How To Use Social Media To Promote Your B&B
Is your B&B active on social media, or are you looking to more fully explore the benefits of this broad digital arena?
Social media, whether you are a newbie or seasoned marketer, is a great way to connect with your audience, build relationships and create a long-lasting dialogue.
In this article, we look at how to use social media to promote your B&B so you can provide value to your guests and engage with them before, during and after their stay.
Engage Your Followers
The key to social media is providing the right content to the right group of people. In order to do this and engage your followers, you have to know your target market.
Are your social media fans young families, professional power couples or the retired set?
Knowing your audience allows you to tailor posts and tweets just for this group of people.
Talk to your followers not at them. To engage them, listen to their conversations and be social with them.
Respond in a Timely Manner
Don’t forget that social media is time-based, which means you have to constantly pay attention.
If a customer asks a question or comments on a post, you want to respond as soon as possible and preferably as immediately as you can.
Pick a Platform or Two
In addition, post regularly on your chosen social media channel. You don’t want potential guests to visit your social media page only to find you haven’t posted all week.
To help you be timely with your posts and responses, pick one or two platforms to really concentrate on so you can do it right.
Several good options for your bed and breakfast include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook continues to have the most engaged users — 70% log on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day.
Does that mean that every bed and breakfast should concentrate on Facebook? Well, probably, but it also means that in addition, you should concentrate on the social media networks where your audience is.
Follow the Rule
We’re talking about the seven and one rule.
This means you write seven posts that are valuable, beneficial, relevant and interesting to your customers before you post one where you advertise your bed and breakfast.
Social media is not for straight up day-after-day promotion. It’s for building relationships, and the seven and one rule helps keep you organized.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t “promote” your business in your other posts. Consider sharing great content with links back to your website. This is the soft promotion hidden inside valuable information.
Think evergreen content that is relevant from month to month. For example, you might write a blog post on family activities to do near your bed and breakfast.
You want to repeat the post or tweet linking to this content every few weeks or months.
Why? Social media has an incredibly short shelf life. If your followers don’t see your post the day you share it, the odds that they’ll see it a few days later are quite slim. (tweet this)
This is why it’s okay to re-post content. Consider adding a new image or changing up the tagline for your followers who did see it.
Bottom line – you went to the trouble of creating the superb content, and it’s okay to re-share it.
Tailor Your Text
While you may want to post the same message across several social media platforms, we encourage you to shake up the text a bit.
You can say the same thing, just use the appropriate tone and language for the platform.
For example, you want to share an anecdote about a recent wedding party you hosted. Depending on the network, you will write the story a bit differently. You might even use different photos of the same event to appeal to your platform’s unique audience.
Use Professional Photography
Your customers want to see your bed and breakfast. They want to feel comfortable with your property and the surrounding area.
One great social media platform for professional photography is Instagram.
It’s growing in popularity every day, and it’s very effective for people in the travel industry because it’s your images that influence your guests to stay with you.
Do use professional-grade photos on Instagram. Highlight your rooms, your food, and your grounds as well as your guests enjoying your B&B (do get their permission, first!).
You can even highlight area activities to help engage travelers.
Leverage Paid Advertising
One of the best and perhaps most underused aspects of social media is the paid advertising possibilities.
Compared to Google AdWords or other pay-per-click options, social media advertising on platforms like Facebook is relatively inexpensive and easy to do.
Many platforms offer advertising, and Facebook is a great place to start.
From boosting posts to generating website leads, re-marketing and lead forms, the options are nearly endless.
You can target people with a wide range of demographics to get your ads in front of the right people. Not only will you gain new followers, but you’re likely to gain new customers for your bed and breakfast as well.
With more than 70% of the United States population using at least one social network on an ongoing basis, the number of worldwide social media users is expected to grow to more than 2.5 billion by the year 2018.
If you aren’t currently using social media, or you’re just using it sparingly, you should step up your efforts.
Social media is here to stay, and you can bet you’ll find your customers there. Dedicate some time to planning a social media strategy. Plan your posts a month out so all you have to do is schedule them. Hire someone to monitor your page and respond to customers.
When creating posts and ads, test your copy and your photos. Learn about your audience, and create posts that matter to them.
Analyze your data, leads and the traffic sent to your website from social media to gauge your impact.
For a small amount of time and a cost-effective way to advertise, you can bet that social media is a great way to promote your B&B.
Don’t have a website to link to from social media? Or, perhaps you do, but it isn’t mobile friendly. At Hotel Propeller, we build beautiful websites. You’ll find everything you need to attract guests to your website through your email marketing.
Take a look at our showcase and contact us today.
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