This will be the first of a series covering social media pros and cons for innkeepers, following will be Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.
http://wordpress.com (or .org if you want to pay for it)
http://www.blogger.com (a Google product)
Plus there are dozens more out there that one can use, wordpress and blogger being the most popular.
- Can be personal or business or a combination of both.
- Posts can be set to automatically go to Twitter and Facebook through the blogging platform.
Twitterfeed: feed your blog into twitter and Facebook http://twitterfeed.com/
Networked Blogs: https://www.facebook.com/networkedblogs Blog to Facebook
RSS Graffiti: https://www.facebook.com/RSS.Graffiti Blog to Facebook
Pros of Blogs
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Long Term and Short Term
- Ability to impart information utilizing the soft sell
- Put Yourself out as an Expert, in terms of innkeeping, you’re putting out useful information for guests and potential guests.
There are no rules about what you have to post or what direction or genre you have to post in. If you start a blog about local things to do and then switch to recipes or a mix of, that’s awesome!
Cons of Blogs
- Can be time-consuming
- Writers Block
- High Abandonment Rate
- ROTI (return on time investment) is long-term
Why Should Innkeepers Use It?
Of all of the Social Media platforms out there, blogging has the best long-term value for both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and for the ability for re-use and re-purposing content.
Plus it’s a great way to aggregate information for use to send to guests. “Things to do this coming month close to our inn” (information already provided by area online papers and new media), it’s a blog post!
Why Shouldn’t Innkeepers Use It?
Of all the social media platforms out there, blogging is the only one I can not come up with a reason why not to use.
Some Fallacies about Blogging
That you have to write a novel for each and every blog (if you can stick up a couple of photos and a few lines, that’s your post)
That you HAVE to write a blog daily or at least weekly (if you can, that’s great, but no one that actually works for a living has time. The bloggers that say you need to be doing this? That’s their job, blogging, but that’s what they do FOR a job, not running a 24/7 business)
That your going to get tons of comments and if you don’t, you’re not doing it right. #1 fib out there. People comment on blogs that are really useful, putting something really new out there or something they disagree with. If you write a post about the best tomato hybrids out there and no one comments, it’s really OK. Go by the amount of incoming traffic you get instead and this is long-term traffic. A blog, when you originally post it, may only get a dozen views/readers the day you post it, but cumulative, and long-term, over the course of a year, you may get a thousand views/readers. Once you post it, the search engines pick it up, and it stays there pretty much forever and is searchable.
Recommendations as of late 2014
If you don’t have a blog, start one.
If you’ve abandoned your blog, revisit it. Blogging doesn’t have to be a novel. Put it into your schedule and start collecting ideas, write posts up in advance and get ahead of the game.
Blog posts can be sent out to further promote your inn to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ personal and business pages as well as Linkedin personal and business accounts and pages, plus if you include images and pictures in your blog (recommended) you can pin your blog to Pinterest.
Don’t stress about having to do a blog daily or once a week, try to do one or two per month at least, if you can do more, that’s great, but don’t beat yourself up.
If you have blog burnout, then take a break for a month, or two if you need it, but don’t forget to go back to it.
Some innkeeping blog examples:
http://blog.claibornehouse.net/ an example of an inn blog offering a mix of things to do, opinions, recipes etc.
http://murskihomesteadbb.com/blog an example of an inn blog primarily recipe based (remember recipes are the #1 most shared thing on the internet, if you don’t want to do research on whats going on the in the area etc, do a recipe blog)
http://whitecedarinn.blogspot.com/ an example of an inn blog focusing on primarily photos and little text, pretty much everyone has a smart phone with a camera, go out and take pictures where ever you go.
http://www.themastfarminn.com/mast-farm-inn-magazine/ a great example of things to do in the area, promoting the inn and more.
Blogging Homework for Bed and Breakfasts
30 Reasons why Innkeepers should be blogging
25 Blogging ideas for Inns and B&B’s (also useful for things to tweet about)
35 Places to advertise your blog