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Introduction

Lots of companies think that because they are small, they cannot have a huge impact, but sometimes it only takes some clever thinking. The digital world has become the real world, and that is where you have to be, big or small.

Even though you have a small footprint, you can make great strides.

Stats

The easiest way to start your online crusade is to use Facebook because most people have it. About 32% of people between 18-34 use Facebook In South Africa. For people between the age of 35 and 44, this goes down to 15%, which is still quite high.

Cape Town users make up 18% of South African Facebook users while Pretoria and Johannesburg each have about 25% of the users.

Instagram makes up about 3% of the local Social media posts, but if your establishment caters for the very trendy and beautiful people, that is your market, and you have to be there. The wonderful thing about Instagram is, is that even though a much smaller group of people use it, the engagement is about four times that of Facebook.

Facebook:

Brag about local events

Local events might not impact you directly, but the perception of liveliness that it creates for the prospective customer is huge. At the same time, you are promoting the local community.

Promote your Facebook page at your premises

If guests know about your Facebook page and follow it, you have contact with them for years to come. Often people cannot even remember the name of places they stayed, but this will imprint the name of your establishment in their mind, and create repeat business.

Create a constant stream of interesting posts

By creating interesting posts at regular intervals you keep in front of the mind of your followers. If they see that you are constantly busy innovating and doing well, this will greatly enhance your image.

Your logo and brand picture is very important.

The first thing people see when they visit your web page is your profile picture and cover photo. These are the first thing customers see and should be your most imaginative and beautiful pictures. Consider changing your Cover photo from time to time to show diversity, and to keep things interesting. Often one forgets about this picture, and you will be surprised how much better more recent photos often are.

Your profile picture will be displayed next to the posts you create, so make sure it is easy to distinguish, perhaps using your Logo.

Add a “Book Now” button to your Facebook Page

Use this small trick to interact directly with the customer, without any booking sites of go-between. For more help visit this web page.

Pin your most descriptive post to the top of the page

On Facebook, you can choose a post to always display at the top of the page. This post should have all the information people need while having the most beautiful and inviting pictures. This post sets the tone for your page, and if this is inviting enough, people might not even scroll down.

Instagram:

Instagram is growing by leaps and bounds, and these days it is not just for pretty people. It is a serious platform, that lends itself to visual extravagance.

What to post? Not just the building, please.

Do not use Instagram to post things you would normally post on your website, because this is not the place for it. Here you cannot be pedestrian, and you have to shine.

Most of the things around your property cannot be changed, so post things here that you can change. Take a picture of the frog you discovered in the garden, and the latest most beautiful plate of food you made, the sunset, something that tells a story. Once you have the picture tell the story.

Take a picture of the roses that have just bloomed or the vine that is finally bearing the first grapes of the season.

Pictures of guests enjoying themselves

To post pictures of guests you have to have their permission, so please inquire beforehand.

Showing guests enjoying themselves is a firm endorsement of your place, so whenever possible this is great marketing.

Use hashtags

Hashtags are unique tags you create with a hashtag, in the beginning, for instance, #myplace By posting with hashtags, you create posts that make your hashtag searchable, and you can see what other people are saying about you. You can also include more common hashtags that place you in a good company, for instance, #fun #bedandbreakfast #BandB #MyArea #MyTown etc.

Only use beautiful clear images

Instagram is very visual, and bad images just do not fit in. If it is not pretty, don’t post it. Rather post fewer images that use beautiful, then lots of mediocre images.

Try to vary the type of images you post, across various topics to keep things interesting.

Use good stories

Instagram is all about inspiring people, so use quality quotes and stories that uplift people.

Finally

By starting slow, and being consistent you will gradually amass lots of followers.  The future is digital, and the best time to plant a tree is today.

There will be more articles to follow in the future.

Some more reading

For more articles on the subject, please follow these links:

Introduction to General Facebook marketing

Facebook strategies for bed and breakfasts

Facebook posts for Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts

Hotel social media strategies

Bed and Breakfast marketing

Instagram tips for bed and breakfasts