How to Write a Social Media Strategic Plan for Bed and Breakfasts

For many businesses, including B&Bs, writing a strategic plan for their business is not high on their priority list, but it should be! Writing a strategic plan for social media in this digital age is now an absolute must!

If you plan to be competitive in today’s world, it’s something that you should take the time to do (about 2 hours initially to really fill it out completely). Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be done all at once, break it into manageable sections and put a date on when you will finish it, and stick to it!

Using social media for your marketing without a plan and goals in mind, is like taking a open can of paint and throwing it at a wall, where ever the paint sticks, it sticks, instead of carefully and methodically painting it, and making sure the wall ends up perfectly painted.

If you were painting your house to put it up for sale, you would want to make sure all the holes were filled, the trim touched up and the cornices had every nook and cranny in perfect shape, vs showing the house that looks like a train ran through it. Oddly enough there are a lot of businesses out there that their social media is similar to a train wreck, don’t make yours one.

Once you have your strategic plan finished, stick to it and benchmark it, every three months. Without benchmarking you can’t really see if something is REALLY working or not. Be realistic when benchmarking, telling yourself you tried something, when it wasn’t really planned out, or really used, is not helping your business. There is no pass fail with this, but it effects the end game, and the end result of bringing more business to your inn and better branding and SEO for your website and other online media. The only one it’s not doing a favor to, is you, yourself, the innkeeper.

Both your website and email marketing are tied into this plan because they are both integral parts of your online marketing, and they tie into your social media marketing as well.

__________________________Bed and Breakfast Social Media Strategic Plan
_______________________Bed and Breakfast, located in ______________________

 

Initial assessment: (anything in Red is an example but could be applicable)

Online Tools:

Website URL:___________________________

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Facebook URL:___________________________

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Blog URL:___________________________ (if different from integrated blog in website)

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Twitter URL:___________________________

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Pinterest URL:___________________________

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Youtube URL:___________________________

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Instagram URL:___________________________

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

Other Media URL:___________________________ (Periscope, Podcasting, Meerkat, etc.)

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Media Kit

You never know when you’ll need to send information to the media. (information is also useful to have as a press page on your website or blog). Plus it’s very good for SEO.

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Newsletter to guests/potential guests

 

Developed? __________ In Use? __________

 

Effective? __________Needs Work? __________

 

Goals-What you want to accomplish
A1. Organizational Goals: What is your B&B’s one to three main social media goals for the next 12 to 18 months?
+
A2. Marketing Goals: What is your B&B’s one to three social media marketing goals (how you’ll use marketing to reach those organizational goals)?

Organizational goals for ____________________________Bed and Breakfast

Examples:

-Forge partnerships with local businesses online to help cross promote each other and encourage tourism to your area.

-Build awareness for  ____________________________Bed and Breakfast using Facebook, Youtube and Blogging.

-Improve public image online of our B&B (i.e. doily inn, fussy, old victorian, Grandma’s house, etc.) vs Modern hotels and Airbnbs.

 

Marketing goals ____________________________Bed and Breakfast
Examples:

-Set up account for our Bed and Breakfast using Facebook, Youtube and Blogging.

-Start a email newsletter.

-Redesign key parts of website incorporating specific calls to action to visit special offers/packages on your B&B Website.

B. Calls to Action—What you want your guests/potential guests to do?
Examples:

When someone reads our newsletter, they should book a room AND/OR click through to more specials and offers on our website AND/OR buy a gift certicate AND/OR…………………

When someone likes us on Facebook, you would also like them to subscribe to your newsletter

When they open our reservation confirmation email you would like them to like and follow the B&B on Facebook

 

Part Two a.: Your Guests-Target Audiences & Segments online
•Who are they?
•How can you segment them, so you can reach them most effectively? How does each group break out into one to three segments (that share things like who books what kind of room rates, pet friendly travelers, etc.)?
 

Examples:
Target audience Guests/Potential Guests

-Couples, ages 35-65

-Couples, ages 65+

-Business travelers, singles, ages 30-62

-Couples with families, ages 30-45 with children between 8-15

 

Target audience Guests/Potential Guests  (with variables):

-Couples, ages 35-65, hikers, bikers, skiers (outdoors) etc.

-Couples, ages 65+, retired, antiques, music, etc.

-Business travelers, singles, ages 30-62, tech industry, food industry, medical industry

-Couples with families, ages 30-45 with children between 8-15, kid friendly activities/attractions

 

Set Goals for Progress for each marketing goal:

Examples:

Utilizing a Facebook page for the B&B

Goal: reach 1500 likes by the end of 2017 or an additional 300 likes by September      Done____________

Not Done________________________ Why Not?________________________

 

-Add Pinterest and Youtube tabs to the page by June     Done____________

Not Done________________________ Why Not?________________________

 

-Add Email sign-up tab to page by July      Done____________ 

Not Done________________________ Why Not?________________________

 

etc.

 

Notes: keep track of anything relevant, it does come in handy down the road.

 

Resources Available

Paid Staff (If you are the sole proprietor disregard, if you are a couple/partner or have staff this is important): How many hours are currently devoted to marketing___________________

How many additional hours can be earmarked towards additional marketing initiatives?

Name:_____________________________________Additional hours?____________________

Name:_____________________________________Additional hours?____________________

Name:_____________________________________Additional hours?____________________

 

Roles and Responsibilities/Who does what? And what does it encompass? (be specific)

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

What is your budget for social media marketing? This includes billable and unbillable time, your own time has value, put an associated $ amount to it.

Per Week__________________Per Month:_____________________Per Year:_________________

-This also includes having a designer or any outsourcing costs if you don’t if you can’t do yourself as well as any paid training needed to accomplish marketing goals.

 

Is there Training Needed?

For What:_______________________________________________________

For Who:____________________________________________

Anticipated time allotted for training_________________________________

Monetary Spend: $__________________

 

New Marketing Initiatives should be assessed at 3 and then 6 months to determine

progress and worthwhileness of time/money.
When doing an assessment, be realistic:

Examples:

-Starting a twitter account and posting 6 tweets in 2 months is not going to give you an accurate assessment of whether a social media channel works v.s. 200+ tweets in 2 months, plus proactively following people and having a few conversations with people does.

-Writing a press release and posting it on the B&B website and sending it to a couple of newspapers v.s. posting it to the website plus spending 20-30 minutes sending it to all the online press release venues, and to all the state, regional and national newspapers.

 

Benchmarking Marketing Goals (be specific and have times/dates associated with each finished goal)

A goal can be broken up into parts, but documenting each part and addressing whether it was done correctly is key.

 

Benchmark all goals every 30 days with a brief assessment, do an in depth assessment and review everything every 90 days.

 

Before you set and start on each goal, what is the aim of each of them?

Example:

Start a Youtube Account for the B&B:

-Increase SEO (search engine optimization) for the B&B’s website

-Increase awareness of the B&B to our target demographic market

-Send the video link to your local chamber and your lodging association for use for promotional use

 

At benchmark time sample assessment:

Start a Youtube Account for the B&B:

-Increase SEO (search engine optimization) for the B&Bs website

B&B’s Youtube channel is appearing high in search, from page 5 on Google search to page 2.

-Increase awareness of the B&B to our target demographic market

            Video now has 123 likes and Youtube channel has 7 followers.

-Send the video link to your local chamber and your lodging association for use for promotional use

Lodging Association has shared the video on Facebook and Google+, chamber of commerce has shared the video on Facebook and Google+, pinned it to Pinterest and sent it out in an email blast to other chamber members.

           

Who is the intended target of each goal? Where does your target market spend time?

Dog Friendly for example, a good place to post would be breed specific forums or advertise in pet related magazines. Upscale clientele like Luxury Car Facebook Pages as well as magazines like Roundel. Brides love Pinterest. Techies love Google+, Business people like twitter. Retirees may be targeted by Facebook, but Millennials by Instagram as an example.

 

Examples for Social Media of Benchmarking:

January 7th – Create an B&B Facebook page and make sure the Facebook page has all the applicable information filled out. Or evaluate your current Facebook page and make sure it’s optimized.

Done____________  Not Done________________________ Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

What additionally can be done to enhance Facebook Marketing?

Examples:

-Add email signup tab

-Add Pinterest tab

-Share local area attraction and other local businesses posts

-Change cover photo once per week

-Use boosted posts once per week or twice per month, ad spend of $15 each

 

If Not Done: proposed revised date for finishing goal_________________________

At next benchmark date: Done____________  Not Done________________________

Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________ (if this person is you, this is a good reminder that you need to do it)

 

February 7th – Create a blog and make sure the blog has all the applicable information filled out. Or evaluate your blog and make sure it’s optimized.

Done____________  Not Done________________________ Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

 

If Not Done: proposed revised date for finishing goal_________________________

At next benchmark date: Done____________  Not Done________________________

Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

 

Or set numerical goals.

Mid April– Get 50 new pins and/or repins on Pinterest

Done____________  Not Done________________________ Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

 

If Not Done: proposed revised date for finishing goal_________________________

At next benchmark date: Done____________  Not Done________________________

Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

 

Mid May – Get 100 new followers on Twitter

Done____________  Not Done________________________ Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

 

If Not Done: proposed revised date for finishing goal_________________________

At next benchmark date: Done____________  Not Done________________________

Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

 

Mid June  – Get 50 new fans/likes on Facebook

Done____________  Not Done________________________ Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

 

If Not Done: proposed revised date for finishing goal_________________________

At next benchmark date: Done____________  Not Done________________________

Why Not?________________________

Who is assigned this task?______________________________________

If you have finished your strategic plan, and have some questions or would like someone’s external input on it, I would be happy to take a look at it, free of charge, and give you some suggestions. Please shoot me an email. Cheers!

Realistically social media marketing for an inn can be done in less than a hour per week. Here are a couple of documents that may help with this goal a bit more:

Bed and Breakfast Strategic Marketing Plan (the above in MS word)

Suggested Weekly Marketing Schedule for a B&B

Social Media Calendar hour per week schedule

Social Media Calendar hour and half per week schedule

 

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, Blogging, Facebook, Hospitality News, How tos, Lodging, marketing, Observations, SEO, Social Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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