Last week I had the pleasure of speaking in front of 83 members of The Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West.  The topic was “So Much Social Media, So Little Time.” To all my friends in the Industry that attended, Thank you!

The Social Suite along with Ryan and Joe from Romanelli Communications  had a conversation in front of the Lodging Industry on Social Media in Travel and Tourism.  I was so excited to speak in front of this group as I had the pleasure of working in the industry in Sales and Marketing for a collection of Key West hotels.  For me, I was speaking in front of new and old friends and understood  how time is big factor in day to day operations.  Adding Social Media to the list of things to do can be overwhelming, especially if you don\’t understand it.  I\’ve attended many presentations where all the speakers did was talk about Social Media and tell the people attending you have to be doing it.  Nobody every told them how.  My goal was to SHARE information with them on Social Media and show them what they can be doing now to Get Social!

Some of the Quick Tips and Tools we discussed were:

1.  Google Places.  Sometimes we forget to make sure we are updated and not outdated.  It is important to make sure your Google Places information is set up with correct information, photos, videos, specials etc.  Monitor information every couple of weeks to make sure content is up to date!
2.  Set up Google Alerts- See who is talking about you and see who is talking about your competition!
3.  Facebook – Make sure to secure User Name.  You need 25 fans in order to do so.  Pet Peeve alert!  One of my biggest pet peeves in Social Media is when a business is not set up correctly on Facebook.  Please remember its about Quality and not Quantity!  Make sure your business is set up correctly on Facebook.
4.  foursquare – If you are a hotel, restaurant or business, take a minute and set up foursquare specials and allow your guests to check-in!  One bit of advice, make sure to educate the staff on what you are doing because the last thing you want is someone to walk away and write a bad review because your staff didn\’t know what was going on!
5.  Be Aware!  Be aware of who is talking about you.  Listen, Engage and Respond!  TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs!  We know people are talking in real time so take the time to listen and respond.
6.  SHARE! Remember to share local community and destination information with your friends and followers!  It\’s about the share, not the sell!  Promote others!  A perfect example of using Social Media to promote others is Via Key West uses Thursday as a day to promote their Fans!  It\’s FANtastic Thursday and if you are a fan of Via Key West on Facebook you get to promote your business!
7.  Add Social Networks to email signatures, website, e-marketing campaigns etc.
8.  Facebook & Twitter: Engage, Ask Questions, Respond to posts and remember to say thank you with a Retweet or Like.  A simple thank you will work too!
9.  Management:  Hootsuite or Tweetdeck available to help you manage multiple accounts and conversations!
10.  Be Human, Be Real! It\’s all about being social so when I say “be human” and “be real” that\’s what I mean.

I hope these tips are helpful to you.  Remember, Social Media is all about being Social!

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Categories: Blog, Social Media, Travel

In the last couple of weeks I have had discussions with many people about Facebook and Twitter and what I have found is the lack of knowledge and lack of time is creating this barrier on jumping on board with Social Media!

Social Media is having conversations!  Whether you are on Facebook or Twitter it is about engaging.  One way streets do not do well.  You have to take the time and engage, share and be social.  Today I’m going to share information on “Learning how to use the tools” from the blog Twitter is Such a Tool by Social Media Strategist Julia Rosien.  By the way, I met Julia via Twitter @juliarosien and recommend you follow her.

Learning how to use the tools,

Just like an expert builder shows an apprentice how to use the tools before letting him use them on his own, Twitter requires some training. There are rules and best practices. If you’re venturing onto Twitter for the first time, learn how to play by the rules – and add value to your network.

  • Fill out your Twitter profile with a brief bio, link to your website and an appropriate avatar. If you want people to take you seriously, start by giving them a reason to. Not using a picture or providing a bio sends a strong signal that you’re either a spammer or ambivalent – neither is alluring.
  • Listen. No really, listen. Search businesses and influential people in your geographical area and then just listen. Learn what interests them, what gets them really excited and if there are different times of day they congregate. And listen more.
  • Follow the experts. People like Scott Stratten and Jay Baer will give you the play by play rules.
  • Download some tools to make the listening easier. TweetDeck and HootSuite will help you sort and filter the noise so you can pay attention to what matters to you.
  • Make friends. The best first-day-on-the-job advice I ever received was to be nice and make friends. Contribute to the conversations in ways that add value to people you’re following – this isn’t about selling – it’s about introducing yourself.
  • Tell people about you. A good salesperson knows the sales pitch is never a pitch, it’s a natural progression of a relationship – satisfying a need based on information shared. Understand the difference between sharing info about your company and selling.

The Social Suite was delighted to be included in this blog so make sure you read Twitter is Such a Tool and find out what we had to say!  We hope this blog was helpful to you and encourage you to share it with your friends. Also drop us a note and let us know what you think!

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Categories: Blog, Twitter

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