Tag Archives: Blog TIps

Google Plus Marketing

Google Plus (Google+) is the newest elephant in the room that many hospitality professionals are choosing to ignore due to their “lack of time” to manage another social network. Many are choosing to simply disregard it, while some choose to make fun of it saying it will be another technology that Google will eventually kill off. The question is not should I have a Google+ page but why does my property not have one yet? This blog entry is my attempt to help you choose to create a Google+ page for your property and to encourage you to become active with it.

Circles

One of the first shapes I drew as a child was a circle, simple, connected, and fun. Many business plans and brainstorming techniques start with circles and grow from there. Google+ also starts with circles. If you can’t quite wrap your brain around what a Google+ circle is, think of your Facebook page and all the followers you have. Imagine if you could drag certain followers into a VIP subset, and employees into another, and people from the USA into another. Instead of posting a status of “Tonight’s special is Maine Lobster Macaroni and Cheese” that goes out to everyone (shot gun affect), imagine being able to post very specifically to just your VIP’s something like “Book a suite by April 1st, and receive a complimentary bottle of wine.” You see, one group might not care about the same content the other group cares for. Perhaps you define a VIP as someone who stays at your property 15 nights or more a year – if this is the case perhaps it makes sense to market your city events to this circle, as opposed to more general status updates that you would post to regular guests.

Google+ allows you to personalize your updates in a very one-on-one way. Are you a fine dining establishment? Perhaps your want to draw in more business from out of town guests so you offer a “book a dinner reservation for a party of four or more by 9pm and receive a free appetizer.” You can target this message to only the people in your “Out of Town” circles. This way the “Locals” circle doesn’t get upset about the special.

Pictures

Pictures you upload to your Google+ feed show up brilliant and large in the news feed. Your snapshots don’t have to be professional or photoshopped. Just be personal and interesting. Are you near the coast? How about a picture of today’s fresh catch. In the city? How about a picture of that new sky scraper or city wide concert? Remember, your followers follow you so they can feel connected. The pictures you load offer another look behind the scenes of the personality of the property your represent.

I cannot stress enough how much foodies love to look at food. If you are a chef, or restaurateur and are not loading pictures of your food, before and after photo’s, and even video’s of food being created – you are missing out on interaction with your patrons. Remember followers follow for a chance to connect with you more, the more connected a follower is, the most okay it becomes for you to sell them something periodically. Remember the theme is, “You earn my trust, now, you earn my money.”

Business Profile Page

There a few fun features on the Google+ Business Profile Pages that I really appreciate. One is that you can link directly to your business website. So, remember, when creating your page – every time you mention your establishment make that name a link so patrons can simply click and end up at your website.

The Google+ Business Page also offers a video tab. I wonder why that is there? Perhaps to promote you as a business owner to take advantage of the opportunity to share video’s with your fans! Video is where most of your marketing will be headed; take advantage of this opportunity to show the action behind the curtain.

Your Google+ Business Page also offers a “photo” tab. This is where the photo’s you add will end up. Check out some of the business pages I will link to for some idea’s on pictures that look amazing on Google+.

Search

I am not an SEO guy so I am not going to try and explain to you how amazing Google+ is for SEO reasons. What I will tell you is that your Google+ page offers a search feature. Is your business in Summerville, South Carolina and you want to know what users of Google+ are saying about your city on the network? Use the search feature. I have also found this effective when operating under my personal account to find possible customers, and tons of prospects.

My final thoughts on Google+ is that it is not going to go away and you need to stop making excuses as to why you should avoid the constant changes that the internet is going to continue to bring. If you want to learn at the speed of light about Google+ I recommend you subscribe to Chris Brogan’s Blog. Chris is a Google+ guru and recently wrote a book on Google+ “Google+ for Business” (affiliate link).

Below are a few links to great Google+ brand pages and please tell me, what did I miss?

Portland Harbor Hotel

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

ThinkGeek

If you want to connect with me you can do so on these networks:

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10 Blog Idea’s for your Hotel

A blog is where it all begins and where a deep customer connection can be made with your customer. Below are 10 idea’s that might spur your brain into action to start writing some fun blogs for your hotel website. Limiting myself to just 10 is a chore so whatever I leave out, feel free to add!

  1. The history of your hotel. Guests love to know the history of the hotel they are staying in, and what the building used to be, who used to own it, and any major renovations that have happened. You may be asking yourself, I am in a brand new hotel – this building has NO history!! I would beg to differ. What is the history of the land you built upon? How fast was the structure built? Was there any major weather events during construction? Get creative, your guests want something to talk about when they arrive.
  2. Famous people who have stayed with you. Nothing excites a guest more than knowing that Simon Cowell, Lady Gaga, or Elvis have slept in the same building they are sleeping in. It provides the guest a bit of hope that they may see someone famous too! A client of mine recently had Bruce Springsteen staying in their property while he was on tour. A guest was in the hotel restaurant eating lunch and sharing with the bartender how much he loved Bruce Springsteen and how he traveled just to see the show that night. Little did the guest know, Bruce was standing behind him, and tapped him on the shoulder to ask “Mind if I grab a burger with you?” That my friends, is blog material.
  3. Weekly concierge updates. Your concierge is the key to your city. He or she knows what is going on, and where it is happening. Allow them to have a weekly “concierge corner” where they can write about what is going on in the city and what restaurants not to miss.
  4. Video of anything behind the scenes. Your guests love to feel like they have been given a behind the scenes pass to anything doing with your hotel. What about a quick 30 second video blog entry about your valet staff where they describe the best car they have ever parked? How about a video of your chef making his famous lobster macaroni and cheese? Perhaps your bartender making a tasty Old Fashioned. Keep them short, informal, and fun!
  5. Hotel etiquette training. We have all been through hotel etiquette training, why not blog about it? Talk about the more proper things in life, the people skills training your staff receives, and who does a great job with it.
  6. Local restaurant stars. Living in Portland, Maine – I am lucky. The old port district offers a vast array of restaurant scene rock stars. (Here are few links for you to check out: 5 Portland Chefs, Food Across America) Perhaps your city does too. Do a showcase of the best chef’s within walking distance. It is great exposure for that chef’s restaurant and great value added information for your guests.
  7. How to’s. What does everyone love about going on a cruise? Is it the food, the drinks, or the giraffe made out of towels waiting for you on your bed? In my opinion…the giraffe. 24 hour pizza follows with a close second. Show your guests how to fold napkins properly, with pictures. Do you use napkin art? Show your guests how to do if for their Christmas dinner! All of this adds value to the relationship you have with a potential guest and builds connection. Remember the connection starts at their head, moves to their heart, and then their wallet.
  8. Housekeeping profiles. Does your staff increase in the summer’s with some very talented citizens of Jamaica or other area’s? Your guests would love to know their story, pictures, and something about what they love about their home. Make your guests feel connected, and make your staff realize how special they are.
  9. Guest Blog. Have a local celebrity do a guest blog and you write one for them. This provides great cross promotional opportunities and also will give your readers a touch of zest to their everyday reading.
  10. Decorating secrets. Who does the decorating during Christmas or other major holidays? Interview them, and show a picture slide show around your property. Guests love to see hotels all dressed up and they love to gain idea’s for their own home.

One final note about all this blogging. Have fun! Have personality with your writing and realize that the people reading your blog are potential customers who are not looking to read a QVC sales pitch. Relax, take a deep breath, and write!

What did I miss? What do you like to blog about for your property?

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