How Your Life Can Change Overnight
I just celebrated my 49th birthday on May 13th, and I am amazed at how my life has changed in one year. In August 2016, I was let go from my job and at the time it was one of the most humbling experiences I have experienced.In my previous post “Define Your Pain” I described how I dealt with losing my job and how I took that pain and turned it into a business.
The inspiration for starting my Social Media Marketing agency began in 2006 when I wanted to promote the Extended Stay Hotel I was managing at the time. Twitter and Facebook were relatively new and businesses were just starting to promote their services on Social Media. I did not have a sales team because of the size and type of the hotel. Being the General Manager I was responsible for all outside and inside sales.
Reach a Larger Audience by Changing Your Mindset
Social Media was the method I wanted to master because I felt it was the best way to reach a larger customer base than the more conventional sales methods. Especially, those guests who lived in other parts of the United States and Canada. The property was located two miles from a NASCAR Motor Speedway and NHRA Dragway. Four months of the year, every hotel was full. I needed to reach a bigger market.
Creating a page for the hotel I took my Blackberry and took pictures of the guest rooms, lobby, exterior shots, and the outdoor swimming pool. For those who have owned or used a Blackberry knows that the quality of the pictures is not what we are accustomed to today with iPhones and Samsung Smartphones. But, I made do with what tools I had to work with.
The Facebook page featured special rates for weekly and monthly rentals, promoted local festivals and events, and even learned how to use hyperlinks to direct visitors from my page to the brand’s website so they could make reservations for my property. To answer questions about the hotel and its amenities I included a call to action button that when clicked would send me an email with the customer’s questions or concerns.
Marketing for A New Generation
The challenge was to persuade the owners that it was a good use of my time. To prove to the both of them that Social Media could lead to increased sales and higher occupancy. Sales and Marketing to their generation were Rack Cards and Price Sheets.
I provided concrete facts showing how we could reach more people for a fracture of the cost. They would save on postage and printing. My arguments fell on deaf ears. I had to go it alone. For six years I promoted my property through Facebook and Twitter and even though I am no longer with the property they continue to maintain the page I created.
Businesses Must Embrace Social Media to Be Successful
Larger hotel chains, like Kimpton Hotels, have a dedicated team focused on promoting and marketing their properties through Social Media. Businesses, both small and large, have implemented Social Media into their marketing plans. It would be hard to find any business that is not using Social Media to increase their bottom line.
Search any business on Google their websites all have Social Media sharing icons somewhere on the page. In an article “Stop Being Cheap About Social Media – Your Business Needs It to Survive” by Dakota Shane, co-founder, Arctiphi, points out that businesses no longer can ignore the impact that Social Media has on business. Competition for the attention of the consumer is at its all time high. The increase of users from 7 percent in 2005 to 65 percent in 2015 proves that it is imperative that businesses are on Social Media.
Change Your Life and Be Better At It
I have learned how to take the passion I first felt in 2006 and turned it into a business. Looking back one year ago I would not have guessed I would be where I am today.
I truly believe things happen for a reason. If I was not let go from my job I would have never discovered what I am capable of doing. The ride so far has been amazing. For that, I am doing what I am meant to do.