Attention shoppers…group buying marketing companies have hit the air waves. In radio days the airwaves were the frequency that transmitted the signals that carried information to the world. We all know what claims the airwaves today, social media. And the latest addition to the social media tool box is…
If you haven’t heard, Living Social along with Groupon are the front runners when it comes to social commerce. These two companies have attracted the largest audience of consumers. Since the introduction of Living Social Escapes (many of us were first introduced at the Charleston PAII Conference) there have been a number of innkeepers that have taken advantage of this form of ‘social shopping’. This is a new way to attract buyers to your brand. Increased exposure, isn’t that what we all need?
I recently interviewed Janel Martin, Innkeeper/Chef (extraordinaire) of The Wakefield Inn in New Hampshire about her experience with Living Social Escapes.
Q. What was your motivation for using this social media tool?
A. Marketing exposure. In the past I tried all the conventional advertising media and spent lots of money with no results. It has been a struggle to get my name, brand out there. I got instant and phenomenal exposure with my package posting. It went viral instantly.
Q. What did your package include?
A. I tell myself all the time, sell what you know and what you know will sell. I do cooking classes that are hands on; I love to get the guests involved. So my package includes a cooking class, a massage and a Deneen mug to take home, and the room of course. Oh yes, I believe it is important that the guest take home something with the Inn’s logo to remind them of the great time they had, so don’t forget to pre order the mugs, I ran out!
Q. What kind of feedback have you gotten from the participating guests?
A. They all leave saying they can’t wait to tell their friends about the experience. I got at least 20 new reviews on Trip Advisor from these guests. Also there were at least 100 people that contacted me saying they missed the deadline and was I going to post one again. These are new people that are now in my database. Many of the people are from as far away as Montreal.
Q. Would you do it again?
Q. What advice would you want to pass on to innkeepers who are considering putting a special on a social commerce site?
A. If I was to do it again I would be more specific and firm about the rooms I offer and the dates. It would be for mid-week only and for a shorter period of time. You must structure your package very carefully and be very detailed about what you offer.
A point that Janel wanted to empathize is that you can do all the number crunching to see if your package will be profitable and that is important but her real motivation was the increased marketing exposure. This is what we at The B&B Team also believe is a prime reason to use any social media tool. Marketing 101: Draw customers to your sell! Your package is your invitation to customers to experience what you have to offer and it must be worth their while. If the growing number of customers using social commerce see your ‘escape’ and think it is worth their while than you have a new customer X 100, 200, 300, 400! Is it worth your while too? Hope this helps you decide one way or the other.
This will a part of a series of interviews I will have with innkeepers that have participated in Living Social. Stay tuned.
Tags: b&b's, bed and breakfast, innkeepers, living social, marketing, packages, social commerce, social media, specials, Vermont