Tag Archives: entertaining

How to Use Twitter for Hospitality

twitter for hospitality

You can use Twitter for hospitality business growth.  Twitter For Dummies (3rd edition by Laura Fitton, Anum Hussain, and Brittany Leaning) is a book filled with practical information whether you are using Twitter for social or for business purposes or both!

 

Twitter’s limit of 140 characters forces you to focus your thoughts into concise, direct sound bites.  You have 160 characters for your bio statement which could also be your mission statement.

 

 

“@yourtwitterhandle” is where ___________ (types of people) can find ____________ (the value of following your account)

Be sure to link back to your main website so they can learn even more about you and visit/stay at your location.

The key is to give your audience a reason to follow your tweets.  What makes you and your place of hospitality so unique?

  • Amenities
  • Attractions
  • Packages

 

How Businesses Use Twitter:

  • To network with customers and see what they’re saying
  • To answer questions
  • To finely tune a company image
  • To poll and pull in feedback
  • To bring in new leads and customers
  • To take advantage of an innovative form of advertising

 

Twitter Tips:

  • Listen: pay attention to what is going on around you on Twitter
  • Balance: have a good ratio of conversational to business tweets
  • Engage: interact with other Twitter users, follow back people who follow you
  • Public relations: plan and promote events, proactively notify the press

 

Valuable Content to Tweet:

  • Images: pictures of your hospitality location
  • Links to articles: about your business or local area
  • Quotes: to make others think or share great reviews
  • Data: such as useful facts
  • Entertaining content: such as clean humor
  • Smart tips: relevant to what you do
  • Recognition and curation of other great accounts
  • Probing questions: to learn more about your audience
  • Smart answers to others’ questions: be helpful and genuine
  • Retweets: share the tweets that your happy customers mention you in

 

Whether you are a bed and breakfast inn, hotel, or restaurant, your place of hospitality can use Twitter to attract more guests.  With all of these ways to use Twitter and the types of valuable content to share, you can to use Twitter for hospitality business growth.

 

 

Bed and Breakfasts in December

Bed and Breakfasts in December

The Queen Victoria in Cape May, NJ during Christmas time

Bed and breakfasts, in December, can put on a spectacular display of holiday cheer. This is the best time of year to decorate your B&B. There are so many creative and festive ways to do so. The Queen Victoria in Cape May, New Jersey has exquisite outdoor Christmas lights! I love how they outlined their bed and breakfast to highlight that their inn has three floors and they hung lit garland with red bows on the fence all the way around their property.

Bed and Breakfasts in December

Decorative Doorway at Another Second Penny Inn of Stonington, CT

Another Second Penny Inn hung garland and put up a wreath with a red bow on their reflective glass door. The snow falling in Connecticut just adds to the bed and breakfast’s winter look.  They are located on a leafy, scenic road just 3 miles from Mystic and 2 miles north of Stonington Borough.

Their 1710 New England home offers friendly, romantic, and spacious accommodations for their bed and breakfast visitors. Winner of the Best Breakfast in New England, owners Jim and Sandra Wright, offer deluxe five course breakfasts on weekends and holidays and delicious Continental Breakfasts on the other mornings.

Curious about how this inn got its name? They offer this Ancient Persian saying to explain, “If you have two pennies, with the first, buy bread for your stomach and with the second, buy hyacinths for your soul.”

Bed and Breakfasts in December

Morehead Manor Bed & Breakfast of Durham, NC adds to the festivities with garland & bows decorating the stairway

Morehead Manor of Durham, North Carolina was recently named the Best Black-Owned Bed and Breakfast in America by Black Enterprise magazine.  Innkeepers Daniel and Monica Edwards decorate their inn festively every year.  The garland and ribbon going down their staircase is but one area of the inn in the Bull City.  Within walking distance for their inn is the Durham Performing Arts Center which has holiday performances including the fortieth year of performances of A Christmas Carol! Durham is also the Tastiest Town of the South so between the delicious gourmet breakfasts at Morehead Manor and award-winning restaurants, your appetite will be more than satisfied!

The York Harbor Inn family of Inns in Maine is comprised of six separate lodges. The Main Inn offers twenty-two guest rooms. There are also two ocean view restaurants as well as lovely banquet and meeting rooms. Many luxury rooms feature ocean and beach view decks, fireplaces and/or Jacuzzi tubs. The York Harbor inn recognizes that people’s dogs are part of their family and they offer pet friendly rooms in their Harbor Crest building.  The picture of their Christmas tree by the fire is gorgeous.

Bed and Breakfasts in December

Stunning Dining Room of The Empress Bed and Breakfast in Little Rock, AR

Bob Blair and his wife Sharon Welch-Blair are owners of The Empress of Little Rock, in Arkansas. They have been open for nearly twenty years and they love their guests! “Anyone who loves people, enjoys welcoming them into your home, looks forward to a day of tasks and events of all kinds (everyday a new day), and works with a great crew should become an innkeeper.” Their enthusiasm for entertaining is evident when you look at their multi-award winning AAA four diamond rated bed and breakfast!  Every guest room at the historic inn has its own themed tree to create magic throughout the entire mansion. Bob and Sharon display their mementos and antiques in each room so you feel like you are not only experiencing the past, but are cherished guests of The Royal Family.

Bed and Breakfasts in December

The twinkling lights of the tree at the White Oak Manor in Jefferson, TX.

White Oak Manor is an historic bed and breakfast in Jefferson, Texas.  Innkeepers Dave and Tammy invite you to join their warm and friendly atmosphere.  It is especially beautiful to visit them this time of year with their festive holiday decorations.  Jefferson is always filled with love, laughter and friendly faces.

So how does your bed and breakfast celebrate the holidays? Feel free to make comments about what food you prepare for guests, special ways you decorate your inn, and anything else you do to make this time of year extra special.

What Makes A Blog Post Go Viral?

what makes blog post viral

 

 

Every blogger dreams of a bigger audience.  It is human nature to want to be recognized and to receive attention and praise.  So just what makes blog post viral?

 

 

1) Have you grabbed their attention with your title?  Opening lines should pique interest and curiosity, show a benefit, highlight a need, promise to entertain/inform/teach, or offer something of value.  Work hard early on at hooking your reader into your post.

2) Have you made it easy to read?  Readers scan pages online looking for keywords, phrases, and visual clues like numbers and bullet points. Use lists or other formatting techniques to emphasize points.  Your content must be appealing, entertaining, engaging, and interactive.

3) Does anybody really care about your topic? No one wants to know what you had for breakfast–unless maybe you had breakfast with a celebrity.  Giving people the “inside scoop” on a famous person’s thoughts and secrets will make your blog incredibly popular.

4) Have you had personal experience involving your blog topic?  Accomplishments speak volumes to your readers.  This does not mean you have to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or featured on the cover of People magazine.  What lessons have you learned along the way? People tend to respect you more if you share past obstacles or mistakes and how you overcame them.

5) Is this a brand new topic?  If you are in the fields of medicine, science, or technology you may very well have cutting edge information to share with the world.  We are listening!

6) Is your perspective different and maybe even controversial?  Sometimes blunt opinions can get people in trouble, but they can also get passed along.  Do you have a hot topic that will lure comments?  Be sure to respond to your comments.  This is what makes your blog interactive.

7) Is there something fascinating about your topic or are people sick of reading about it because everybody in the world has been covering it?  There is only so many times people can take hearing about the celebrities that tend to get all the media attention.  It can be annoying when they compare two celebrities who wore the same thing and then make comments on “who wore it better?”  Most people don’t care!

8) Is there something hilarious, quirky, or unbelievable about it?  There is a large dog in my neighborhood who, from behind his fence, will jump up and down like he is on a pogo stick all across his backyard when he sees my dog and I walking together.  I need to get that on video! Speaking of…

9) Do you have a good graphic, photo, or video available?  Humans are very visual creatures. That is part of the reason why Pinterest other image sharing social media sites like Instagram have done so well.  Did you know Pinterest has over 70 millions users?

10) Have you shared your blog post on every relevant social media channel?  You may want to describe the post differently depending upon the platform.  Since Linked In is for business and career-minded people, you may have a different way of promoting your blog post to your Linked In connections than to your Facebook fans and friends.

How will you know if your blog post was successful?

  • Number of unique visitors to your blog post
  • Re-tweets, shared links, social network mentions
  • Quality of the blogs and websites where your blog post is referenced
  • Frequency of approaches by people interested in working with you
  • Quantity of traffic where sales take place
  • Amount of paid opportunities that result from your blog
  • Blog subscriber numbers
  • E-mail sign ups
  • If people who have powerful influence refer to your blog
  • The number and quality of comments from your readers

Trust me, you will know!  Do you have any ideas about what makes a blog post go viral? Please share below.  I read all comments and respond when appropriate.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

25 Ways To Write Creative Blog Posts

If you are reading this, then I assume you are looking to be CREATIVE (and definitely not boring) when you write creative blog posts.  This way you will have plenty of admiring fans! 25 ways to write CREATIVE blog posts:

1. ADVICE You have unique advice that only you can offer to your readers.  Once you understand who your audience is, then you can write like you are writing to a friend.  They will feel like they know you and you will develop a huge following.

2. CA– USE– Why not rally your readers behind a cause you support?  Let them know what you are doing to make a difference and how they can help. Give a call to action. Seriously, don’t leave that out.

3. COMMUNITY Your community could be defined by your local area or it could be people who share a common interest or goal.  Reach out to “your peeps” and connect with them!

4. COMPARISON Take two things and compare them.  Whether you compare two breakfast foods or two fun activities, the fun is in comparing and contrasting them. This could be educational, entertaining, or funny as well. Speaking of…

5. EDUCATIONAL– People like learning about things.  That is one reason why search engines are so popular.  Tell them something that not everyone knows, but you know because you are an expert at it.  Everyone is an expert at something.  Blog about what you know best.

6. ENTERTAINING Everyone likes to laugh and have fun.  You could blog about entertainment that is coming to your community whether it is a music concert, sporting event, or theatrical production. Be sure to make it “entertaining” to read!  Since blogging is writing that is typically less formal than say a report, let your personality shine in the post.

7. EVENTS People like finding out about events–ones that will happen and ones that already happened.  If you have the “inside scoop” on the latest, you can “tell all” in your blog!

8. FAQ This common acronym is short for “frequently asked questions.”  Many websites have an FAQ page on them.  Blog about commonly asked questions.  Blog answers to familiar questions so you can refer your readers to when they ask them.  Saves you time in the process!

9. FAMILY Some of your best material can come from your family members and others with whom you are close. As long as you make it generic enough that you don’t single out any one person or you know they won’t mind your sharing it, go ahead.  You know you want to!

10. GUIDE A guide-type blog post could be a collection of tips about a specific topic. While similar to advice blog posts, they are different in that these tips can be applied by a variety of different people–not advice for one type of problem.  Example: Simple Tips to Get Clients To Pay on Time, Quick Ways to Find Just What You Want Online, etc.

11. HYPOTHETICAL Ask your readers what they would do in a hypothetical situation. Maybe answer that question as well. These types of blog posts tend to get a lot of comments because people like to imagine, “What if….?” Sometimes I imagine, “What if I win a ton of money in the lottery and get to quit my day job?!”  I kind of have to buy a lottery ticket first. Oh well.

12. INSPIRATIONAL Share something motivational with your readers.  Help them connect to you in a powerful way through your telling of someone overcoming a challenge and beating the odds.  Maybe that someone who overcame something big is you.  Don’t be afraid to share since it could encourage someone else!

13. INSTRUCTIONAL or “HOW TO” Give instructions on how to do something that others want to know how to do, and suddenly you have a captive large audience.  You can be creative with your titles of these posts as well. Two examples: How To Teach Your Dog Fun New Tricks, How To Make Delicious Homemade Ice Cream, How To Make a Memorable Family Scrapbook, etc.

14. INTERVIEW If you don’t have any famous celebrities you happen to know (most of us are in this boat), then you could always interview a person notable for what they do. A person who is accomplished in a career or sport or another area of life.  If you interview a person who has an inspiring story and then you have an “inspirational interview“! Wow, two different ways to write a blog post combined! You are an overachiever!

15. LISTS People love lists.  Examples: 10 Ways You Can Change Your Spouse, 20 Best Party Appetizers, Top 40 Bestselling Books About Fitness, etc.  You get the idea and they will too!

16. MEMORIES Often, we like to recall fond memories or retell funny situations.  We may even want to remember how we overcame a trauma for the sake of helping another person who finds themselves in the same emergency. When you blog about a memory, be sure to create a vivid picture in their minds of all the important details of your experience.

17. NEWS Did you know that sometimes bloggers are the first to break a news story? There have been cases where a blogger has gotten in trouble for sharing some kinds of sensitive information.  Keep your day job and don’t blog about company trade secrets. Another word of advice is to keep your love life private so no one tries to sue you for disclosing personal details.  However, if you are in attendance at an exclusive event that you have permission to be blogging about, then by all means SHARE!

18. OPINIONS If you loving sharing your opinions, then blogging is right up your alley!  As long as you are tactful and the topic is appropriate, it is alright to share what you think. You don’t have to have all positive comments from your readers.  In fact, it makes it more interesting when some of your readers do not agree with you.  Usually readers who do agree with you, will come to your defense when you are criticized by others.

19. PHOTOS If you took a great picture or want to share several incredible pictures, then you may want to have a photo blog post.  When your text is all about what is in your photo(s), then you have a photo blog post.  Whether your pictures are of smiling people, grand buildings, gorgeous nature, or something entirely different, there are others who would love to learn about how you managed to capture the photos and the techniques you used in getting it to look the way it does.

20. PREDICTIONS It is common at the end of the year (or the beginning of the new year) for people to come up with their predictions about some topic.  Examples: The Future of Technology, 10 Social Media Predictions, What is To Come in American Education, etc. Similar to the hypothetical “what if” posts, these are your thoughts as to what will come about in the next year (or whatever time frame you select) concerning a particular topic. Inquiring minds want to know!

21. PROBLEMS Life would not be nearly as exciting if there were no glitches.  Inevitably, snags come along.  You spill chocolate ice cream on your brand new white dress shirt.  You get a ticket for speeding on your way to work early one morning.  Your problem post could be written to be a funny look at everyday life or it could be a solution post in which you address how to solve a particular problem with a specific idea, product, or service. People are always looking for solutions!

22. QUIZZES Some people love taking quizzes for fun.  Why not write a blog post that is a quiz about something interesting?  Examples: 15 Questions to Discover the Vacation of Your Dreams, How Well Do You Know Yourself?, etc.  The point is to make your quiz blog post appealing enough to your audience, so that they want to take it.

23. REVIEW Everybody loves reading reviews.  You could blog a book review, a restaurant critique, or a movie screening.  Reviews help other people who, for example, were thinking about reading the same book, dining at the same restaurant, or watching the same movie; decide if they want to based on your review.  When you write a review blog post, you have the power to influence your readers to take action or avoid it.  Don’t let the power go to your head!

24. SECRETS This could mean quick shortcuts, little known facts, or juicy details.  Like news posts, people like finding out things they would not normally know had they not read your blog.  Same cautions apply!

25. STORIES People love reading fascinating stories.  A story blog post captures the attention of your audience yet is brief enough to be the length of a blog post. Stories with important lessons for your readers earn you loyal readers.

Try one (or a combination of several) of these types of blog posts the next time you write! Don’t be afraid to write CREATIVE blog posts. Most importantly, enjoy the process that blogging requires.  It always helps me to visualize my readers reading this.  Will they think this is funny?  Does that tell them everything they need to know?  etc.  Feel free to share your CREATIVE blog post ideas or to ask me a question related to this post.

What Motivates You?

what motivates you

 

 

What motivates you?  What inspires you?  If you know the answer to those two questions, it can give you the strength and energy you need to persevere day in and day out.

 

 

 

How did you come to be bed and breakfast owners?  Whether you are new to inn-keeping or have been hosting guests for years, we all need to remind ourselves why we do what it is we do.

Your reasons can include:

  • Like to have your own business
  • Love entertaining guests
  • Enjoy cooking gourmet breakfasts
  • Get to tend a beautiful and fruitful garden
  • Appreciate meeting new people
  • Skilled at managing the books
  • Having fun decorating and remodeling
  • Have a vision for its growth

When you remember why, then it becomes easier to tackle daily chores and responsibilities. You are building your future and allowing your guests to have a wonderful experience they will always remember.

When your guests have a great experience, they are likely to let their friends know all about it and to return at a later date. Some of your best visits will be from returning guests to which you had a special connection.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Send Out of Town Guests to Your Local B&B

stay at local B&B

 

 

“Ask family members stay at local B&B.” Bed and breakfast owners can appeal to local families feeling overwhelmed because all of their out-of-town relatives want to stay at their house this year. 

 

 

  • Perhaps those entertaining guests cannot comfortably house all of their guests overnight or the task is too overwhelming
  • This easy solution puts less stress on the host family to cook and clean for visiting family
  • This gives the visiting guests a chance to stay somewhere new and visit their relatives at the same time without feeling like a burden
  • The relatives staying at your bed and breakfast can experience the beauty of B&B vacations

There is no reason for those entertaining family to pull their hair out this holiday season. They can refer their family to stay at local B&B.  Everyone wins–those entertaining family, those visiting family, and the B&B owners who book more rooms!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

PAII Conference January 16, 2014

We have been looking at the Professional Association of Innkeepers International conference being held from Monday January 13 through Thursday January 16.  From 8 am to 9:30 am on Thursday ten different innkeepers will each have five minutes to present fifteen different informative slides as they share encouraging and uplifting stories.

The final trade show hours are from 9:30 am to noon on Thursday.  This is also the last chance to get your silent auction bids in.

The Innkeeping Industry Awards lunch will present various awards to different innkeepers, reveal the winners of the silent auction items, and raffle winners will be picked.

From 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm will be various learning opportunities, including:

  • Live Website Reviews– “Your website must showcase the emotional experience by accurately portraying how your guests will be taken on a journey of relaxation, romance, and adventure. The primary communication tool to impart this experience for a guest is your website. Does your website entice visitors to part with their hard-earned cash or are they booking with your competitor?”
  • All-Star Panel in the Art of Mastering Hospitality-“Brilliant minds unite spreading innovation, creativity, and time-tested strategies for innkeepers. Take a journey down a fellow innkeeper’s path- one of pain, laughter, and implausible success. Discover the secret strategies that catapulted other innkeepers into surpassing unreachable goals. Bring your tough questions to our experienced panel – a group who will candidly share their expertise. Join us as the most sought after industry experts reveal all for the first time together.”
  • A Day in the Life of an Innkeeper-“Find out from experienced successful innkeepers what goes on behind the scenes and how the most successful innkeepers spend their days. Learn about everything from menu planning to staffing, from social media marketing to local high touch business to business networking, from check-in to check-out and everything in between. Get valuable tips that only an experienced innkeeper can give. Learn how to spend your time and what jobs you need to take on vs. those that you need to hire out. Ask your questions and get answers tested in the innkeeping trenches. “
  • Cooking Classes B&B Style-“Offering cooking classes in your inn using the local ingredients and even, in some cases, local chefs will enhance your reputation with local business and with your guests.  Learn to create a farm-to-table experience that you can cash in on along the journey.”
  • A Taste of Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking-“Vegetarian cuisine is now more popular than ever. Increasing health and ethical concerns, and an appetite for adventure, have sparked a growing demand for attractive, appetizing, and creative vegetarian dishes that hold their own against any meat choice on the menu. Chef Bergeron will show how to harness traditional cooking methods and techniques to produce exciting and elegant meatless creations bursting with freshness and flavor. Moving from appetizers and side dishes to delicious entrees, breads, and desserts.”

You will not want to miss this last day of fun and camaraderie with your peers. Your enthusiasm for innkeeping and your love of entertaining guests in your own bed and breakfast will all be renewed as you make important contacts.  This is a great opportunity that happens only once per year and it is being held in Charleston, South Carolina!