September 3, 2014

Social Media Marketing

Do you know what FOMO means? What about YOLO? Do you agree that “everyone on Facebook is having fun”? Are you wondering where I’m going with this? Well, it’s simple. I think these phrases are great motivators when you market the experiences available at your inn.

FOMO = Fear of Missing Out. YOLO = You Only Live Once. And it goes without saying: yes, everyone on Facebook IS having fun! So how does this fit into your marketing plan? Your guests want experiences. They want fun, exciting, and enviable pictures to post and share. You can help them by providing the experience.

Chapter 15 of my book, Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies, is called Assessing Your Success and Building on It. In the chapter, I discuss Opening New Doors to Sustain Success by catering to a niche market and bundling services into packages. Catering to niche markets provides you with additional places to advertise, while guests see packages as something extra that adds to their experience, and both will hopefully result in increased revenue for you.

The proof is in the data. In our June 2014 BnBFinder Guest Survey, 72.1% of B&B travelers said they are more likely to book a particular B&B/inn if they offer package incentives!

There are countless niche markets you can cater to and packages that you can create. I, for one, have taken advantage of several over the past year, and yes, I have posted the pictures to my Facebook page. A few months ago, I stayed at an inn because it offered a hot air balloon package. Realizing that YOLO (you only live once) and seeing all my friends on Facebook having fun (FOMO) gave me the nerve to lift off the ground and sail over the Napa Valley.

This past month, I hammed it up for a photo at a girlfriends’ getaway weekend. All of my Facebook friends saw what a great time I had at Hobbit Hollow Bed & Breakfast (and now you can too). Selecting a specific target market and creating packages is a unique process for each inn. Renting the whole inn to a group is not right for most, accommodating pets is not practical for the majority of B&Bs, and romance packages don’t necessarily fit the ambience of many properties. That said, the great news is that you own your own business! You get to choose what to offer and whom to target (as long as zoning and local laws agree, of course).

You may see the opportunity to cater to a niche market or create a package if you find yourself turning away guests because you don’t offer what they are asking for – you identify a trend, you see other properties that are successful with an idea, or you have a clever and creative initiative that you want to implement. What you offer is a big part of the guests’ experience. So, if you understand FOMO, YOLO, and that everyone on Facebook IS having fun, than I’m sure you can visualize the incredible pictures you’d like your guests to be sharing from their stay at your inn!

No comments:

Post a Comment