Monday, April 27, 2009

The following are some key points from the Atlantic Internet Marketing conference keynote. (See, even though I got to go, you get the benefits - and you didn't have to sit in those chairs !)

How to make love to your client, Mike McDermont,

People are people, they don't want to be treated like a business.

Freshbooks is an online invoicing service for professionals. They have, through social media, positioned themselves as more then an accounting software firm, they are a firm that is in the experience delivery business.

Aren't we all in the experience delivery business?

Consumers talk about their experiences - good or bad. And as tourism operators we would hope for it to be all good !

You can use social media to get to know your customers - just like we used the 1-800 number to get them to call us, we can leverage social media to find out what they want to see, and what they really think.

You can use social media to DRIVE the one on one communication.

Social media, for example Trip Advisor, allows you to "track" the coffee table conversation. People used to take a vacation and then go home and complain to their families, their neighbours and perhaps their co-workers...around the coffee table. Now people take a vacation and go home, get online and complain to the WORLD...around the social media table.

The web is a word of mouth machine !

You can leverage negative Trip Advisor comments into positive ones. Respond in a positive way, let other viewers know the proposed resolution.

Every product can be reinvented

That's assuming you'll ever get a negative comment, 95% of the WWW comments are positive ones. And savvy users can tell a true negative comment from one that's a result of an impossible customer.

Take the negative comments under advisement and reinvent your product if need be. Just like the new Triscuit with addition of rosemary, your B&B can with a bit of revamp, suddenly become the hot spot of the Maritimes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Google External Keyword Tool

The Google External Keyword Tool will help business owners understand how their audience searches for them. And it will help you utilitze negative kewords - for example eliminating those who are searching for a free vacation, you're not interested in people conducting those kinds of searches.

While I normally tell my session participants to have an expert run their keyword campaigns and SEO (search engine optimization) there are a few of you who handle it yourselves.

I've only taken a passing glance at the tool but like all Google tools, it's easy to use, free and has lots of help features.

Like I preach in my sessions - repetitive content is key to natural search engine ranking, and this tool can help you find your meta data keywords and your content keywords.

So if you're stuck on keywords, give this tool a try.


Just a heads up about two Conferences you may want to attend:

Firstly, the annual TIANB conference is coming up, early bird registration ends April 17 (save over $100). We are having TWO Tourism Gurus this year, Joe Pine and Roger Brooks. This conference is value for your money. May 22 in Caraquet. Visit for more information.

Second, the Atlantic Internet Marketing conference will be next week in Halifax. I will be attending along with my other counterparts. While not geared to tourism specifically, it's a great broad base of information and local contacts to help you generate the most out of your website and blog.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Just get the job done.

This week's post is dedicated to procrastination and doing those things which you do not like to do.

I'm generally pro technology, and bubbly smiley about websites. However I get the feeling that not all people are like that ... imagine.

Imagine not being at one with your computer, imagine not being in total sync with MS office products ... I shudder at the thought.

So I have a confession.

I dislike to exercise. I loath it the way most of you loath checking and composing email. Not just general loathing, but a deep deep psychological loathing of lactic acid pain.

But for the past two weeks I've been on the exercise bike and drinking at least one glass of water EVERY DAY. And that includes Saturdays and Sundays. In fact I'm sitting at work right now with my water and drinking that bland ol' H2O as I type.

So if I can make the effort to Exercise, You can make an effort with your website !

Start like I did, with a small goal, and just keep at it. Set up a time of day, and stick to the routine.

There are two main factors in my success:

One - there is a chilled water dispenser at my office. It's right there in front of me. And chilled water is a bit tastier, so it's not to much of a hassle for me.
Two - I also own an exercise bike. It's not fancy but it does the job. And it's right in my house, so again it's not a hassle.

Look around at your technology options, are they a hassle ? If so, think about making some changes.
  • If your computer is too slow, take it in for a professional "cleansing" or a few upgrade parts
  • Consider buying a new computer
  • Is your computer in a comfortable work area?
  • If your website is a pain to update, consider getting a new one.
  • Or talk to a web developer to see what can be done with the one you have.

In this market, every developer should be keen on any business, even a few hours of work. Find someone who speaks to you at a level you understand and don't be afraid to get a second opinion (or a third).

I finally started thinking in terms of the rewards, rather then the tasks. The rewards of exercise is good health, long life, better fitting clothes.... while on the beach visiting one of your fine establishments.

The rewards of a technology / website upgrade is that it will make your life easier, it will encourage you to make those frequent updates, and it will lead to increased business.