Thanks to my friend, Michael Russer, a guru of modern marketing for the real estate industry, for a couple of great quotes that are particularly apropos of the innkeeping world today.
Charles Darwin said, "It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." In more recent years Eric Hoffer wrote, "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."
Having watched the real estate industry teeter on the verge of extinction along with travel agents a few years ago, I can attest to the power of learning and adapting to survive and, I might add, thrive. There are lots of B&Bs and inns out there who are doing business the same way they have for years, and some are struggling. After all, hospitality is hospitality, right? Yes and no. How you treat people will never change, i.e. caring for them and doing the right things for them. It’s how you get those people to begin with that is changing at warp speed. It’s called Web 2.0 and now Travel 2.0.
Believe me, at The B&B Team we don’t have all the answers, but we’re LEARNING FAST what we need to do, and what our clients need to be doing, to remain successful. And we see some innkeepers who are adopting social media into their marketing campaigns with stellar results. Take a look at how George and Janice Yankowski have incorporated new media into their site at The Maine Stay Inn in Kennebunkport, ME. Also the Thomas Shepherd Inn in Shepherdstown, WV and The Whitegate Inn in Mendocino, CA are blogging for guests. How about your area: are other innkeepers blogging? Take a look to find out. Ask them how it’s going.
When was the last time you tried something really, really new? I bet it was fun!
Thanks, Peter, for talking about blogs as a marketing tool for B&Bs. A fellow innkeeper, Steve Wirt, who also does website/SEO work at inngenious.com has written a very comprehensive article about blogging for B&Bs, found at http://www.inngenious.com/marketing-advice/bnb-blog.htm.
If you decide to start a blog you’ll find his tips very helpful.
My challenge is keeping the blog up. We tend to put current events information on our home page, along with last-minute availability – so that doesn’t go in the blog. I have a reminder in my calendar to do it once a week but it doesn’t always make it to the top of my list. I do enjoy the writing, so I am trying to do better. Keep your audience in mind and write what you know. Your guests will love it.