BnBFinder: TweetInn and Other Ways to Garner Media Buzz

Several innkeepers are asking about BnBFinder’s TweetInn account following the PAII conference in Charleston, South Carolina. It seems BnBFinder is constantly securing media coverage and inns want to get in on the action… so, I called Mary White and asked her how it all works. Here’s the scoop.

TweetInn is a private Twitter account that BnBFinder created (http://www.Twitter.com/TweetInn). There is no charge but it’s only available to BnBFinder innkeepers.  When BnBFinder’s PR and Marketing department sees a stellar chance to get the early bird’s worm on a specific media request, they tweet out the opportunity – always less than 140 characters through TweetInn.  So as a listing property with BnBFinder, login to your own Twitter account, go to http://www.twitter.com/TweetInn and send a follow request to TweetInn.  Once they accept you, you, these special feeds will be delivered to your own Twitter account.  

Here are some examples of some of the recent media requests:

  • Large circulation daily paper seeks romantic escapes in NY’s Hudson Valley
  • Got bride? Popular bridal TV show seeks wedding in Alabama with interesting twist!
  • URGENT: Need fun appetizer recipes with sports theme for national men’s magazine! Must have hi-res photos!

Innkeepers know to watch for these special Tweets that offer a chance to be included in newspaper & magazine articles, blogs and websites. Like any media tip or query, BnBFinder cannot guarantee an inn will be featured but will pass along your information to the reporter working on the story.

Despite the popularity and rapid success of TweetInn, Mary says there are three other things innkeepers can do to turn heads in their direction.

1. Post Specials with Catchy Titles.  Toss in things you do now but make them sound special. If you have a cookie jar or chips guests can snack on throughout their stay, call it a “bottomless cookie jar” or “unlimited snacks.” If you’re situated in a rural area with horseback riding trails, brand your package a “Cowboy Getaway.” Maybe see if you can team up with a trail guide and offer guests some kind of discount. In a big city? Tout your complimentary WiFi connection, plentiful electrical outlets, and airport proximity.

2. Post on Facebook.  Guests and innkeepers are on Facebook. Make sure you “like”
relevant travel, cooking pages and directories. If you’re a wedding venue, look for bridal pages. Jump in on conversations by writing on walls, “liking” comments and photos, and bulking up on like-minded friends. Think of it like the movie Zorro where Z marks the spot. Put your thumbnail wherever you see an appropriate spot — the more people see you, the more they’ll remember you. It’s a small initiative, which may not translate into immediate results but put yourself in your guest’s shoes for a second… say your significant other is trying to choose between two bed and breakfasts. Both offer similar amenities, both include gourmet breakfasts and both are in the same price range but he can’t decide. When he asks you, you recognize one name from some commentary you’ve seen on a friend’s wall. Where would you go? Most people would choose the familiar inn. Even though both inns really are unfamiliar, the friendly chatter in your comfortable personal Facebook zone has built an unspoken camaraderie.

3. Take a Photo a Day. Keep your camera in the living room or kitchen and take at least one picture a day. Organize them in a photo gallery folder on your computer for quick retrieval when sending with a press piece back to BnBFinder or including in your own Blog or Facebook posts. Get trigger happy and snap, snap, snap. Mary says there are times when her team has reeled in the media, provided the quote,  landed the coverage only to get dropped like a sack of potatoes for not having a killer photo of a murder mystery package or a close enough shot of honey-drenched blueberry pancakes.

And, one last thing, for the road…. social media and photos do make life easier but they don’t replace a good old-fashioned phone call. If you’re an innkeeper and would like to learn more about TweetInn, call BnBFinder and ask about it (888-547-8226). If you’re already a BnBFinder member and you have a great story idea, call and tell them. Speak up! Tell them a little birdie over at Acorn Internet told you.

Sharon Rowe, Professional Client Services Manager Acorn Internet Services

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