Feeling overwhelmed? Google Plus opens its doors (or should I say circles) to the world, Facebook continues to make changes and updates (some of which I am not a fan but that\’s for another blog) and Twitter numbers on the rise!  Do you sit there and wonder how am I going to do all of this?  What changes are next and who will be making them?  Keeping up with the changes in Social Media is like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, you just don\’t know what\’s next!  Today\’s blog is about doing LESS:

Listen!  You keep hearing the same thing over and over, Listen…always be listening!  If you aren\’t then you are missing the boat.

Engage!  Social Networking is a Dialogue, not a monologue!  Engage in the conversations, ask questions, respond!  If you are going to have a conversation, then do it!

Share!  Build the excitement and become a storyteller and share with others.  Share your stories and information, comment on Tweets, Facebook Postings and Share with everyone in your Circles.

Strategy!  Having a Social Media Strategy is key!  You have to identify what you want out of Social Media and have a plan.  Is it brand awareness, more followers, more fans, leads, sales? Define your target audience!   What are your goals and objectives and how are you going to achieve those goals?  Make sure to Monitor, Measure & Listen!  See how things are working (or not)…if it is not working then you know you have to make some changes and modifications.  As far as measurement and metrics go, make sure you use what is available.  Facebook Insights just launched a new and improved analytics and don\’t forget about Google Analytics!  This information is key to your success!

Finally, it all goes back to the ABC\’s…always be connecting!  Always be conversational!  Keep in mind, Social Media is another tool to your overall Marketing Strategy!  It should definitely be included in your plan but it should not be the only thing you do!

Today\’s blog is brought to you by the friends, fans and followers of Via Key West, the place to find unique gift ideas inspired by the sun, sea and island living in the beautiful Florida Keys and Key West!  It\’s Where Funky Meets Fabulous!



Categories: Blog, Social Media

Friendships don\’t happen over night, they happen over time and guess what, relationship building in social media also takes time!

Let\’s talk about Twitter!  For your information I love Twitter and have made great friends on Twitter!  Have I met those friends face to face, some yes and most no.  They are global!  The friendships I have developed on Twitter did not happen over night, they happened over time!

Time is the key word.  How much time you invest in the relationship is very important.   Let\’s talk about Twitter!  First thing in the morning send a tweet out and say Good Morning!  You will be surprised at how many people respond with a Good Morning to you.  Listen to what other people are talking about and retweet a post.  FYI people love to get their tweets retweeted! It\’s a way to get noticed and connected.  Thank everyone who mentions and retweets your posts.  Last but not least, don\’t just post a tweet and forget about it.   You would not just walk away from a conversation you started, would you?  Keep tabs on your Twitter account throughout the day, retweet, ask questions, comment and ENGAGE!

Facebook is all about sharing information!  What you share and how often you share is important for both Business and Personal Facebook Pages, remember a LIKE can also turn into an Unlike.  Keep tabs on your audience by looking at your Insights and Analytics (only available for business pages.)  You can see what\’s working and what\’s not.  There is great information Facebook is sending you so make sure to review it.

Relationship Building is just that, building a relationship.  It takes time!  Start by getting social!

Twitter: Tweet and Retweet
Facebook: LIKE, Share, Engage
Google Plus: Give it a +1 and Share with your Circles on Google+

My last thought regarding Relationship Building in Social Media is don\’t put a time on it, put time into it!

At the end of my blog I would like to invite all of my friends to visit Via Key West “Where Funky Meets Fabulous” and check out the unique Key West Gifts inspired by the place I call home, Key West, Florida!




Categories: Blog

How well you listen and how you respond makes a difference to your success!  That is true both online and offline!

First things first!  Listen, I mean really take time to listen!  Get involved and connect with your audience .  If you are on Twitter, Listen, Retweet, and Respond.  A Retweet is key and so is thank you.  On Facebook make sure you acknowledge every person that comments on your wall and hit that LIKE button to let them know it.  It’s important to keep in contact with your audience and continue to engage in conversations.  Acknowledge, don\’t ignore!

Be human, not robotic!  Bring out your personality and ditch the automated responses!  People want to hear from you and get connected.  I recently did a presentation in front of a group of Key West Hotels and members of the Florida Keys Lodging Association.  TripAdvisor is key to this audience.  A growl and frown from some in the audience but I knew they were listening!  We discussed responding to all TripAdvisor comments.  The key to success is 100% response for this group.  My first tip to this group was don\’t just respond to the negative comments, respond to all.   It may take time but let the audience know they are being heard.

Being Robotic just doesn\’t cut it! My second tip is all about being human and responding.  Don\’t just send an automated “…thank you for your reply we appreciate your comments and management is looking into this…”  Scrolling down and seeing the same response just makes me think you didn\’t hear what I said and you really don\’t care!

Respond to All Comments!  Responding to even the good comments can make a difference!  I am pleased to share with you an email I received from one of the attendees at that seminar.   The sale was made because of listening and responding to everyone.  Below is shortened version of the email this company received:

“I wanted to let you know that I selected Old Town Trolleys  this coming weekend not only because of the very positive reviews (TripAdvisor.com) but specifically because I could see in the responses to the reviews that Piper reads each one, responds to both positive and negative comments, and seems to genuinely care about the service your company provides. Kudos to her!! Please let her know that her comments are noticed and do make a difference in customers\’ selection of your company.”

Kudos to Piper and Old Town Trolleys for not only Listening but also Taking Action!  We all need to take time to listen a little bit more carefully online and offline!  That\’s it for today!  Enjoy the weekend and greetings from beautiful Key West, Florida!

Florida Keys Update  Via Key West:
Key West Fall Festivals include Key West Brewfest, Womenfest, Key West Poker Run, Fantasy Fest, Parrot Heads Meeting of the Minds, Key West World Championship Race  and more!



Categories: Blog

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!



Categories: Blog, Social Media, Travel

I love twitter! I am a fan, I tweet, retweet and yes have conversations with people all over the world!  Did it start that way, no!   When I began this Social Media journey with Twitter I too was confused, concerned and wondering how is this going to make a difference in my world.  A tweet, a retweet, a hastag, oh me oh my…a new language and 140 characters max!

Do's and Don'ts of Twitter

My first response to all of this was people have too much time on there hands, who cares what you are eating for lunch or if you are having coffee and the list goes on and on.  I love to talk so my reaction to 140 characters was no way will I be able to do that.  Guess what, people do care and it\’s about sharing information and building relationships!  Also, go write something down, edit it and try to get your message across in 140 characters.  You will be surprised to see how much information you can take out to make your message clear in less than 140 characters.

Don\’t forget Social Networking is about being Social.  Be Real! Take time to learn about Twitter and forget about the numbers and how many followers you have.  When I say “be real” please take time and share and don\’t use this forum to sell (at least don\’t do it 80% of the time as that\’s not what this is for.)

I just came across a great article on how you can make Twitter work for you.  The 8 Dos and Don\’t s of Twitter, by Maggie Hoffman.  Read it, share it, and make sure you follow the advice given.  Do you have any more do\’s and don\’ts to add to the list?  If so, please share them.



Categories: Blog, Twitter

Today my message is going to be short and sweet!  I\’m going to get right to the point and talk about Quality vs. Quantity in Friends and Followers.

I see so many people jumping into Twitter and Facebook looking at the numbers and how many people are “liking” or “following” them.  Social Media is not a popularity contest!  Don\’t be concerned with the number of Followers and Like\’s!  Do be concerned with the person who is following you or liking you!  Don\’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of both Facebook and Twitter but I see this urgency of people looking more at the numbers and not at the value of building relationships and using both to share and engage in conversations with the friends and followers.

For example, on the business pages I have seen many accounts being set up incorrectly. Setting up your business page as a personal page is a No No! This is not a good idea and not what one would call “Best Practices.” Being Social is not just going and “liking” thousands of people in hopes that they will visit you, buy something from you or just “like” you back.  It is  a way of sharing information and a networking opportunity.  Be careful and always remember, it\’s about the share, not the sell! It\’s about quality, not quantity!

Social Media is not about numbers and how many people like or follow you! Again, it\’s not a popularity contest!  Don\’t get caught up in numbers and do get caught up in building relationships, engaging in conversations and of course, be real!

What do you think?



Categories: Blog, Social Media

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!



Categories: Blog, Twitter

We get it 24/7, that is information overload! Today we are able to give and receive information at anytime we want.  How many tweets have you sent out?  How many posts or conversations do you engage in on Facebook?  What about work, do you stop the press to check your phone to see how many messages you received?  Do you feel naked without your Smart Phone?  What if you left it home, OMG what would happen?

Five years ago or so who would have thought (besides our friends at Apple) that we would all be using our mobile phones to be the connector for us in work and play.  It\’s not the Smart Phones or mobile devices that are the problem it is how connected we are to them.  A cup of coffee at Starbucks is no longer the place to meet with friends but place to meet with friends online.  How many of you walk into a Starbucks and tables are filled with people doing work online? The water cooler conversations are not at the water cooler but they are via social networks and quick snippets of information at a time.  How many times a day are you checking your phone to see who responded to a Tweet/Message/or Facebook posting? Once again I\’m introducing you to the hyper-interactive consumer and information overload!

I have a few issues and trust me, I am one of those hyper-interactive consumers!.  I am a fan of Twitter and when my husband did his “Year in Review photos, he wrote “I lost my wife to Twitter” and it was a photo of me on my computer.  Yikes!  Of course he didn\’t lose me to Twitter but it made me think of how connected I am to the world yet disconnecting to the people in my life.  When I get up in the morning and first thing I do is turn on the coffee, then the computer and share my mornings with friends on Twitter and Facebook and read the news online and engage in conversations.  The good news is when I get up the family is sleeping so I don\’t feel as bad.  The awareness of being too connected has made me realize I too  have to disconnect.  How often do you reboot, shut down and disconnect to reconnect?

Conversations, Text Messaging and the Disconnect!
Another disconnect I have a problem with is the actual conversations or lack of that people have today.  Text messaging!  Yes, text a message or quick note to a friend/co-worker is great but if that is the only way you communicate it\’s not! Express yourself! Actually pick up the phone and speak to someone directly.  Don\’t you think laughing with someone vs. a text LOL is more engaging and allowing the other person to actually share that moment with you?  Don\’t let the technology of today disconnect you and your relationships on every level.  Laugh a little louder with someone, don\’t just LOL!

A while back I read an article on this issue and what surprised me on the disconnect was the timing.  The article talked about a couples “rule to disconnect” and their rule is to turn  off the iPhone when we they to bed.  What information do they really think they are going to lose by turning off the phone when they are sleeping?  That\’s just a little late to disconnect, don\’t you think?

I just told my husband what I was writing about and his disconnect was when he was traveling.  What I found most interesting is the fact that it was because he had to disconnect, not because he wanted to.  Having said that I must tell you he is not the Hyper-Interactive Consumer, I am!

The question I have today is how often do you completely shut down, reboot and disconnect to reconnect with yourself, your family and friends?  Have you attempted a 24 hour disconnect?  I\’m curious so please share your thoughts and remember to share, engage and connect with the most important people in your life!



Categories: Blog

Please and thank you! How may I help you? Is there anything else I can do for you? Does this sound familiar?  I hope so as these simple things can make a huge difference when it comes to your business.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly! Consumers are bragging (or not) about you.  Great if they are sharing good reviews and not so good if the reviews are negative.   For example, you go out for breakfast with the family.  Food is great but guess what, the service is below average.  Here is where the conversation begins.  Allow me to introduce you to the new hyper-interactive consumer? Today’s consumer is in real-time dialogue via social media—TripAdvisor, blogs, forums, Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter—with real-time questions that require real-time answers.  The poor experience that family just had at the restaurant has gone viral.  The word is out! The consumer is advertising for you how they see it, not how you want them to see it!  If you are just OK, average or below average, then guess what, that\’s what they are saying.  If you are going above and beyond and offering exceptional service, they are singing your praises with good reviews.  It\’s real dialogue in real time!  The good, the bad and the ugly.

This is a good test for the executives/owners.  Take your “Executive/VIP” hat off and place a call to your company and go through the process as if you were going to make an appointment/reservation etc.  How were you treated?  Did your staff meet your VIP standards?  Was the experience a positive one?  If you answered yes then I applaud you and your staff.  If you answered no then there is work to be done because what you just experienced is probably what every other customer is also experiencing.

How can you turn complainers into fans and bring the WOW factor to your business?  Invest in your employees by offering an Exceptional Customer Training.  It can turn things around for you and your business.  I\’ve had the pleasure to attend a seminar hosted by Elisa Levy, Elisa Levy Consulting on Exceptional Customer Service.  I have also seen first hand how investing in your employees can make a difference!

“Studies show that 65% of business revenue comes from repeat customers. Good service isn\’t enough; businesses need to be exceptional. It doesn\’t take a lot of extra time or money, it just requires knowing how to be memorable.  Bring the WOW, turn complainers into fans, have a good attitude every day no matter what happens, communicate with diplomacy and professionalism.” ~Elisa Levy

Today\’s consumer is ready to share their experience with the world.  Let\’s make sure you do everything to make that experience exceptional! Invest in your team, learn more about exceptional customer service training for every department because being anything but exceptional just doesn\’t cut it!

Let me know what you think and let\’s have a conversation about being exceptional in the workplace!



Categories: Blog

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