This is in line with the average small business fan page from what I can find in scoping out other online businesses on Facebook.
Unless your Coca-cola or a big name brand, don’t feel depressed if you don’t have bazillions of fans. Fan pages, like twitter, take time.
It’s not the size of your fan base, it’s the technique that matters. Apologies for the bad pun, but it’s totally appropriate. If you have more then 100 fans and your posting at least once a week, your doing great! Keep up the good work! Building a fan page takes time and it doesn’t happen over night.
This list is compiled from 1026 Bed and Breakfast fan pages I have been coming across over the past year. Criteria for being on the list, is that the Fan page has been updated regularly and recently and not be just posts from the inn, but also demonstrates some fan engagement. As well as posts being personal and not just about the “pitch”.
I did come across about a dozen B&B fan pages with high fan counts but little or no engagement with fans. Generally this indicates fans were “bought” or attracted with Facebook ads or other media. Un-engaged fans = Zero ROTI (return on time investment).
Keep in mind. The fan that you engage with today may not, and probably won’t be, a guest tomorrow, but the odds of them being a guest or referring you to a friend or relative down the road is a high probability.
I look at Facebook as a Guest retention platform with the ability to attract new potential guests as an added bonus. Don’t expect instant returns on Facebook or any other social media, especially for lodging. You are posting on Facebook not just for the fan engagement and retention value, but also for SEO (search engine optimization) value.
I’m only using examples of inns with a large number of fans as examples because they are good examples of inns using FB consistently for a period of time. There are many, MANY up and coming B&B Facebook pages out there with fewer fans, but they as yet don’t have track records to use for consistent posting examples.
The list is to be used for viewers to glean ideas and examples from, and for examples of the fact that yes, B&Bs can get larger fan numbers, it’s not just for hotels. It’s not meant to be taken that these are the “best” of, only that they peeked my interest for assorted reasons.
If you have found a B&B or have a B&B that has some good examples that others can learn from, please leave them in the comments, I always appreciate the extra input and so do others.
Alley-McKay House Bed & Breakfast Inn http://www.facebook.com/mckayhousebnb An example of a B&B with a good usage of their photo albums http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=151479415970
Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast http://www.facebook.com/andonreidinn They have their Tripadvisor reviews feeding into FB http://www.facebook.com/andonreidinn?sk=app_190322544333196 as well as Deals for fans http://www.facebook.com/andonreidinn?sk=app_7146470109
Berry Manor Inn http://www.facebook.com/berrymanorinn?ref=search&sid=1199064928.1273628026..1 A Beautiful rooms tab http://www.facebook.com/berrymanorinn?sk=app_219848894719320 and a nice custom review and comments tab http://www.facebook.com/berrymanorinn?sk=app_148640131877398
Big Mill-a North Carolina Bed and Breakfast http://www.facebook.com/bigmillbedandbreakfast A great example of fans posting their own individual posts not just comments or likes on inn posts. I think this is interesting, a write a review tab http://www.facebook.com/bigmillbedandbreakfast?sk=app_237899489561392 as well as the free Gift tab, a nice incentive (a recipe) for liking a page http://www.facebook.com/bigmillbedandbreakfast?sk=app_4949752878
Bishop Farm Bed & Breakfast and Cottages http://www.facebook.com/BishopFarmBnB?sk=wall another example of fans posting their own individual posts not just comments or likes on inn posts. Also check out their video page http://www.facebook.com/BishopFarmBnB?sk=app_2392950137
Brewster Inn Dexter Maine http://www.facebook.com/brewsterinnfans A great idea for lodging is to have their marketing materials available for download in an album, check out http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.62882213222.88312.62095288222&type=1
The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Craftsman-Bed-Breakfast/44093826385?sk=wall I like their little FAQs page, while not a lot of info, it is key information http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Craftsman-Bed-Breakfast/44093826385?sk=app_340820536415
The Davie School Inn http://www.facebook.com/Davie.School.Inn Another example of guests and past guest actually posting commentary and not just in answer to the inns posts.
Elkhorn Inn & Theatre http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elkhorn-Inn-Theatre/53453051478 Has a nice use of their events section and an excellent use of their albums http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=53453051478
Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast http://www.facebook.com/pages/Harvest-Moon-Bed-and-Breakfast/49076013665 Love their culinary tips
Korner Kottage Bed and Breakfast http://www.facebook.com/KornerKottage I love their wall, they post a lot, a la twitter actually but their fans are paying attention, if you look through the number of comments and likes, it’s not the same people commenting/liking every post.
LimeRock Inn http://www.facebook.com/LimeRockInn?sk=wall An example of using the info tab (mentioned in the comments below the list) to add additional links like to their blog and a link to Tripadvisor (missing their twitter link though so far)
Rittenhouse Inn http://www.facebook.com/RittenhouseInn A nice use of the notes tab http://www.facebook.com/RittenhouseInn?sk=notes while not a lot of them, its still a feature that many inns don’t take advantage of.
Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast http://www.facebook.com/Scarboroughfairbandb has availability tab integrated into the site http://www.facebook.com/Scarboroughfairbandb?sk=app_4949752878 and has some nice descriptions on their rooms album, for example: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=54203906436&set=a.54203431436.79628.54201701436&type=1&theater
Strawberry Creek Inn Bunkhouse & B&B http://www.facebook.com/StrawberryCreek Ok so I’m biased, I love these guys, they are a trip on twitter as well. Not afraid to be opinionated (on twitter at least) but that’s part of the charm to me. Nice fan engagement with fans posting their own individual posts not just comments or likes on inn posts.
Some notes and suggestions on many of the B&B fan pages I have come across, including some things some of the above links could do/take advantage of:
-The Info tab lets you enter multiple URL links, so don’t just add your webpage, so if you have a twitter account, a blog or other links, ADD them!
-Photos at the top are not optimized for viewers, every time you add new photos, the new ones show up across the top of the strip. If you hover over the photos an X will appear, this gives you the ability to delete photos from the strip. (you are not deleting photos from your albums) but if you have key photos make sure that the viewer can see them and that it looks appealing.
-Tab photo is just a standard photo, this placeholder, the image to the top left, gives you the option of inserting a photo, a graphic or photo collage of at least 200 pixels wide by 600 pixels high. Some examples here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=374188422629&set=a.355404792629.155653.60297117629&type=1&theater
-Not taking advantage of the Notes tab for posting additional information. Example: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hopton-House-BB/103503492920?sk=notes
-Urls to website and other links are not checked, I came across several dozen where the weblinks were in incorrectly. I find this quite a bit on twitter profiles as well.
-Not optimizing photo text. You can put an unlimited amount of text in your photo descriptions, including links. Example here http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=275659042629&set=a.275658337629.143569.60297117629&type=1&theater
-Not claiming their custom URL, over 25 fans and you can claim a custom shortened URL at http://www.facebook.com/username/
“Inn Your Facebook” title suggested by Phil in West France