Today’s Brand of Innkeepers Are Embracing the Social Web.


From Blogger Pictures

Rabbit Hill Inn
Photo Credit: Wendie Hansen

Innkeepers Meet the Social Web: Will They Ever Be The Same

Brian and Leslie Mulcahy work very hard for their accolades and consistently outstanding reviews by always being there for their guests.
“It’s not easy,” say the innkeepers of the quintessential New England inn, Rabbit Hill Inn, in the Currier and Ives town of Lower Waterford, Vermont.

But Leslie is reading Groundswell (“winning in a world transformed by social technologies,”), which sounds the clarion call for a social tools-based mind set that baffles most of the travel world, and especially traditional innkeepers.

Today, Rabbit Hill posts videos on YouTube, Brian conducts advanced searches in Google to see how many web sites embedded their videos, and the couple is planning a new web site designed to foster community.

But they were quick to assure me that they are innkeepers first .

Their guests are what count.

Still, marketing through the social web is very time consuming and complex, so will they really have time to attend to the many demands of their guests?

Marti Mayne a guru of inn-realted web marketing BedandBreakfast.com says innkeepers will have to hire professionals to handle their social web marketing and PR, just as they hire electricians or other professionals, if they want to continue to provide high-quality guest services, the hallmark of their businesses.

A recent BedandBreakfast.com survey shows a dramatic increase by innkeepers in the use of social tools, especially blogs and Facebook, and a push toward buying ad words to drive search engine results, unthinkable a year ago.

Bookings from on-line sites like Expedia was the poorest performing indicator, and the simple transactional web sites of a few years ago are on the way out.

Like many innkeepers, Dick and Diane Pabich of the Salem Inn (Salem, MA ) bristled at the mere mention of Twitter or Facebook.
But at a recent meeting, Pabich proudly pointed to the increase in the inn’s Facebook fan base… and they’re embolden to stick their toe into the fast moving but time consuming Twitter stream.

With her purple hair and their serious commitment to social media, Tim and Amy Brady are the Gen-X owners of 40 Putney Road B and B in Brattleboro, Vermont, and the new face of innkeeping. “We are geeky and off beat and out to grab a new audience through social media,” says Tim. “But we focus on our guests first.”

Tea times at these Norman Rockwell-type inns won’t soon disappear, but building an on line buzz is ushering in a new breed of innkeepers. How will the inn experience change?

What’s your experience with inns?

Twitter Follow: @travelpostcard

About New Media Travel

New Media Travel (NMT) produces sound-rich, 1 minute Travel Video PostCards transporting visitors instantly to a destination; timely travel blogs on travel trends posted to major web sites like Travel Weekly, Technorati, familytravelforum.com, and Audio PostCards. NMT provides Social Media services like Foursquare lead generation, etc Kaleel.tvp@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Destinations, General Travel, Reviews, Travel News, Travel Tips, Uncategorized, United States Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s