Issue #6, October 2011
Hello again Lovely Innkeepers!
Reminder to past and new readers:
Please try to address the action items (a note will be next to items in this newsletter marked in red) because they are IMPORTANT! saying (action item) Recommended at least to skim.
Fall Foliage/Autumn is in full swing and I know it's a busy time of year for inns, so I will try not to bombard you with too many things you have to check out. :)
The big news this month is Google+ is now open to anyone, if you have not previously signed up for Google+ I HIGHLY suggest you do so now!
Unfortunately this is not going to be something that businesses can ignore as there is a very highly probability that it will integrate into Google Business Places pages. Google+ ia not hard to use and navigate around in so take 10 minutes and poke around now. All you need is either a Gmail account or a regular Google account. https://plus.google.com/ (action item)
The other event is Facebook changing its internal layouts yet AGAIN and they are not done quite yet with the changes, many changes to the timeline and the profiles will be completely redesigned as well shortly, you can preview what it looks like here http://www.facebook.com/about/timeline, I have heard rumors but no proof as of yet that Facebook is also going to rollout a major facelift of the Fan Pages to compete with Google+.
Recent Blog Posts From our Blog that may be of interest to innkeepers:
Bed and Breakfast Marketing and Operations Resource Sites and Forums
Developing a Media Kit for your Bed and Breakfast
Why Bed and Breakfasts need to have an elevator speech
4 twitter tips for Inns and Bed and Breakfasts
Inns: HOW TO use the Use Page As feature to promote your fan page
Helpful Free Applications and or Notes
Another free online photo editor
Build Custom Google Maps From Excel Spreadsheet Addresses
Free Video file converter
Free Converter: PDF to Excel or Microsoft Word
Support for Google Places
Forfeng's Favorite Posts of the Past Month
Social Media Coercion: How far should hotels go to please and appease?
While this is aimed at hotels, there are several points here that I believe B&Bs can take advantage of escpecially " A personal note and a list of activity suggestions can be as well received as an upgrade or welcome amenity." The area list of todos is something an inn SHOULD already have put together for all of their guests, this is just taking the 2 minute step and personalizing further. You can leverage this by putting certain attactivities and attractions into categories ahead of time. i.e. these are great restaurants to go to for a romantic candlelite dinner, here's a out of the way beautiful spot to have a romantic picnic lunch, etc.
I think the biggest takeaways from this are the threat to write a bad review suggestions, yes a bad review is going to hurt a B&B loads more then a hotel, but if you have one bad review and 20 good ones, odds are who do you think readers of review sites are going to believe, especially if you take the time to write out a good professional management response.
A Hotel owner's Twitter success
While Anthony technically has a hotel, its a very small hotel, he only has 10 guest rooms and is more like an inn with a restaurant (at least here in the US) I did a Q&A with him awhile back as well http://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/4-twitter-tips-for-inns-and-bed-and-breakfasts/
Misc Business, Social Media and Marketing
Review Sites Database - overview of 100+ review sites internationally
Downloadable List Of 146 Free Press Release Sites
Accept credit cards? Important change to your record keeping (action item)
Understanding Google Maps & Local Search Ė Developing Knowledge about Local Search (regarding having a business listed closed on Google Places)
If you have your blog on Blogger, some new ways to customize the templates.
Dynamic Views: seven new ways to share your blog with the world
How To Use LinkedIn To Improve Organic Visibility
MapQuest Local Business Center: Make your Business Listing Stand Out!
How to Create Deals in Bing Business Portal
Facebook Changes Making You Crazy? Hereís a Quick Reference Guide
The New Facebook: How to Take Control of Your Privacy (action item)
The Ultimate Facebook Marketing Cheat Sheet
(two notes with this one, facebook is disabling RSS feeds #3 as of Sept. 30, 2011 but as far as I know Networked blogs (http://www.facebook.com/networkedblogs) will still work to feed a blog post to fan page and #2, you still need 25 fans to be able to claim your username, Facebook opened this to anyone with any number of fans for about 2 weeks this month and then disabled it again,
A comprehensive guide from twitter:Twitter for Business
Letís Talk About How To Make the Most of Retweets
Letís Talk About Getting That First Reply On Twitter
10 Must-Learn Lessons For Twitter Newbies
7 Sneaky Ways to Use Twitter to Spy on Your Competition
20 Ways to Master Google+
34 Google+ Resources for Your Business: Advice from the Pros
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Heather Turner ~ Chief Log Roller
Social Media Development and Training, Graphic Design, Commercial Photography,
P.O. Box 222, Rocky Hill, CT 06067