New Innkeepers Use Social Media to Attract New Guests [video]
In the highly individualistic culture of the Bed and Breakfast business, Tim and Amy Brady are fast becoming the "go to" couple for B and B owners and operators eager to gain access to the powers of social media marketing, and improving the guest experiences in the process.
The 30 something, very cool couple are decidedly not what one thinks of when one thinks of innkeepers.
Amy is known to change the color of her long auburn hair on a whim or season, and Tim, a former NJ cop, speaks with breath taking speed, describing himself as a bona fide "B and B geek"who toyed with computers as a kid.
Today he’s quickly becoming a poster boy for a new generation of innkeepers.
We sat in their intimate pub (the Brady's are true beer aficionado), part of their comfortable and roomy six room inn, 40 Putney Road, in Brattelboro, Vermont, and listened as Tim discussed a recent TripAdvisor research project between the review giant and The Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII).
The surprise discovery?
A whopping 95 percent of travelers never consider staying at a B and B when making travel plans.
Tim said that the main reason travelers are B and B averse, especially younger travelers, is that they don't want to have to talk to strangers or eat breakfast with people they don’t know.
In other words the "new" traveler doesn't seek the very intimate experience for which inns and B and B's world-wide are celebrated.
"We know from the study," Tim says , "that these travelers are afraid of the B and B experience... " “Yes,” Amy interrupts, in the maner of couples everywhere. "They don't want the innkeepers hovering over them, being sure their needs are met. They want more anonymity."
The Brady's rose to the marketing challenge of "converting" the resort and hotel-stayers into B and B guests by employing a range of social media strategies.
First thing we did, Tim said, was to make a handful of non-promotional, fun videos an post them on YouTube and other video sharing sites.
Where it was once a "good idea" to make a video for your B and B, it's now essential, he believes, and he’s smart enough to know that in the social media rule book, the videos can’t be overtly promotional. They have to be, and they are, friendly, natural, casual and non-professional, like the one on The Ghosts of Southern Vermont.Continued on the next page