We're in the People Business, right?

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10/07/2008

Okay so here I am to say something, to get people upset at me. But I want to, I can't help myself, besides my Innkeeper A.D.D. I also have Innkeeper O.C.D. which means I can't stop myself... (yeah right) 

There are those who are magnificent at Social Media, innkeepers, I mean. They blow me away how much they "share" in every social media outlet, it boggles the mind...and yet, none of it is personal, not one stitch.

No photos of the innkeepers on the website, or any other social media format, nothing personal about the guests, the people, the experience. I wonder what the experience would be? It is all so "canned" for lack of a better term. Every single comment, post, article, photo is pure marketing. Nothing more nothing less. There is no personal touch to anything!  Can you blog from time to time with an image of you - the innkeepers serving the guests? Or working in the yard? Or exploring the area, hiking a trail, picking fruit at the farmer's market for guest breakfasts?

Okay I got that off my chest. I just wanted to mention it, I wanted to ask you - as we are in the people business, we have people in our homes, where we live, not in our office at work, someplace else. We make their beds, we cook their food, we make their coffee for goodness sake!  Do you extend a personal touch in any of your marketing or are you just a place, with place holders on the internet all over trying to sell rooms? Isn't this business more than that?

A business that makes only money is a poor business. --Henry Ford.

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Just got this from Barry the Bar Blogger - this is what I am talkin' bout!!! 

Stop treating your customers like transactions

Excerpt:

The best performing businesses online create relationships with current and potential customers by sharing interesting, engaging content every day, and here’s the shocking thing, most of the info will never mention a price or an offer, instead it will be a mixture of high quality images, comments from happy customers, details of local events, interesting business news.

and more...

How do you avoid making mistakes like this? The next time you’re about to press Submit/Post ask yourself if you would talk that way across the bar to a customer. If not, change the message until it matches your real voice.

 

Madeleine's picture
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I just went thru my FB feed to see what was there. Mostly sales pitches. 'Here's out latest doo dad, you really need to buy this...'

OK, I get that a place like a movie theater or a sports arena has to tell you what's playing or who's playing so what else do they tell you besides that? What else would anyone want to know?

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05/30/2008

I agree, JB.  But when you're first starting out it's hard to judge how much of yourselves that you want to put out there on the world wide web.  Then, you realize that it's out there no matter what you do!  All you have to do is Google your name.    I always put out a lot of stuff when I was blogging and I think that my tactic would have been much more open with the social media now.  We didn't have our photo on our web page, mostly because I never could find/take a good photo of ourselves that didn't look "posed".  I think that's key - the innkeepers look best doing what they do best.

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People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
~ Anton Chekhov

 

Joey Camb's picture
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I think it is like everything - for myself I am a private person and find it hard to share personal info on the internet, however,

Sharing that you read a particular book or found an exciting recepie or say gluten free cookbook can be enough to give a personal touch without giving away the farm.

Guest no matter what they say don't want to know the realities of our lives ie money troubles, exploding plumbing, etc. What they want is the swan above the water they don't want to see the leggs paddling like mad underneath.

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I think it is like everything - for myself I am a private person and find it hard to share personal info on the internet, however,

Sharing that you read a particular book or found an exciting recepie or say gluten free cookbook can be enough to give a personal touch without giving away the farm.

Guest no matter what they say don't want to know the realities of our lives ie money troubles, exploding plumbing, etc. What they want is the swan above the water they don't want to see the leggs paddling like mad underneath.

This is what I mean,thanks Cambs, I am not talking about sharing pix of the new grandbaby (please don't do this), this is it, you got it. A book review of a book that You read, with your personality in the review, this is what I mean! Thanks for helping me clarify!

Although exploding plumbing is something I think people do like to read and see in blog articles. It is all part of doing what we do, I feel strongly they do enjoy that. A sick curiosity? Not sure, but they think it is pretty cool to see the reno's and hard work the owners put in.

All of our guests are different, our personalities are different, but we need to have a personality, I think that is my point. An online personality - this is for those who do social media, if you don't, then ignore this whole thread! If you do, then I applaud you. 

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

this is exactly it! i am always explaining to people social media is in a lot of ways not about your business at all its about being interesting ie

carpet company on twitter - We love carpets tweet every fricking 5 minutes - I would never buy anything from this company as they are boring and irritating in fact would go out of my way to do so!

I always say imagine you are meeting someone in a bar for the first time and you want them to think you are glamourous and interesting what would you say? (hopefully I love carpets aint it!)

I talk about a local event comming up/ a play running for a period at the theatre/ local points of interest. This is what will attract people not I love cleaning toilets!

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10/07/2008

Okay now I feel bad. I stopped following an innkeeper who posts ONLY about cooking. I will go and refollow. I need to give her credit for her work and online persona. It is just that I am not interested in what vegetable is nearly ripe for this week's breakfast, but in essence it is what I just went on about! It is her personality, and truly she makes everything from scratch and it is part of the whole inn identity.

But on the same note, as a guest would I find this interesting? Maybe not. But knowing she grows everything she makes, that is neat, but maybe not every tweet, every FB post. A nice blog article with photos of the fresh veg is what I would appreciate (personally) or her in the kitchen making the dough for the pies....etc

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

And yet, if you had a really fast way of cleaning toilets guests would get a kick out of it.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

WV has a program called ON TRAC - a precursor to Main Street because it recognizes the requirement of a paid Director is not possible for most of our small cities. My City was one of the first to be named to this program and it requires an evaluation to be filled out each year. I was stunned when I read the answer to this question -

16. Describe any activities of the local ON TRAC program which directly or indirectly affect local tourism activity.
We have a Bed and Breakfast. The proprietor is on the SDA Board. She regularly blogs the changes that are happening in the City and has been invaluable in marketing first the City, then her B&B. One of the new shops is a bike shop which pairs with our Rail Trail. The B&B Proprietor has special bike packages and guests are encouraged to shop our downtown.

My PR guy is coming up on Friday to "get a feel for" my B & B and my City. If he promotes my City, I have a good chance of getting the visitors here. I am going to give him my "knock their socks off" breakfast for lunch so he gets the whole picture. He does not have time to come for the night.

Madeleine's picture
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I have recently come across a couple of inn's FB pages (quite by accident) and they were all about the sale going on that weekend. Nothing about why you might want to come other than the sale. And I've seen that on blog posts as well.

I have a tough time with socmed (I am trying to not abbreviate it as 'SM'! because that's what it feels like somedays). What do guests want to know about? If I were following a B&B's FB page I'd want to know what was going on in and outside the inn.

Give me pictures. Show me you are interested in what's going on outside the inn. How you are involved in the town. Show me you're a person and not just a business. And show me what's for breakfast!

And yet, I got a comment after posting all these things we are trying to go and see that asked didn't I have a business to run? It pulled me up short. Do guests see that I'm out and about and think no one is minding the store? We've been here for years and unfortunately this spring stinks as far as biz goes. I'm taking advantage of that and going out to see the state I live in for once. If I can't be busy in the inn I should at least be busy outside.

 

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10/07/2008

Wait, Maddie someone was faulting you for trying to drum up business for the inn when you need it? Tell them to go jump in a lake! That is pretty rude!

"Uh yeah THIS IS MY BUSINESS TO RUN, thank you, not yours. RACK OFF! " This is obv facebook where people think they can comment and say whatever they feel like saying.  And in other news there are two of you running your inn, minding the store so to speak, but that has nothing to do with them. Give a person a break awready!

I am blogging and sharing like crazy - let's see tonight? No guests, tomorrow night? No guests. Yes we business owners have bills to pay and mouths to feed and reno's to do, year-round. Just paid the tangable business tax today to the county too. So let me twiddle my thumbs and do no marketing... 

 

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10/07/2008

Right, the fine line between T.M.I.

We have guests who tell me personal stories about other innkeepers, and it makes me uncomfortable, they are only relaying what the innkeepers told them, it is very odd. Odd that people pour out personal problems, issues etc with others who are there for a night or two. And btw when you tell a guest something, they do tell the next innkeeper. They ask if I know them then tell me all this personal stuff, it is quite freaky. 

Yes, agreed. I am speaking to the face of the inn online, more than in person tho. Flummoxed as to how some can be so 100% out there, and yet none of it is real, it is a persona only.  

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

 I don't believe that you can be a B+B innkeeper for more than a few years unless you are a people person.  I find that the difficult part is NOT sharing too much of ourselves with the guests.  Yes they are interested in how we found this place, what we did before becoming innkeepers, what our life is "generally" like on a day to day basis, and most love to see a little personality.  But, for the most part, they do not want to know what our struggles really are, how much work having a B+B really is, nor do they really want to hear any of our personal pet peeves.  Nope.  On-line they like to see a picture of us, and to know a few details of our lives (which puts us out there for the world to examine!) . In person they respond to human warmth first and foremost.  

 

 JB, who could be mad at you for speaking your mind?  I happen to think you are correct, but even if I didn't, you are only being honest.  

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Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade.
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