How to create engagement from fans on social media:

Having a fan page on Facebook, being on Twitter and writing a blog post every now and again does not always create the engagement on social media you would expect. How can you create more engagement? Here are a few tips:

 
1. Ask questions that are relevant to your fans.
2. Post fill-in-the-blank sentences, i.e. Complete the sentence: Travelling Mystery Guest’s workshops are _____.
3. Ask followers to retweet your tweets.
4. Share videos.
5. Share jokes and memes relevant to your industry.
6. Run competitions.
7. Post a quiz.
8. Comment on other pages’ posts or tweets and create conversation.
9. Share before and after photos.
10. Share photos of guests or visitors (with their consent, off course).

 
To learn more about the basics of social media, be sure to book your seat at our upcoming workshop, back by popular demand, on 6 OR 8 May 2015. For more information, contact Renate on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

Exciting Workshop Coming Up!

To anyone and everyone interested in learning more about the basics of social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, here is an exciting workshop for you to attend. This social media workshop will teach you all the basics you need to know to be able to use these platforms as free marketing tools for your small business or even as an individual.

The workshop takes place at Eagle’s View Guest House and Conference Centre in Little Falls, Johannesburg on two consecutive dates: 11 and 14 March 2015.

Contact Travelling Mystery Guest for more information on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za

Social Media Workshop March 2015

Social Media Workshop

Small things with big impact

On my travels, locally and abroad, I’ve noticed that there are numerous small things that make a big impact in the hospitality industry.

“Sometimes doing something ordinary a little different makes a bigger impression.” –Renate de Villiers

Here are a few things that caught my attention at different guesthouses, restaurants, hotels and other venues:

A normal cup of coffee becomes more special with a hint of nostalgia:

Koeksister

Koeksister

What could have been a normal champagne birthday celebration became a special champagne picnic at the Kamonande Game Reserve in Limpopo:

Picnic

Picnic

Not just the ordinary glass of champagne, but one with an edible hibiscus flower:

Champagne with Hibiscus

Champagne with Hibiscus

A common dinner at a fancy restaurant gets new meaning with entertainment in between. Dinner theater is becoming more and more popular as customers search for new, exciting things to do.

Waiters with some extra skills (like magician tricks or surprise elements) make a much better impression than the usual “can I take your order” attendant.

What small things does your restaurant or tourist destination do to make a bigger impact on your guests?

Let us know your thoughts and ideas by commenting below, or send us your comments via Twitter (@TravellingMG) or Facebook.

For more info about Travelling Mystery Guest, contact Renate on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

Getting off-line guests online

Have you noticed how many of your regular guests are not following you on social media? Some of them might be on Facebook or Twitter without following you, others might have profiles, yet they don’t use it and some might even not have a profile on social media. How do you get off-line guests to follow and engage with you on social media?

Here are a few tips and ideas to think about and PLEASE feel free to share your experience and expertise on this topic – we are here to assist each other! 🙂

Create awareness that you are on Twitter and Pinterest by inviting guests to follow you on these platforms with a small gift like this:

Twitter and Pinterest Biscuits

Twitter and Pinterest Biscuits

Create professional notice cards with details like your Twitter handle, Facebook link, Pinterest link and Google+ name to encourage guests to follow you on certain social media platforms. This will definitely also encourage guests to Tweet about your establishment while they are there, as you provide them with information allowing them to tag you.

Consider having a television screen in the foyer, displaying your Twitter stream all day long. This creates transparency, guests will be able to see that you are active on Twitter and they might also be encouraged to Tweet something in order to see their own name on the screen.

Create social media contests and promote them in printed media. This will allow people who are not following you on social media to consider liking or following your profiles.

Add your social media links or at least just the social media logos to your printed collateral – this will create awareness among guests who fill out your questionnaires, read your information files in the rooms, etc.

On arrival, ask guests if they are on Twitter, request their Twitter handles and welcome them at your destination online too. This will make them feel even more special and they will most definitely follow you back!

Create unique hashtags for certain events at your destination and ask the event manager to remind guests to use the hashtag when Tweeting about the event. Also ensure that your Twitter handle is visible during the event for when people want to follow and tag your destination.

Do you have any additional ideas on how to get off-line guests online? Feel free to comment below.

For more on this topic, book a workshop with Travelling Mystery Guest and lets get all South Africa’s hospitality and tourism establishments social savvy!

Contact Renate de Villiers on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for more information.

How to identify customer expectations

Even though customers tend to change and not one customer seems to be the same, they also make things easier for us in terms of identifying their expectations. We just have to learn to identify it. How?

You would have noticed by now that many companies have employed social media managers who are responsible for communicating with customers via platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And it doesn’t stop there. Then came LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest…and Instagram and Flickr and I whatever else. The point is…customers communicate via social media. Not just with companies, but also with friends and family. They share stories and ideas via links on Facebook, they mention good (or bad) reviews on Twitter with creative accompanying hashtags and they create dream boards on Pinterest. What does this have to do with identifying customer expectations? Well…let’s look at a few examples:

Facebook:

Facebook gives you the opportunity to learn more about your followers in numerous ways. Your followers will only interact on posts that they find interesting or worth their while. You can also view your page insights, which shows you who your followers are, where they are from, which types of posts they mainly interact on, how many female and male followers you have and more. You can also view your followers’ most basic information like where they are from and some of their interests. This should already give you a good idea of what they are into and therefore you have an opportunity to act on it. No excuses!

Twitter:

To view discussions on Twitter and the people’s tweets and interactions with your brand is sometimes quite interesting. People’s title descriptions usually also say quite a lot about their personalities and what they would enjoy.

Pinterest:

I believe Pinterest to be one of the best ways to identify customer expectations, as this is where people pin everything they would like to have and not necessarily what they have. It includes things they dream about and things they hope for like the perfect wedding dress or the most beautiful presented dishes or creative recipes. If these people are like me, they most probably will never have all these things that they pin to their boards, but it’s never a bad thing to dream. And that’s where you could come in and sweep your customers off their feet! Make their dreams become reality with a popular Pinterest recipe for dinner or plan a contest with a dress similar to the most pinned wedding dress on Pinterest. Identify what your customers dream about and act on it.

Need some assistance in identifying your customers’ expectations? Contact Renate from Travelling Mystery Guest on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for more information.

Practice here:

Have a look at Renate’s Pinterest page and identify five of her customer expectations from the list below. The first one to identify all five expectations correctly will receive a Customer Journey Evaluation for your destination for FREE!

Renate’s 5 customer expectations:

Which Facebook posts encourage engagement?

It happens to all of us – you think this Facebook post is going to draw everyone’s attention and then in the end you are lucky if it got one like! But why? Which Facebook posts encourage engagement?

Facebook engagement

Facebook engagement (Image from: http://www.mikegingerich.com)

Your fans on Facebook wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to follow or know more about your guesthouse, hotel or restaurant. The only challenge here is to give them what they want. Let’s look at a few need-to-knows when it comes to Facebook posts:

  • Not many people like commenting on posts that are full of errors and spelling mistakes. You wouldn’t either if you think about it.
  • Facebook is meant for socializing – speaking to your fans in a corporate tone isn’t going to get you any engagement.
  • Write your updates in Word or Excell (a program that has spell check). This might be an extra step, but rather safe than sorry.
  • Long updates lose readers. Keep your posts short and sweet and make sure that your link appears in front of the content.
  • Rather don’t use shortened links on Facebook. Shortened links may appear spammy so the chances that the reader will open the link are less.
  • Spice things up with images. Your fans will engage with your brand through images well whether it is funny, inspirational or promotional. (P.S. To make your pictures even more enticing, use PicMonkey, a free photo editing tool that lets you add text, overlays, frames and more).
  • Ask questions or create polls.
  • Give your fans a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes – wish one of your staff members a happy birthday and post a photo on Facebook, or congratulate a couple who just got engaged at your venue an post the photo on your page.
  • Offer fan-only perks. One of the main reasons people follow brands on social media is to be able to get to know about specials and promotions first. For example: Use a secret word that only Facebook fans would have seen that will ensure them a free drink before 20:00 that night.

These are but a few Facebook post tips that might increase engagement on your page. Be creative and think out of the box and you’ll see how your fans engage with you more often.

For workshops on the basics of social media, contact Travelling Mystery’s owner, Renate, on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.

Follow Travelling Mystery Guest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TravellingMysteryGuest

Who is your target market on Facebook? (Part two)

How can you identify and get to know your fans (target market) on Facebook? In our previous post we had a look at why we need to know our Facebook fans and the process of defining them. Today we look at the questions to ask and growing your Facebook fan base:

Target your customers

Target your customers (Image from http://www.webscoutmarketing.com

Ask the right questions:

  • How many people are in my target market?
  • Where does my target market hang out?
  • What does my target market enjoy the most?
  • What does my target market worry about the most?
  • How much is my target market willing to spend?
  • Does my target market consist of different segments?
  • What makes the people in my target market feel welcome?

Now…what do you do with all this information? You use it to help you…

  • write better content and web copy that will relate to the right target markets and encourage them to engage with your brand,
  • understand where to spend more time when it comes to networking, and
  • see why people rather buy from you than from your competitors.

How can you grow your fan base on Facebook?

  • Update your profile and/or company page on a regular basis to keep information up to date. This includes your contact details, maps and directions to your hotel, guesthouse or restaurant, images of the destination, etc.
  • Follow leaders in your industry.
  • Comment on other pages’ status updates and pictures – just remember to keep it relevant.
  • Ask fans to share your posts. (Obviously the amount of sharing will increase if you offer them discount…)

For more tips and discussions on this topic, book your workshop with Travelling Mystery Guest by contacting Renate on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.

Happy targeting! 🙂

Who is your target market on Facebook? (Part One)

You might know who your target market is for your hotel or guesthouse, but do you know which part of that market is on Facebook? Kids under the age of twelve will most probably not be there, nor will most of your pensioner customers. So who is your target market on Facebook?

Facebook fans

Facebook fans (Image from http://www.niposoftware.com)

You can get to know a large section of your target market via Facebook, as every person on Facebook shares a certain amount of information about themselves with the world on this platform.

What can you learn?

Psychographics (what your customer likes, what makes them tick, what are their biggest problems and their biggest desires, etc.) are just as important as the demographics (age, sex, location, etc.) You’re going to want to know which television programs they watch, which sports teams they support, etc. Why? Because this gives you an insight into what motivates your customers, which will help you to understand what will make them want to buy your service.

The process of getting to know your target market:

  1. Take time to explore the individual profiles of your Facebook fans. Look at their demographics, their likes, status updates, links to other social media profiles and websites.
  2. Look at your fan page’s insights. Here you will find group demographics of your fans, as well as the posts on your page that they find most interesting and which encourage the most engagement.
  3. Use the Facebook search tool to find entire groups of people who fit your target market, follow their conversations and when you see an opportunity, take part in their discussions.
  4. Use the Facebook Polls option to ask your friends and fans about what they prefer when it comes to your kind of service.
  5. Create a highly targeted ad that invites the right people to take a survey elsewhere online. (A good, free option to use is Survey Monkey or Pop Survey).
  6. Keep an eye on your mini news-feed (on the right hand side of your Facebook page) to see what other actions your Facebook fans are taking.

We’ll be looking at asking the right questions and growing your fan base on Facebook in the next post.

Need some assistance with Facebook marketing? Contact Renate on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za and book your workshop today.

Does your hotel need a Google+ page?

It is difficult to say yes or no to the question whether your hotel needs a Google+ page or not. The difficulty comes in when we think about the current activity on Google+. South Africans are not very focused on this social media platform, even though it offers quite a few benefits.

If you ask me, having a profile with your hotel’s basic information and posting once or twice per week might just do the trick for now. But that’s just me.

Google+

Google+

What are the benefits of having a Google+ page?

  • It increases your hotel’s search rankings and traffic on Google,
  • Therefore you will also have an increased web presence,
  • And a greater subject authority.
  • Google now devotes more energy to Google+ people and page suggestions than on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, so if you are on Google+, chances that you could be suggested in searches are better.
  • Google has made social media, specifically Google+, an integral part of every business’s SEO campaign. (SEO: Search Engine Optimization)
  • More customer engagement via the Google+ Local social features
  • Direct access to customers that you can connect with them on a more personal level, encourage feedback and ask for reviews.
  • Integration with Google Maps which allows customers to find more information like your hotel’s contact details, address, directions and hours of operation.

If you have a Google+ page, but you have neglected it because you were not sure how to use it, perhaps now is the time to at least update your profile and include the most important aspects into your profile, like:

  • Photos with descriptive captions that highlight your hotel / guesthouse / restaurant
  • A link to your website
  • Links to your other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and your blog
  • Videos

Even though Facebook and Twitter are the current leaders in Social Media in South Africa, Google+ might soon be the platform with the most SEO value to add due to its standard integration with Google’s search results. It would be a good idea if you start learning more about this platform in the meantime – small steps at a time.

For workshops on the basics of social media, contact Travelling Mystery Guest on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.