Tech Savvy Innkeeper - Blog
Tech Savvy Innkeeper
 
Picture
Do you have the Pinterest share button installed on your website? If your website contains images, you should! Pinterest is the fastest growing way to allow visitors to share images that appeal to them on your website. Then their friends follow their pin boards, share the photos they've pinned, and before you know it, you've created another resource for referrals to your business. And it's FREE advertising.

So THE most important criteria is quality, enticing images. Pay attention to your guest feedback. Do they tell you that your website doesn't do your property justice? Do you show enough what you have to offer? Your website should contain more images than words. We look at photos first, then go back for the words if the photos capture our attention.

 
Picture
THIS is a fun tool anyone could use - "let me google that for you"! Want to send someone a landing page of search results? Just a twist on the normal search. Give it a try!

 
Picture
Is your property on YouTube? Are you taking advantage of the sheer volume of YouTube visitors? The numbers are mind boggling, just take a look at the stats! Take videos of your rooms, your view, from your hikes, from your afternoon on the lake, from the ski slopes, bring Maine to your visitor! I will admit that until recently, I didn't use video to promote my listings; I did upload the virtual tour to YouTube but the quality is poor. I finally decided to buy a video camera. So starting this spring, I have the task of visiting all of my listings to take lots of video to replace the virtual tours and upload to YouTube.

Picture
 
Picture
If you're still asking why about social media, here's a simple but interesting infographic on Facebook, Twitter and building relationships.

 
Picture
Google's Picasa Web photo sharing program is one of the best and easiest to use and gives great "Google-juice" in terms of SEO benefits.

Uploading to Picasa is easy as is sharing from it, and geo-tagging or mapping the photo's location.

From there you can upload the image to Google's Panoramio.

Picture
Once you've added the map location in Picasa, from that screen you will seen an option to upload to Panoramio. This is a Google web based program that allows users to view photos via Google Maps or Google Earth. Great exposure.

Snart snapping pictures of this beautiful state and share them! 

Don't forget to TAG and MAP!

 
Picture
TAG your photos! You can't have too many tags. Tagging photos helps the SEO (search engine optimization), or helps the search engines find your photos. I tag nearly all my photos with my name; Google my name and there are my photos. Tag every photo with key words or phrases how you want your visitors to find you. Think like a visitor and tag accordingly. What are they looking for? Maine vacation, Maine photos, things to do in Maine, Maine ocean, Bar Harbor Maine, etc. You get the point! Just get in the habit and tag

 
Picture
I was recently asked a question as a guest speaker at a bed and breakfast association meeting: Do you recommend Facebook ads? Very good question and not an easy one to answer. Do I favor them over Google ads? Simple answer, no. However, I do think there are pros and cons to the Facebook ads. 

Here's my take: When someone goes to the search bar and Googles the key terms they're in need of answers to, they are on a mission. When someone is on Facebook, chances are, they are not on the very same mission. There might be times where they are, but Google is still a widely used search engine while Facebook is social media for engaging.

Picture
When I decided to look into this topic, I Googled "Facebook Ads" and check out the results!

This is just a screen capture of a few of the images that came back in my search. 

This confirmed a bit of how I feel that some people will perceive ads on Facebook, because they're not seeking them out, they're just present, regardless of whether the user wants to see them or not. Although on the positive side, they are targeted and should provide relevant ads. But they're unsolicited nonetheless. I do know people who claim they've gotten business from these ads, so I am not completely averse to them, I just want you to look at all options.

Picture
So here I am on Linda Perrin's page, she owns Atlantic Art Glass in Ellsworth, Maine. 

Along the right are ads: one for snowmobiling in Maine, one for Ultra Sport socks, one for Trulia Real Estate and one for Mercedes.

Are these relevant? If I am looking at the beautiful art glass Linda is working on, am I going to click on one of these ads?

You decide!

Picture
With Google ads, clearly this is a vehicle to enable a user to find something specific. They are there to find your ad. Of course Google might cost more than Facebook advertising, so you may want to look into Facebook as an alternative. 

 
Picture
Picture
The volume of users alone should be reason enough to become involved in Social Media...though it takes quite a bit of effort and time, it is free advertising...
 
Jing is a tool that allows you to capture any part of a screen you are viewing, whether a document, a website, an email, anything in your view. With a couple clicks, you can crop and save a screenshot as an image file. For me, it's helpful in many ways. I've just gone through and captured each menu bar from my website (danamoos.com) and duplicated it for each page so that I could place it at the bottom of each page too. But my website (built by Weebly) doesn't have a template with a top and bottom menu bar. So my way around this was to create an image of the menu bar and embed the hyperlinks by using the ISDNtek from my previous post. I can then in my website editing screen, add the html code I create through ISDNtek to add tot he bottom of each page. So this post ties in two fabulous tools which can be used for so many things!

Here's how I did it:

Picture
Step 1- I used Jing to create a snapshot of Google Maps.


Step 2- I used Photoshop Elements to add photos of each of my listings. You can use any photo editing site that allows you to create layers. Be aware of the size of your site where your image will appear and size it accordingly.


Step 3- I saved this as an image file.

Picture
Step 4- go to ISDNtek for the site and easy how to instructions.

Picture
Step 5- In order to add the image to the image mapper (ISDNtek) I had to upload to the internet in order to grab the "image URL". I added this to my Flickr photos, right clicked on the photo after it was uploaded and then copied the image URL. 


Step 6- then I went to ISDNtek and added the image URL.


Step 7- click on "New Link" and add the landing page for that link/image and add a caption. I repeated this for every listing/image I had, and sent each link to the dedicated listing landing page on my website.

Picture
Step 8- click "make code" and copy the code. Anywhere you can embed html code you'll be able to add your newly mapped image. 


The result? check out the map on my website.


Next post: Jing how to...

 
Picture
I found a simple way to image map (embedding multiple hyperlinks within one image). For me, it's a great way to provide links to my listings based on a map page. 

But imagine in the hospitality industry what you could do with it? You could show a map of your region and embed the area attractions, restaurants, you name it! Create a hiking trail map with beautiful views from each trail and embed them as a preview to what your guest will see along their way...endless possibilities!
Picture
Perfect for the Tourism Industry...show your visitors the sights...
More views atop Cadillac Mountain Why we love Maine... Acadia National Park