August 6, 2014

The Power of Social Media

If you know me, you have probably heard me say: “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is not only true in person, but also online, on mobile and now on social media. I cannot stress enough how imperative this concept is to your business.

A positive first impression is paramount to success, but too often I see entrepreneurs overlook and/or fail to evaluate this vital area of their business. You already know the value of curb appeal and the significance of an enticing online presence, and even if you don’t have a mobile site yet, you are probably aware that you need one. However, do you make a good first impression via social media?

As business owners, we have a tendency to make assumptions about our audience. If we are not active on social media, we conclude that our customers are not active either, and therefore, that social media activity is not necessary for our business. It was not long ago that innkeepers and other business owners, (especially in the hospitality industry), were ignoring the power of reviews. At the time, many considered reviews to be unfair, a hassle, or otherwise not worth their time. Think about your views on social media today, and then fast forward and imagine the possibilities in a few years.

Here’s another example from history: it was less than 15 years ago that business owners (innkeepers included) did not consider a website to be an essential part of their business. I predict that, like reviews and website development, social media will evolve and become an increasingly important part of the first impression you give to guests.

It is true that history often repeats itself, and I think that one day we will look back to this time when many are wondering if social media is here to stay.

For further insight on branding, refer to Chapter 8 in Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies.

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