of Twitter in terms of actual business. We try not to promote ourselves too often as I know it can get annoying and impersonal. Thank you for an interesting read 🙂

  2. ‘Tis true that the subtler approach of “Boy the skiing is great in the rockies this weekend, check out some recent pics a guest gave us.” is less grating, and promises some visual interest, but if there are too many tweets like that then the veneer starts to wear rather thin! I suspect that most B&Bs don’t win a lot of business from Twitter, nor is it the main aim for most of them (including Diana). Maybe time for another survey. 🙂

    • Chef Forfeng says:

      Phil, it may be time for another survey. I do know many B&Bs who have gotten bookings as a result of twitter, it just may not work for everyone or be everyones cup of tea. Just like a chamber of commerce, you get out of it what you put into it. 🙂 I know that sounds pat, but if I didn’t see (and hear) it working for many inns I wouldn’t encourage it.

  3. I think Twitter gives me a chance to show people a bit about who I am. I don’t use it to sell, not exactly anyway. If someone makes it to my blog and to my B/B website as a result of Twitter, that’s fine. But I do it to develop my on line personality and presence for other future possibilities such as writing and art. The B/B fits in there somewhere, as it should, since it is part of what I do and who I am. I think also that some of the guests who get to me through social media kind of know a bit more about what to expect here than other guests who come here thru Trip Advisor and such.

    Thanks very much for the mention, Heather! 🙂

  4. I think the most important point about Twitter is that for small innkeepers and B&Bs it is much more about networking and sharing news and ideas than about connecting with customers. I’m struggling to think of any followers of mine who are past or potential guests (apologies to any who are!). Selling rooms is not what I do it for and I think if that is the main motivation then it’s time that could be better spent elsewhere. It is not an effective marketing media in my opinion – too many sales pitches and you turn people off, just the odd sales pitch and it gets lost in the mass of tweets.


    • Chef Forfeng says:

      What I find interesting about people posting the sales pitches are the ones that are doing it off the cuff and casually are the ones that seem to get the most response. Instead of blah blah blah on Jan 27 we have our Ski special, instead its Boy the skiing is great in the rockies this weekend, check out some recent pics a guest gave us.

  5. Lara Dickson says:

    Nice collection of folks doing it with gusto. Also impressive Twitter lists! Wow 1,500 listed.

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