Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Tao of Twitter (Part 4)

the tao of twitter

This is the last part of a four-blog-post series highlighting useful information from the hot #1 bestselling book on Twitter: The Tao of Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer.  One of Mark’s essential keys to Twitter success involves providing meaningful content.

His suggestions include:

  • Tweet about what interests you
  • Share what you are reading online
  • Link to your blog or other blogs with rich and relevant content
  • Link to your comments on other social media platforms
  • Leverage your other online content
  • Share something human like what you are grateful for
  • Tweet something non-work related
  • Tweet news related to your business or industry
  • Tweet your opinion on something in the news or something funny
  • Tweet in the moment
  • Tweet at peak times
  • Thoughtfully schedule tweets (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Buffer can help you fan them out throughout the day)
  • Tweet regularly only if you have something of value to share
  • Sharing someone else’s tweet is a form of complimenting them and it puts you on their radar screen: put their content then via @personyouareRTing
  • Keep your tweets as short as possible to make them more shareable
  • Tweet exclusive content before it is released anywhere else
  • Build up the buzz about something before it comes
  • Link to interesting content such as blogs, podcasts, and videos

Schaeffer also discusses the value of using and making Twitter Lists:

  • Click the Me icon, then click Lists and it will show lists subscribed to and lists you are a member of
  • To create a list its name cannot exceed 25 characters
  • Name the list something that makes sense but also grabs people’s attention
  • Click gear icon drop down menu and select Add or remove from lists
  • You do not need to be a follower to a user to add that person to the list
  • You can edit and delete any list you make
  • You cannot add or remove people from your list, you must go to their profile page in order to add or remove them
  • You can follow lists without following individual users in the list
  • Share your lists on Twitter and other platforms
  • Include yourself in the lists with the help of Hootsuite (open your profile in a tweet that mentions you and click to Add to List)
  • Create lists that are helpful to your target audience

Innkeepers, what would be useful information to your target audience: guests who want to stay at your bed and breakfast inn?

  • List of travel organizations and media
  • List of groups providing recipes
  • List of attractions and resources in your particular geographic location
  • etc.

If you are looking for someone to tweet on behalf of your bed and breakfast, we are experienced in helping B&Bs gain more clients.  We invite you to contact Bed and Breakfast Blogging with Kristi Dement for a free consultation.  We provide professional blogging and social media services.


The Tao of Twitter (Part 3)

tao of twitter

If you have not yet read the #1 bestselling book about Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer, called The Tao of Twitter, we highly recommend it.  We have shared how Twitter can help you get more business as well as explained Mark’s three essential components to achieving Tao:

  • Targeted connections
  • Meaningful content
  • Authentic helpfulness


We have gone in depth on Mark’s concept of providing authentic helpfulness. Now we will explore how to attract the right Twitter followers (targeted connections) to find your tribe.


  • Start following people, companies, and brands you already know using the search box
  • Look at Who To Follow (Twitter makes recommendations based on who you are already following)
  • Mine Twitter lists which are categorized by special interest or geographic location
  • Use Twellow an exhaustive directory of Twitter members by every category, industry, interest, and city
  • Add yourself to up to ten special-interest categories to make it easy for people to find your B&B
  • Search for related businesses by relevant hashtags
  • Look through other social media accounts
  • Go hyperlocal to find real time tweets within a few miles of where you are
  • Find by “prominence” at WeFollow a user-generated directory
  • Join Twitter chats–regularly scheduled online meetings based on special interests
  • #Discover to find friends, popular accounts, or activity
  • Add your Twitter handle to your business cards and email signature
  • Consistently tweet quality content to provide value
  • Make tweetable moments in presentations
  • Live tweet an industry event hashtag
  • Hold a contest to get new people to follow you and retweet your contest to other potential connections
  • Team up with another business, brand, or a media partner
  • Offer exclusive content, discounts, and insider access to your Twitter followers
  • Watch what and who your followers are talking about
  • Use advanced search for more in-depth searching
  • Use specialized search prompts “keyword” near: location

Bed and breakfast owners and innkeepers will be well on their way to building a relevant and targeted community. Let Bed and Breakfast Blogging write search-engine friendly blogs and give you an active presence on social media so your rooms are consistently booked.


The Tao of Twitter (Part 2)

tao of twitter

Bed and Breakfast Blogging has been sharing some highlights from the excellent social media marketing book about Twitter called The Tao of Twitter. If you remember, one of the three essentials to achieving Twitter Tao is called, “authentic helpfulness.”  The author, Mark W. Schaefer, referring to this concept:

  • Friendships are built on trust and that trust must be earned
  • Treat people like friends and not like targets
  • Ask questions and answer them or refer them to someone who can
  • Read people’s profiles, visit their websites, and write a comment
  • Retweet other people’s useful or entertaining tweets
  • Look in your notifications for @mentions where they refer to you by your @twittername
  • Be genuine, stay honest, and show your personality
  • Take extended conversations to direct messages or going offline
  • Never have a public argument on Twitter
  • Congratulate others publicly for achieving milestones
  • Look for opportunities to help people and answer questions with links to your helpful content or others
  • @HiltonSuggests answers ANY traveler questions whether or not they are staying at a Hilton (by showing this goodwill they are earning others’ trust and possibly their business the day on the tweet or some time in the future)

Schaeffer has a chapter called “Unraveling Twitter” where he explains the language of Twitter:

  • @reply is visible to everyone
  • Avatar” = personal image
  • BFN” = “bye for now”
  • Choose “block” to prevent someone from following you or your tweets
  • Report anything offensive or illegal
  • DM” refers to direct messages only sent between people following each other
  • EM” = “email me”
  • Everyone can see what people “favorite
  • Feed” refers to your posts on your Twitter feed or timeline
  • Follow” means subscribing to another’s tweets
  • #FF” = Follow Friday
  • HT” = Hat Tip, acknowledging who gave you the idea for the content
  • ICYMI” = “in case you missed it”
  • IDK” = “I don’t know”
  • IMO” = “in my opinion”
  • Locking” means only your friends can see your updates which is not good if you want to network, gain more awareness, and host more guests
  • Mention @Twitterhandle to engage with people you are talking about in your tweets
  • MT” = modified tweet (put the MT before the tweet)
  • RT” = retweet (via @username) credits others for their work
  • Search tool helps find people, links, and the latest real-time news
  • TFTF” = “thanks for the follow”
  • TMB” = “tweet me back”
  • Trends or trending topics list the most popular topics in real time
  • Tweeps or tweeples is a cluster of friends on Twitter
  • A “tweetup” is an arrangement to meet up in real life, this can be formally scheduled or spur of the moment

Mark writes in his book that hashtags (#) make tweets more meaningful and discoverable. They connect people at conferences or events.  Hashtags are the key to making sense of Twitter, an easy way to group tweets, and the key to making money on Twitter.  Eleven percent of tweets now contain hashtags.

  • #’s can group together messages from an extended conversation
  • # to discover topics in the search box and to help others find your content
  • # trending topics
  • # news and emergencies
  • # contests and promotions
  • # TV and live events
  • # research to get news and conversations happening now
  • # to create buzz or raise curiosity
  • # to be funny
  • sometimes #’s can be “news-jacked” and refer to a different meaning than originally intended

In Part Three of The Tao of Twitter we will discuss Mark W. Schaefer’s suggestions for ways to attract Twitter followers and how to find your tribe. Twitter is a great social media channel to attract more guests and earn more business.  Bed and Breakfast Blogging helps bed and breakfasts get more business through our blogging and social media services.


Fun Bed and Breakfast Retreats

fun bed and breakfast retreats

I went online to BnB Finder to search for bed and breakfasts and to my pleasant surprise, I found some fun bed and breakfast retreats. These retreats include a board game tournament, a night walk, private art classes, and a literary weekend.  Typically, most bed and breakfasts do not offer these kinds of special retreats which makes these bed and breakfasts all the more attractive. Read on for more retreat ideas that you can apply to grow your own B&B business.


In Saugatuck, Michigan (near where I grew up in Holland, Michigan) at Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast they offer a Monopoly Tournament from November through April. If the entire B&B is booked, they promise to organize the “hippest” Monopoly Tournament ever played! The winner receives a complete set of Sherwood Forest Gear.  Lunch will be catered. This offer may expire at the end of this year.  Call for details at 800-838-1246. This reminds me of my Pinterest Board called Bed and Breakfast Games which features different board games and game rooms at various bed and breakfasts.

In the Saratoga Region of New York at Mariaville Lake Bed and Breakfast, they offer a Night Walk for a small extra fee.  This B&B invites guests to take a walk, guided by the innkeeper, to experience the full night sky. Guests will use a night vision scope and will be amazed at what they can see such as beavers working hard at their famous beaver pond. Advance notice is required and subject to availability and weather conditions. The offer may expire at the end of this year.  Contact the innkeeper for more details.

In the Hudson Valley Region of New York, at the Pine Bush House, they offer Stay and Paint private art classes with local artist Lana Privitera.  Originally from Spain, Lana graduated from the Fine Arts School of Zaragoza, where she majored in Fashion Design and Art History. Lana has won numerous art awards.  She is the current Art Curator for the Pine Bush Public Library.  A sampling of her work can be found on her website.

Currently, there are one day and two day Watercolor Workshops (four hours each) available and all tailored to suit individual needs, taste, and ability.  Supplies loaned by the instructor, but guests have the opportunity to purchase.  Guests receive one FREE double white mat and backing piece (plus an acetate sleeve to protect their “masterpiece”).  A list of art material suppliers as well as recommended art books will be provided.

Contact Lana Privitera at or Barbara at for detailed pricing! Discounts available if staying two or more nights.  This opportunity is available at least through June 20, 2015.

In lovely Vermont, The Governor’s House in Hyde Park offers Jane Austen Weekends full of literary-inspired diversions.  Quietly slip back into Regency England in a beautiful historic mansion.  Take afternoon tea.  Share your thoughts at a book discussion.  Attend an informal talk over desserts. Test your knowledge at the quiz brunch and possibly take home a prize.

Take a carriage ride or sleigh ride (depending upon the season).  Join every activity or simply spend the weekend watching the movies. Try English country dancing. Dress in whichever century suits you. Jane Austen fans unite!

Examples of bed and breakfast retreats, special packages, and events include:

Innkeepers are only limited by their imagination.  So get creative and think about what you have passion for. What interests, skills, experience, and talents do you have?  Innkeepers do not have to be the instructors.  In the Stay and Paint retreat example, the innkeeper has a professional artist and art curator coming to her inn. Arrangements can be made with the experts hosting the event if they are not the bed and breakfast owners or innkeepers.

If you are a bed and breakfast owner or innkeeper and have been successful with a particular retreat, package, excursion, or other event at your B&B, I would love to know about it.  Write about your successes to Kristi Dement below.  I promise to read every comment and reply when appropriate.


Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography