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, Freshbooks.com
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.