The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus for Hotelier’s and B&Bs
Since its launch in June 2011, Google+ (Google Plus) has rapidly become an important player in the digital social media game, competing against the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
Google+ is, in a nutshell, another social media venue for people and businesses to build connections and find common ground with others. In this article today, we discuss Google Plus for hotelier’s and B&Bs, and how you can use it to increase revenue and provide better service to customers.
How Does Google+ Differ from Facebook and Twitter?
Google+, while based on a similar backbone to that of Facebook by building connections, finding life in old connections, and providing a digital place to share and store what is important to you, does have unique selling points, including features that are helpful for any business, including your hotel or B&B.
Arranging People in to Circles
Sometimes, you don’t want to share something you publish with everybody within your social network. For example, you may wish to share photos and news about your hotel restaurant only with those people who have explicitly expressed an interest in or have dined in your restaurant, rather than with all your hotel guests who you connect with digitally.
With circles, Google+ allows you to create categories and associate your Google+ connections with each category (or circle). You could have a circle for “Prospective Customers”, a circle for “Customers”, a circle for “Suppliers” or a circle for “Hotel Wedding Guests”. By separating people, you can target your hotel or B&B marketing more directly to the right audience.
What are the Benefits of using Google+ for my Hotel or B&B?
With hundreds of millions of users, there is a healthy audience for you to tap in to, and with Google’s own fantastic search built in to the social network (naturally), it’s easy for you to search for phrases that might help you connect with potential customers. We’ll talk more about this below.
Like other social networks, Google Plus offers you the ability to build a network of followers, allowing you to easily interact with customers, potential customers, suppliers and competitors. By sharing news, photos, video and interacting with people close to your business, building relationships and establishing a list of loyal customers for your hotel or B&B has never been so easy.
Three ways your Hotel or B&B can use Google+
Just like other social media tools, Google Plus can be used in any way you see fit, but it all amounts to one thing… building relationships. By getting closer to your customers and prospective customers, you increase the chance of those people booking with you next time they need a place to stay. Below, we share three ideas to help you make the most of Google Plus and increase revenue for your hotel or B&B.
Search for Potential Customers
By searching in Google+ for the phrase “going to *XYZ Town*” you’re likely to find people talking about visiting your town or city, be it for business or pleasure. These people will need a place to stay, so by connecting with them on Google Plus and offering to help them with their stay in your great city, you’re positioning yourself and your business above your competition.
By showing them you are active within Google Plus, you’re offering potential customers a contact channel that none of your competitors are likely to provide.
Manage Feedback from Customers
By searching for the name of your hotel or B&B, you’re likely to find feedback from customers. People will often take to social media to supply feedback about a stay at a hotel or B&B, and feedback about their trip to the town or city. By watching for this feedback and actively replying to and engaging the customer, especially if negative feedback is provided, you’re showing a personal touch of service and class that most of your competitors won’t show.
But the relationship doesn’t end there; Ensure you keep in touch this the customer in the future by placing them in to your Google Plus ‘Customers’ circle.
Keep the Relationship Going – Share What’s Important
While engaging with individual customers is fantastic, sharing general content to your wider Google Plus audience is a good way to keep relationships active and strong.
Share photos and videos of events, and share your latest news and offers.
How do I create a Google Plus Profile for my Restaurant or B&B?
Once you have a personal Google Plus profile, you can create a “Google Plus for Business” page. You create a page much the same way you did with your personal profile.
Be sure to choose “Local Business” when setting up the page for your hotel or B&B, then complete as much of the profile as you can.
It’s all About Relationships
However you choose to use Google Plus, remember that the ultimate goal is to build relationships with potential customers and maintain and strengthen relationships with current customers.
Do you use Google Plus for your hotel or B&B? Do you actively respond to feedback? Let us know in the comments below.
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