Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

The B&B Team
 

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Birthdays, Blogs, and Twitter

May 18th, 2009 by Peter Scherman

Solson Today is my son's 31st birthday. As a father, I'm proud of him. He lives in Costa Rica, so we don't see each other very often. Over the weekend he asked me to be his friend on Facebook. Like his sister a few weeks ago, I didn't exactly "ignore" or reject the offer, but I gave him the chance to reconsider and opt-out. Like his sister, he agreed.

Why would I NOT want my children as "friends" on Facebook? Most parents would KILL to have the insights that being a "friend" can give about their kids. It wasn't that I didn't want and wouldn't love the chance to be their "friend," it was simply that Facebook, for me (and, I suspect, for many who are reading this post) isn't really a social tool. It's a business tool. So why should that matter?

I have a tendency to tweet things every so often, usually about great hospitality-related articles that would be of interest to my Twitter followers in the lodging industry. Those show up on Facebook. And I usually comment on hospitality related subjects on Facebook, though not as much as I might or should. Blog posts like this on The Innkeeper's Resource sometimes show up on my pages, too. It's coming along, little by little, as I develop more of a network with innkeepers and become a fan of more inns. The thing is, when I look at my kids' Facebook pages, they really do carry on conversations with friends about cultural things, personal things, politics, and humor. My conversations, such as they are, are business related. And that kind of throws cold water on their youthful musings.

Maybe I should get a separate "personal" Facebook page. Don't get me wrong, I've had some old friends from my past find me on Facebook. And it's a treat to reconnect. But Facebook for me is a networking tool. And, as I get the hang of it and others in the innkeeping industry get the hang of it, it's bringing some of us together. That's fun. I think it will be to our mutual benefit. But somehow, Dad's business just seems out of place on a 30-something's page.

Am I wrong? Have any of you experienced a similar dilemma? Let's hear about it!

Peter

Do Innkeeper Blogs Work?

February 5th, 2009 by Peter Scherman

Every year The B&B Team travels to various innkeeping conferences, sometimes to exhibit in the trade show, but always as speakers. In the past month we attended the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Conference and Trade Show in Hot Springs, Virginia and just this week were at the 17th annual conference of CABBI, the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns, in Monterey. As always, we had a great time meeting innkeepers and speaking about topics that we're passionate about, like "Attracting the i.guest in a Slowing Economy"(a version of which we presented on a PAII webinar recently) and "Inn Branding and Market Positioning."

In both of these presentations we focus on the contemporary traveler, the i.guest, who is intelligent, independent, informed, imaginative, Internet-savvy and empowered, and Identified. This i.guest is using the Internet and social media to make travel decisions, and one of the topics that always comes up when we mention blogs is, "Does a blog bring innkeepers business?"

While we have anecdotal evidence that it does, based on some innkeepers who swear by their blogs, there is some new evidence of a blog's effectiveness in generating new business.

Stephanie at the Albert Shafsky House Bed & Breakfast in Placerville, CA has been writing a blog for a year and a half. Before speaking to an eager audience at CABBI about blogging and social media, she showed us her Google Analytics page that proved that one of the top referrers to her B&B's website is her blog. And her bounce rate on those referrals is a mere 25% or so. That's quite something. She thinks that the blog is integral to their marketing, along with the B&B's Facebook page and other efforts. Steph and Rita are really working social media, and it's paying off.

This morning I received a Google Alert linking to My Bella Vita, a blog by an American innkeeper in Italy, Cherrye Moore, at Il Cedro in Calabria. We exchanged an email or two, and I asked her if she got any business from her blog. Her reply was that her "blog site has been a great source of leads for our B&B." She also made an incredibly valuable point, that many people go out of their way to book with them, "because they feel like they know us through the blog." That, folks, is what social media, Web 2.0, Travel 2.0, and all the other stuff is about. Successful innkeeping is about building relationships and providing enduring experiences.

If a blog at your inn could help you build relationships before you've ever met a potential guest, that's really getting a head start on a long term relationship that can pay great dividends, both financial and "psychic," as Holly Stiel likes to say.

For all the inspiration from all the innkeepers mentioned above and those that keep us going every day, all I can say, again to echo Holly Stiel (and some guy with sideburns), is "Thank you, thank you very much!"

Peter

Learn to Blog from a Dog!

October 20th, 2008 by Peter Scherman

OK. So it takes me a while sometimes to get a new post written. But this one has been simmering for a month when Google Alerts first let me know about a GREAT posting by Oscar Meier. Oscar is a dog. A Weimaraner, to be exact. And he's written an article all about BLOGGING and WEB 2.0!!! So, have you been wondering about all this stuff and how to incorporate it into your B&B or inn? Check it out.

It seems that Oscar's parents, Mike and Laura at The Craftsman B&Bin Pacific City, Oregon, taught Oscar to type, and with that new skill (Weimaraners are smarter than your average dog) he's decided to share all the things he's learned about blogging and how it works. Oh, and how it can help a B&B.

"I have been writing this blog for a few months. My idea is to tell the world about Pacific City, the Oregon Coast and The Craftsman B&B.  Where to visit, hike, eat and to tell about the people of Pacific City and some of our interesting guests we have had stay with us," writes Oscar. Sagely, Oscar explains that "now we have what people are calling Web 2.0.  This is where the average user has input to what is on the Internet.  This is social networking, adding your information to a wiki, you are now the Internet.  YouTube, MySpace, Blogs and just about any topic you can think of has a forum.  You are able to communicate with people that have the same interests as you do." And it's a great way to generate interest in and promote your inn in a fun, "soft sell" way.
 
Oscar, I couldn't have explained it better (and we've been trying for a long time now). Interested? Check out Oscar's Blog! (While he's learned all these great tricks about typing and blogging, no one taught him about not sharing trade secrets…)
 
Peter
»