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  Sometimes we forget to make sure we are updated and not outdated.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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