"Social Media" is a popular buzzword today for that other popular buzzword, "Web 2.0." Like it or not, our world is different, and travelers are going to sites like Trip Advisor, My Space, Facebook, and others to hear what their peers are saying about the places they’ve been and stayed.
If you are an aspiring innkeeper, you may have done this, and you may well have left reviews behind for the benefit of others. If you’re an innkeeper, you probably either love or hate this new reality. But, love it or hate it, it’s out there! So, what to do? At The B&B Team, our advice is to use it to your advantage, whether you’re thinking of buying an inn, or you are running one.
For aspiring innkeepers, when there’s an inn that you think might be a good choice for you, in addition to all the other research and due diligence you must perform before making an offer to purchase, check out the social media to see what people are saying about this inn. You might be pleased to find that it does, in fact, enjoy a wonderful reputation. Or, GASP!, you might read that it is, shall we say, lacking in popular support.
As an innkeeper, it’s important to know what others, your past guests, are saying about you. And, even if you don’t like the whole idea of social media, you might follow up with your guests after their departure and ask them to visit Trip Advisor if they’ve had a good experience and post a review. You should also be monitoring this and other social media sites for your own protection and to see how you can boost guest traffic.
There’s a new research report which you can buy from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), which was jointly produced by them and the Travel Industry Association (TIA) for $149.00 for non-members. You can purchase it at http://www.hsmaipublications.com . I think it’s in our budget to pick up a copy. How about you?