Social Media, Storytelling Daniel Edward Craig and the Author & Hospitality Consultant Innkeeper PAII Innkeeping Conference January 12, 2011
1.About meOverview 2.What makes a good story? 3.Why tell stories? 4.Storytelling elements 5.Resources 6.Reputation management 7.Key takeaways 8.Questions & comments
I’ve worked in hotels for twenty About me years in positions ranging from front desk agent By to vice presidentDaniel Edward Craig
In 2002 I opened Opus Hotel in Vancouver as director ofsales and marketing. This is my office. Okay, maybe not. It’s the penthouse suite.
Under leadership,Opus was voted one of the World’s Best 100 Hotels. I take full credit. But inreality it was a team effort … mostly in spite of me.
I published the first of hotel-based three mysteryFive-Star Mystery Series novels in 2007. My main character is a hotel manager.
HOTEL MANAGER WRITER I left my job as hotel manager to focus on writing. It was a tough transition.
Now I work as a consultant specializing in social media & reputation management for the lodging industry. Social mediaallows me to combine my backgrounds as a hotelier, marketer and author because it’s all about storytelling, n’est-ce pas?
“Good storytellingmakes people sit upand listen. Corey Torrence CEOIt is worthy of their AMP/Beantown Toysattention, worthremembering andretelling.” It’s not enough to have a good story. It needs to be well told
Why do 1.Capture attention 2.Convert travelersinnkeepers 3.Set expectations 4.Stand outwant to tell 5.Manage reputation stories?
The more interesting and relevantthe content you publish, the more traffic you drive to your website and social media channels. What’s your story?
1.Setting (location, history)Storytelling 2.Characters (you & staff) 3.Theme (style of Elements property) 4.Audience (guests & prospects) 5.Plot (experience) 6.Conflict?
Social media requires discipline. Always ask yourself, is thisimportant and relevant? If not, move on.I’m going to show you a few examples of good storytellingfrom small properties.No big-budget marketing campaigns here. Just simple ideasthat capture attention, convert travelers and set expectations.All for (almost) free. And not much of your time.
Setting – History This is the website of One Grafton Street in Charlottetown, PEI. People stay at small properties in part because they want a sense of history and place.
Setting – Location Fort Putney Road in Brattleboro, VT has an interactive map that shows activity icons and a satellite view, so travelers know exactly where they are and what’s around. All for free from Google.
Setting – the Destination What kind of experience would you expect here? Images are powerful. We explored the very visual blog from Hopton House in Shropshire, England.
Setting – the Destination Fort Putney Road runs a separate blog that promotes its destination.
Characters – The Innkeepers Travelers want to know who they’re sleeping with.Doesn’t this make you want to hang out with Tim and Amy?
Characters – The InnkeepersIf you’re in the witness protection program you can tell your story without photos. Like the owners of La Basse Cour in Normandy, France.
Theme – Environment The environment is important at Hopton House.
Audience – Guests & Travelers Remember, travelers want to know how they will fit into your story. One Grafton Street’s blog never forgets this.
Audience – Guests & Travelers Facebook is a great platform for slices of life like this.
Plot – The Experience This video is far from slick, but it was made in minutes and supports the property’s positioning: “spacious, clean, budget accommodation.”
Plot – The Experience This video from Happy Day Bed & Breakfast in Italy is not even really a video. It’s animated stills with music. Made in a snap.
Promotions Travelers want info but don’t want to be sold to. Here’s a creative way to do both on Twitter, from 40 Bay Street B&B in Parry Sound, ON.
Guestsourcing Out of content ideas? Search for guest content. It’s out there. Hotel consultant Josiah Mackenzie calls it “guestsourcing”. Go! This woman found all sorts of images on Flickr for her blog without snapping or paying for one.
Stories from Guests Of course, the most compelling stories come from your guests.
Stories from GuestsB&B Smart inRome scannedpostcards from guests to its website.
Stories from Guests Increasingly, travelers turn to other travelers for advice. Make it easy for them with TripAdvisor widgets and feeds.
Plot – The Experience When a guest says something you want to highlight, post it to your Facebook page
Instant Personalization Increasingly, travelers are turning to their social graphs for advice. With TripAdvisor’sTrip Friends Facebook application, friend activity comes up first.
Prominence of reviews in search Reviews are more prominent than ever in search.
Storytelling 1. Monitor 2. Respond & 3. Share Reputation 4. Encourage 5. Be remarkable ManagementBy encouraging guests to share, telling great stories and being remarkable we build a favorable online reputation.
Key takeaways1.Good stories capture attention, are memorable and worth retelling2.Innkeepers have great stories to share3.Social media facilitates the telling & sharing of stories4.Save time with new, easy-to-use storytelling tools5.Guestsource content & encourage sharing6.Manage your reputation by participating in storytelling7.Be “remarkable” The Coles Notes version.