Tuesday, January 24, 2012

From the Archives...

I've really hit  a road block this month. I've put "blog something" in my day planner practically since my last post. It's also an Outlook reminder and I've kept my blog site open in a Chrome tab hoping for some inspiration.

Truth is, I'm not really commenting or creating on any platforms lately. Sure I repost, reshare, and retweet content at least twice a day on Twitter, Facebook and G+ but if you check my feeds, there's very little original content... Of course everything I post is first vetted to make sure it's not drivel and that the link is working.

So the quality is there, but not the original content.


When I figure out why, I'll let you know.

So let's delve into the years gone by and see what I can "reblog" :)

Jack Rabbit  - this is still a good primer / basic description of how Jack Rabbit indexer works in NB. Also note that the department of Tourism and Parks is currently investigating how to feature festivals, events and attractions in the same way. If you have ideas or want to share, please contact Carol Alderdice 

And that reminds me Tourism and Parks in NB recently released this document  on Partnerships and Programs Opportunities for Operators. Very informative, in terms of knowing who is responsible for what in the dept, and a list of their consumer facing social media outlets.

If you're running a Bed and Breakfast or Inn - please check out this post from September with lots of links to resources specifically for that interest group.

Here's a nice post where I lecture you (from August).

And let's talk a bit about what's coming up in the next few months ...

HNL annual conference in Gander in February - TT.com will be there
Online Revealed/ Tourism Summit in Toronto in March  - TT.com going to the T.dot :)
TIAPEI annual conf in Charlottetown in March - going to this as well

Later in March and April, TourismTechnology.com will be offering a series of workshops. Day long in various locations throughout Atlantic Canada. For the bargain basement price of $100 plus HST. Each year we ferret out a spectacular presenter and follow them around as they help educate Operators on Social Media, Marketing, Communication, Tech and other issues.

And then Spring will be here.

And I might be more inspirational.

We'll see.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Your Community will stand up for you

Welcome to 2012

Certainly not a great start to the new year for one local restaurant. I won't name it, but it was recently closed for having inappropriate items in a food cooler. They dealt with the matter, got reinspected, approved and reopened. 

The problem is no one is coming back, and business is slow. Because of the nature of the closure and publicity in the local paper, it is become a running joke and akin to an urban legend. 

Firstly, if you're going to manage / own a restaurant you need to take a Food Safety course. Just for your own peace of mind. Maybe you don't have to maintain a certification but at least take it once, so you know what is allowed. TIANB offers the NFSTP program, check it out here

And also Responsible Beverage, check that out here , you can do this course online in a couple of hours.

Secondly, if you had a social media community of patrons already built before something like this happens to you, then they would have stood up and defended you.

That's one of the hidden bonuses of Social Media - people don't like to see other people bashing stuff they like, and they will rise up and defend you. If you become a real person to them via online interaction as well as interaction in your establishment, people will start to feel like you're family and want to protect the things they like.

I'm sure this particular restaurant has many loyal patrons who would be vocal about their love of the restaurant but they do not have a venue. In fact I'm sure there have been a few tweets here and there, and maybe some facebook posts but without a standard hashtag or a business page, these one off voices are lost in a crowd. 

I see a couple of people have recently posted positive reviews on Urban Spoon and Trip Advisor, which is great but still not focused enough. 

Also if you had an online community you could offer them a special discount code or coupon to entice them to return. 

Thirdly, though it's just as important as Social Media, you should have an optimized website. I don't believe this particular restaurant has a website, so all the bad press is rising to the top of the Google ranks and they don't have a snowball's chance in heck of pushing those out of the top ten unless they have their own website and are continually refreshing content 

Regrettably I read the owner quoted as saying "they didn't know how to make customers return" and I knew they were automatically thinking expensive old school methods like radio and newsprint. 

This incident might inevitably lead to the closure of this restaurant and in my head I know the outcome could have been different if they had a social media community they could reach out to. Start building yours today.