Bed and Breakfast Associations and Social Media

Facebook snip for blogIn doing some information gathering about Bed and Breakfast state and regional associations, I finally got around to doing a study that I’ve had on my to do list for a while. How do B&B associations use social media? Are they using it? And are they using it to promote their members or promote tourism or both.

Facebook business pages were the most used social media platform across the board for B&B associations. Blogs were second, followed in very small amounts by Twitter, Google+. Pinterest, Youtube and Linkedin business pages.

This article will be focusing on just Facebook business pages, with a follow-up shortly with findings on the rest of the social media platform usage by B&B associations.

Out of 91 inns associations, 72 had Facebook pages. Of the 72, 55 were active and had posted at least once in the past month, 20 of them were completely abandoned and hadn’t been posted to for months. 35 had claimed their custom Facebook URLS (https://www.facebook.com/notes/equine-calculator/how-to-claim-your-vanity-url-for-your-facebook-page/474147772600069), 43 were linked off the homepage of the associations website, and more interestingly 31 of them had Facebook pages with no link from their website to Facebook. Broken down a bit more (41 active pages and had a link from their website, 13 inactive pages and had link from website, 10 active pages but had no link from their website, and 9 inactive pages and had no link from their website)

A few observations about the association’s pages: across the board not many of them are sharing members content. For those who may not be aware of it, putting members on an interest list https://www.facebook.com/help/135312293276793/ (you need to be logged in as your personal account) can help aggregate all of the association’s members content easily. You can also put state tourism, and any other pages of interest on there on multiple lists. It makes content sourcing and ways to promote members much much easier.

None of the associations were tagging photos with their association pages tags. Similar to tagging a person, associations can tag their photos with their association’s page links. More about tagging here, https://www.facebook.com/help/366702950069221. Why tag? If a photo gets shared, it helps track back and brand the association. You can go back and tag any already published photos.

Very few associations had feeds from Facebook to Twitter set up. http://www.facebook.com/twitter. Even if an association isn’t going to “use” twitter, I suggest setting up an account and setting up a feed. Posts on Facebook are not necessarily going to help your SEO (search engine optimization) but Twitter posts do. It also helps build brand awareness and if you look at https://twitter.com/nhinns  for example, it does help get people to A. follow you and B. Click through to your Facebook posts and C. because your website link is in the profile, people do click through to the association site. Since a feed for this account was set up, there have been 224 click throughs to the association site (for basically just setting the feed up). How’s that for free advertising?

Facebook also has a rather high abandonment rate, almost 1/3 of associations have stopped posting on their pages. I find it very curious that 10 associations have active Facebook pages, but no track back from their website on how people can find them, i.e. no icons or links to their pages. You have to advertise the fact you have Facebook, people don’t search within Facebook for pages.

From the perspective of not looking like an association cares much for their marketing, there are also 10 associations that have Facebook (and other social media platforms) linked off of their home pages that they have completely abandoned. My recommendation to them would be if you are not going to use them, have them removed from your pages. From a guests perspective it doesn’t look good.

I would recommend that if associations have social media platforms already set up, put in a calendar (and track it) that at least two posts per month be made (less then 5 minutes of time) to keep the accounts active, especially if your linking them off your website, otherwise take the links/icons off and put a last post in tracking back to your website or if you have migrated to another social media platform, tell people where to find you including the site link.

What can associations do to boost their Facebook content?

Share members content like: https://www.facebook.com/354252340241/photos/a.10151937920145242.1073741828.354252340241/10153181713130242/?type=1&permPage=1

Share area and state pages content like: https://www.facebook.com/OgunquitMaine/photos/a.70403608412.97059.68071783412/10153279869768413/?type=1

Share recipes from pages like: https://www.facebook.com/gourmet.magazine

Share other association’s content: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1031345400226385&id=342965155731083

Think about it, 4 post examples, 4 times a week or once a week, 4 times a month.

I think part of the issue with associations posting is many don’t have paid staff. In any B&B association I’ve always found at “least” one inn that posts to Facebook frequently. Ask that person or persons if they would take charge and post once a week or a few times a month to the associations page. (a side note, I would recommend having at least three active innkeepers be administrators on the Facebook page, so you never lose access. You can also assign people as content providers as well).

Social media is a terrific way to help promote your members and promote your state or region and it doesn’t cost anything except a few minutes of time. Using lists to aggregate members and tourism content takes the stress off an association to have to come up with  their own unique content all the time. You are then using social media to promote your members and promote the area in which your members are located.

A list of suggested Bed and Breakfast Association Facebook pages to check out. You can also check out an aggregated list of Associations here https://www.facebook.com/lists/10203050492561821 (You need to be logged into Facebook to see this, you can follow the list if you would like, and it also includes some bigger lodging associations on it as well). When I went through associations pages the number of likes was not a consideration, as a Association that’s been online longer will statistically have more likes then one that was started six months ago. Posting frequency, what was posted and shared were what brought these pages to the forefront for attention.

Example of a Facebook Bed and Breakfast Association Member list aggregate

Example of a Facebook Bed and Breakfast Association Member list aggregate

Best at Sharing Members Content:

Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado

Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inns-of-Colorado/73699358511

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Best at Promoting Members and Tourism:

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild

http://www.obbg.org/index.php

https://www.facebook.com/oregonbedandbreakfast

Best at Promoting Members and Sharing Members Content:

Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association

http://www.laketolake.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michigan-Lake-to-Lake-Bed-and-Breakfast-Association/140936427379

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Best at Sharing and Sense of Humor:

Maine Innkeepers Association

http://www.maineinns.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-Innkeepers-Association/165168072281

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Other Notable Well Done Facebook Pages:

Bar Harbor Bed and Breakfast Association

http://www.sleepbarharbor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bar-Harbor-Bed-and-Breakfast-Association/168008369901467?sk=timeline

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

*no link from website to Facebook page

Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association

http://www.illinoisbnb.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-Bed-and-Breakfast-Association/125851197474932

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah

http://www.bedandbreakfastsofsavannah.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bandbofsavannah/

Louisiana Bed and Breakfast Association

http://www.louisianabandb.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Louisiana-Bed-and-Breakfast-Association/187872881231800

*has not claimed custom Facebook URL

Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia

http://www.innvirginia.com

https://www.facebook.com/BBAVirginia

https://www.facebook.com/StayInnVA/

California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns

https://www.cabbi.com

https://www.facebook.com/CalifAssnBoutiqueandBreakfastInns

Below is a list of all inns associations that were gone through for evaluation. If you have a B&B association that I missed please bring it to my attention in the comments, and I will review it and add any applicable numbers into my content. Thank you!

  1. Bed and Breakfast Association of Alabama
  2. Homer Alaska Bed & Breakfast Association
  3. Mat-Su Valley Bed and Breakfast Association
  4. Anchorage Alaska Bed & Breakfast Association
  5. Bed and Breakfast Association of Alaska
  6. Alliance of Better Bed and Breakfasts
  7. Arizona Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns
  8. Prescott B&B Association
  9. California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns
  10. Authentic Bed and Breakfast Inns and Cottages of Pikes Peak
  11. Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado
  12. The Bed and Breakfasts of the Mystic Coast
  13. Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns
  14. Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association
  15. Palm Beach County Bed and Breakfast Association
  16. St. Petersburg Area Bed and Breakfast Association
  17. Key West Innkeepers Association
  18. Saint Augustine Historic Inns
  19. Romantic Inns of Savannah
  20. Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah
  21. Hawaii Island Bed & Breakfast Association
  22. Idaho Bed & Breakfast Association
  23. Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association
  24. Chicago Bed and Breakfast Association
  25. Lodging Along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
  26. Indiana Bed and Breakfast Association
  27. Iowa Bed and Breakfast Guild
  28. The Iowa Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Association
  29. Kansas Bed and Breakfast Association
  30. Louisville Bed and Breakfast
  31. The Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky
  32. Louisiana Bed and Breakfast Association
  33. Maine Innkeepers Association
  34. Bar Harbor Bed and Breakfast Association
  35. Maryland Bed & Breakfast Association
  36. Five College Area Bed & Breakfast Association
  37. Western Mass Hills B&B Association
  38. Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association
  39. Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Association
  40. Bed and Breakfast Association of Mississippi
  41. Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri
  42. Montana Bed and Breakfast Association
  43. Nebraska Association of Bed and Breakfasts
  44. Country Inns of the Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region
  45. Monadnock New Hampshire Lodging Association
  46. New Hampshire Bed & Breakfast Association
  47. Lake Regions Bed & Breakfast Association
  48. Country Inns in the White Mountains
  49. Bed & Breakfasts Inn MWV
  50. Preferred Inns of New Jersey
  51. Albuquerque Bed & Breakfast Association
  52. New Mexico Bed & Breakfast Association
  53. Historic Hudson Valley Lodging Association
  54. North Fork Bed and Breakfast Association
  55. Empire State Bed & Breakfast Association
  56. Adirondack Bed and Breakfast Association
  57. Finger Lakes Bed & Breakfast Association
  58. Wayne County Bed and Breakfast Association
  59. Maggie Valley Bed & Breakfast Association
  60. North Carolina Bed & Breakfast and Inns
  61. Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association
  62. Ohio Bed & Breakfast Association
  63. Port Clinton Bed & Breakfast Association
  64. Oklahoma Bed and Breakfast Association
  65. Central Oregon Bed and Breakfast Association
  66. Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild
  67. Authentic Bed and Breakfasts of Lancaster County Association
  68. North Central Pennsylvania Bed & Breakfast Association
  69. Pennsylvania Mid-State Bed and Breakfast Association
  70. Pennsylvania Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns
  71. Bed & Breakfast Association of Pittsburgh
  72. Newport Inns and B&B Association
  73. South Carolina Bed and Breakfast Association
  74. Bed and Breakfast Association of Tennessee
  75. Smoky Mountain Bed & Breakfast Association
  76. Texas Bed & Breakfast Association
  77. Heart of Texas Bed and Breakfast Association
  78. North Texas Bed and Breakfast Association
  79. Granbury Area Bed and Breakfast Association
  80. Bed & Breakfast Inns of Utah
  81. Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia
  82. Loudoun Bed & Breakfast Guild
  83. Washington Bed and Breakfast Guild
  84. Inns of Excellence
  85. Seattle Bed & Breakfast Association
  86. West Virginia Bed & Breakfast Association
  87. Inns of the Scenic St. Croix Valley
  88. Madison Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Inns Area Association
  89. Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association
  90. Wyoming Hospitality & Outdoor Adventures
  91. Vermont Inn and B&B Association

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/
This entry was posted in B&B, Facebook, Hospitality News, How tos, Inns, Lodging, marketing, Observations, Social Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Bed and Breakfast Associations and Social Media

  1. Did I miss it? Have you listed BBIM.org? Missouri’s Association?
    If not, please do!

  2. InnkeeperVA says:

    You put a ton of work into this and I hope it enlightens a few innkeepers and associations. Part 2 is excellent as well, this one shocked the heck out of me, since Pinterest is a free tool and you can get GREAT BANG FOR YOUR BUCK featuring only images!

    “Of the 91 Associations, surprisingly I could only find 5 that had Pinterest accounts.”

    Thank you Chefforfeng I am passing this on…

  3. Pingback: B&B Photos Speak Volumes - Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association

  4. Sharon Rowe says:

    Excellent tips Heather, thanks for taking the time to research and share back your findings and recommendations!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s