5 Minute Series: Flickr

Flickr for business is a great , especially if you have stock and products that translate visually. Menu items, ice-cream flavours, hotel rooms and happy customers are perfect images to post on Flickr.

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Getting Started

One of the best ways to get started with Flickr is to create a Project 365 and join the associated group. Project 365 is basically a photo diary – you take one photo a day and post it on Flickr.

What you post is entirely up to you. But here are some suggestions.

  • If you are a deli – some tantalizing pictures of what’s in your display cabinet (dips, sausage, cheese)
  • If you are an hotel – pictures of your different rooms, close-ups of furniture items, the view from the room
  • If you are a restaurant – your new summer, winter, spring etc menu items, desserts, environment, best table

Now you can also join a Project 365 group on Flickr and share your images with everyone.

But what I really like about Flickr is geo-tagging.

Geo Tags

When you up load a photo, you have the option of not only adding a descriptive tag (I always recommend including your business name) but also a geo-tag. A geo-tag is a geographical identifying tag that plots the location of your photo. Geo-tagging can help users find a wide variety of location-specific information. More importantly, geo-tags help customers find you through the photos you take.

As Flickr describes it, “As you stick more and more photos and video on to the world, these Places will become richer and much more interesting. This spurs us on to keep making them better, and to show you fresher, nearly-live content from Zambia to Nova Scotia.” Click here to learn more about the process.

Imagine if someone saw your delectable new dessert on Flickr, wouldn’t they want to know where they can go to eat it? Even if they are not in the area right now, they may bookmark it for the future, and if one of their friends is wondering where to take a date for coffee & cake, they’d be able to recommend you via your photo! A new customer just from one photo. Can it really be that easy?

Here are my “pizza” search results for a Melbourne, Vic.

Four things to remember when posting an image on Flickr

  1. In the comments section, add a description that includes the name of your business and how to contact you
  2. Add word tags that describe your picture (including your business name)
  3. Geo-tag so that you are search-able via the place pages
  4. Encourage your customers to also take photos to post on Flickr and tag them (with your business name!)

Mostly, have fun. You can check out my coffee Project 365 here. I’d love you to post some comments, you never know when I might feature your coffee!

Cheers,

Tracy Tormai

5 Minutes Series: LinkedIn

The most common comment I hear about LinkedIn is “I’m on it, but I don’t really understand it.” 

 

The 5 Minute Series is designed to demystify the Social Media tools for hospitality, & help you apply them to your business. Here are two easy to apply aspects of LinkedIn.

 

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 Let’s start with the LinkedIn homepage. Below the green box, “Build your network” you’ll see is Network Updates. This summarises all the goings on within your network connections – starting with you! 

 

1. What are you working on now?

As with most Social Networks, LinkedIn prompts you to update your status with a simple question. What are you working on now? enables you to share with the LinkedIn community what your current project is. Be informative yet succinct as you only have 140 characters available.

 

Why is this important? Each time you update your status, your whole network is updated. This creates a presence on their homepage for up to 2 weeks helping you stay top of mind.

 

This is true for all your activity on LinkedIn. If you update your page, make a new connection, join a group or create an event, your activity is then shared with all your connections. Piggy-backing on each others updates helps grow your LinkedIn profile easily & effortlessly.

 

2. Search

Today I am just going to talk about Search Groups with one specific idea in mind. You’ll probably think of other uses for Search based on this one application, so please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section.

 

Search Groups is ideal for you if you have meeting & seminar rooms at your restaurant or hotel, or if you want to encourage and invite groups to frequent your premises whenever they get together for business or social functions.

 

group-search-linkedin-total-results1

 

From the toolbar at the top of your LinkedIn page you can easily Search Groups. To make your search more relevant, add the area that you are in to see what groups are closest to you. From these search results, you can further define your search using the box on the right-hand side that lists the different types of groups – corporate, conference, networking, non-profit etc.

Now you can start networking. You may choose to connect with the Owner of the group directly, or you might like to first look through the member’s list to see if you already have a connection within the group. Either way, you have just used LinkedIn to create an opportunity to get more people in your doors for real world results!

 

I’d love to hear how this has worked for you.

Cheers,

 

Tracy Tormai

 

Connect with me on LinkedIn here – Just send me a direct request and I’ll add you to my connections

 

5 Minute Series: Twitter (Don’t be a fail statistic)

It was recently reported that 60% of new Twitter users stop using within one month. It’s a pity, I find it lots of fun and educational. I can only think that they weren’t warmly welcomed into the Twitter fold because of one of 2 things.
1. They only followed the celebrities that the Twitter suggests when you first sign up, only to find that they are boring!
2. They haven’t filled out their profile details, so that other people don’t know who they are, and why they should follow them.

There are probably a number of other reasons, but recent experiences have me believing that these are high on the list.

Picture by Lauterhaus

Picture by Lauterhaus

1. Follow people who’s interests you share

I just caught up with a friend whom I recently coaxed on to Twitter. She told me how boring Twitter was. Shocked I asked who she was following. Like many a new user, her list consisted mostly of  celebrities. No wonder. When the likes of Ellen and Ashton Kutcher have 1 million+ followers, you can’t expect there to be much interaction with them. Even if you do catch their attention, it is unlikely they will follow back or reply (just check out their time-line). And you soon find out that they are just like us anyway.

Instead, follow people who are interested in the things you are interested in. Be it coffee addicts, hand crafters, alpaca farmers, wine lovers, hoteliers, artisans, travellers or raw vegans, you’ll have a more interesting and satisfying Twitter experience. I suggest you check out monitter to find people who are talking about what you are interested in. And there is an added bonus to following same interest people in your local area – it makes it possible to meet-up with them off-line.

2. Fill in your profile

It seems that the recent rush of Twitter popularity has newbies signing up but not filling in their details on their profile page. I must admit, this is my pet hate. I’ll admitI am not someone who will automatically follow back if you follow me. Instead I will check you out, see what your interests are, and also see what sort of things you tweet in your time-line. If all this is blank, I’m just not interested.

If you need to go back and fil in your information, simply click on your ‘Profile’ tab, and then ‘Settings’. It is a simple mini-bio. In keeping with the short message context of Twitter, you don’t have to do too much work, so make sure you utilise what you have.

Name: Even if you are Tweeting under your business name, it is still a good idea to put your real name here. There are 3 good reasons for this.

  1. It lets people know that they are following a real person
  2. If people know you, and not your business, they can still find & follow you
  3. Google will search by your real name and your Twitter username. So you maximise your SEO by using both!

And leave a space, not underscore, between your first and last name. 

Your Usernameis what will be displayed next to your tweets. Your business name can go here if you are tweeting for business. This helps build your brand on Twitter as people begin to associate your name with your message. And using your logo as your picture iconis also a good brand building exercise, as more people associate with your icon than your username.

More Info URLis where you can list your web or blog address, or any other online presence. On your profile page it does have limited visibility, so drop the www if you can and just use http:// but check the link to ensure it redirects to the right page.

Finally, the most important section is the One Line Bio. Here you have 160 characters to describe what you do and what you are interested in. It can be a simple explanation of why you are on Twitter, or just a list of tags like this – Hotelier, foodie, chef, traveller, coffee fan, foreign movie watcher, lover of the good life!

The last thing on this page is to ensure that the Protect my updates box is left unchecked. You want people to be able to follow you easily, and to see what you are all about.

A word of caution

In the beginning, if you want to be taken seriously, let your followers grow organically. There is nothing that screams “potential spammer” more than someone with no tweets who is following 2000+ people.

Cheers!

Tracy Tormai

Related Posts

5 Minute Series: Facebook Public Profiles

5 Minutes Series: LinkedIn

5 Minute Series: Flickr

Twitter + Hospitality = Customers!

Why I love Twitter (as a marketing tool for the Hospitality Industry)

As I see it, Twitter has 3 major advantages of all the social media tools available*. First of all it is a form of micro-blogging, so the messages are kept short and conversational (like a sms). Secondly, you connect with your followers, people who have chosen to follow you, and you are able to keep your business top of mind for them. Finally, you get to build new customers.

What Twitter can do

I love Twitter! There are multiple real time conversations (represented by short messages of 140 characters or less) constantly going on worldwide that you can listen in to, or better yet, join.  People are always posting links to articles and news on any topic. You can do research, poll your following, and see what hot topics are are being discussed right now. Recent discussion has been on whether Twitter will overtake Google as a search engine.

But back to the real reason that I like Twitter, and why I think it is great for the hospitality industry.

1. Conversation

You get to have real time conversations with your guests, diners and customers – even when they are not at your establishment. The converstion can continue even after they leave, and can also be used to entice them back. You can continue to be hospitable and of service after they have left your premises. For your customers to follow your messages, it is not necessary to be attached to a computer or laptop. Your messages (Tweets) can be recieved via your mobile#, or any mobile device that supports web access, such as iPhone or Blackberry. This means that the conversation can also take place on the run, which brings us to number 2.

2. Top of Mind

You can remind your fans why they love you. That means that you can keep your business top of mind for when they want to grab a coffee, meet friends for dinner or get away for a mini-break. Your posts might be things like your special of the day, choc strawberry muffins fresh from the oven, book now for Easter, seeking a new Barista, or anything to keep the conversation going.

3. New Guests

The most amazing thing about Twitter is how the conversation spreads. You can invite people to join your feed via email, but what tends to happen is that word tends to organically spread based on all the contacts of your followers. Your followers then link back to you either by replying to one of your posts, or by re-posting one of your posts on their own feed, called a retweet (RT).

For example, if you sent a tweet  “Reminder: Dinner & Movie Special every Tuesday only $29pp” everyone of your followers would receive it. They can then a) reply “Book me in for 7pm” and that is then seen by all their followers who can trace back the original message. They can also b) ReTweet the message to all their followers with your exact same message. Who can then send it on to their followers, who then send it on to their followers… Soon you have people choosing to follow you from all over the world putting notes in their diary to come and visit you when they arrive at your destination!

Making Twitter work for you

The best way to really understand it is to do. Click here to start following me on Twitter. This way you can stay up to date in real time and continue to receive more tips on how your Hotel, Restaurant or Cafe can connect with customers.

Cheers,

Tracy Tormai

Sales Coach and eMedia Specialist for the Hospitality Industry

*Twitter is my favourite out of Facebook, You Tube and Flickr all of which I recommend for the hospitality industry

#Not currently supported outside the US

5 Minute Series: Facebook Public Profiles

I just became “online friends” with a friend. Whilst having a Facebook conversation with her, I asked how the promotion of her seminars was going. In exchange, I told her about the social media seminars I am hosting and asked if she had created a Facebook Public Profile for her business. Here’s her reply,

“So how do you make that Facebook link?”

This 5 minutes post is about the first step you need to take on Facebook for your business. Once this is established, we can revisit Facebook in this series to talk about other aspects of Facebook that you can utilise.

What is a Public Profile Page?

Facebook allows businesses to interact with people via Public Profile Pages that have the same functionality as your regular profile. Facebook says that it creates “a presence that looks and behaves like user profiles to connect and engage with your customers and amplify your voice to their friends.”

On your Public Profile Page, instead of friends you have fans, and in the past these were referred to as fan pages. So you may still see references on Facebook to Pages, or Fan Pages.  A Public Profile on Facebook is great becasue the “fan” doesn’t have to ask permission to follow you as they do when you are “friends”.

I find that Facebook makes it difficult to create a Public Profile, so click here to be directed to the right starting place or paste http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/pages/create.php into your browser. Just make sure you are already a member of Facebook.

Now you can create your Public Profile in 3 simple steps.

1. Choose your category

Once you are on the Create New Facebook Page you can choose your category. If you are a business, click on “Local” and from your drop down box choose the most suitable category to suit your business type.

2. Name it

Facebook says that the name you give your Page is permanent. So choose wisely. You want to match your name to your business name as closely as possible to make it easy for customers and fans to find you.

3. Complete the official stuff

Check the box, electronically sign, click the “Create Page” button – you’re done!

Your Public Profile Page is ready for you to flesh out and invite people to visit. Some things to consider in making your Public Profile inviting include~

  • logo or friendly photo of the hotel/restaurant/cafe
  • adding tabs for video, photos, discussions, polls
  • photos of your hotel rooms, food, staff and views
  • adding the reservations application designed for restaurants
  • listing upcoming events
  • post updates regularly

You can check out my Facebook Public Profile here and take part in the current discussion “What’s your favourite holiday/travel movie?”

Cheers,

Tracy Tormai

PS. Leave a comment below with a link to your Public Profile so we can all become fans!

Joel Comm’s 11 Favourite Types of Tweets!

Yesterday I saw Joel Comm speaking live in Melbourne, and he revealed the different types of Tweets he likes to do. Of course it is best to mix it up, and there are probably many other categories that can also be added.

Here are Joel’s ’11’ as recreated from my notes (I hope I can read my own writing!). Some of the examples have been elaborated by myself!

  1. Ask Questions – Twitter is great for finding out anything, we all know this, you can get answers to the best place to eat in an unfamiliar suburb, the right train line to catch  and even the answer for your homework!
  2. Provide Answers – Answer other people’s questions. Twitter search  “how do you” and answer away. You can be an expert in providing answers.
  3. Pithy Sayings – these can include favourite quotes and word-of-the-day
  4. Share News – many news stories are broken on Twitter. The plane in the Hudson, the Indian cricket shootings, and even the Iran elections.
  5. Provide Links (this is great, I learn so much from the links people provide via Twitter. If I had to search for the information myself it would take me hours!)
  6. Give Compliments – we all love a compliment
  7. Retweet generously – if someone shares information that you think is worth sharing, retweet it. Exactly as it is.
  8. Recommend other people to follow, we all know word-of-mouth is a great recommendation
  9. Use media – audio/video/photos
  10. Conduct contests and giveaways
  11. Marketing, either blatant or subtle (but only after you have created a relationship)

Joel went on further to defend the “mundane” tweet as he put it. Th tweet that is often derided by those that don’t “get” Twitter. The tweet that shares with others what you had for breakfast, what’s your favourite donut flavour, and the trivial taking the kids to the park. These tweets he says, are a point of connection. They may not be directly related to a sale, but they let everyone know that we are essentially the same. We have the chance to identify with our heroes, and this is where Twitter is powerful.

If you ever get the opportunity to see Joel Comm speak, I highly recommend it. He is very entertaining, and full of great content. He kept getting the wind-up by the event organisers as his 90 minutes blew out to 120 minutes or more. Yet sitting in the audience, the time flew by.

Thanks Joel!

I hope that you have enjoyed this list of Joel Comm’s 11 favourite types of tweets. Let me know if you have any other types of tweets to add to this list.

Cheers,

Tracy

Related Posts

“You should write a book about this…”

Where attention goes, energy flows and results show.

~ T. Harv Eker from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

I reread this quote today and it reminded me of a post I wrote about a year ago on another blog, about focus, determination & vision. It can relate to any aspect of your life, and I’m sure that you’ll find a business application for it. I hope that you enjoy!

Tracy

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“You should write a book about this…”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that phrase now, each time as I slide into the perfect car spot. Generally it’s from my partner, amazed yet again that we are parking right out the front of where we need to be. Well, I’ve decided to give the idea a spin (yeah, pun intended) in a blog, and if it becomes the basis for a book – great!

I’ve never really thought that it was special, getting the perfect car spot. But if I reflect back upon it, I do have a best friend who has always made me drive, especially if we were going into the city, or anywhere where parking was “critical”. She knew that we would get the perfect car spot if I was driving. Hmmm, it was either that or laziness on her behalf – I’ll have to check… But it wasn’t until I heard the phrase, “You should write a book about this…”, for the several hundredth time that I thought that maybe there was something special about the way I manage to manifest (yeah, bit of an esoteric word – but true in this context I guess) the best parking spots each time. 

Everytime up til now I kind of dismissed his idea of writing a book because I thought it would be a pretty thin book. You drive to your destination, you see a gap, you park – finito! So on this occasion I prompted him further. “What would I write about?” I asked him, “Why would it make us millions?” His answer was simple. If you can break down the process of the perfect car spot each time, then we can apply it to other aspects of life and business. And if it’s in a book – others can too! (And that’s G‘s theory of making millions.) Well, maybe there is something to that thought process… so here goes…

How to get the best parking spots

1. Certainty

From the start of your journey, you have to know where you want to end up. My friend, the one who gets me to do the driving, doesn’t think that she can get the best spot (not even if I’m in the car with her). And so she doesn’t. So I guess that’s a key too – you gotta believe.

2. Believe

You have to believe without a doubt, that the perfect car spot is there, waiting for you.

Where there’s doubt, there’s a longer walk to your destination. (hmmm, note to self, good quote potential… better highlight that)

3. Persistence

If the first drive-by at your destination doesn’t yield a car spot – do a ‘u’-ey (gosh, I have no idea how you spell that. Do you know what I mean? A u-bolt, u-turn), u know, u turn around and drive past again. Persistence.

4. Determination

That means not listening to others who will settle for something less-than-perfect. Something that’s a block away. You need to stay true to your vision.

5. Vision

That’s probably another important ingredient. G helped me discover that one. I always have a clear picture in my head (probably even before I get in the car) of where I want to park – again, I guess I know my ultimate destination before I set out.

So a quick recap…

1. Be Certain 2. Believe 3. Be Persistent 4. Be Determined 5. Visualize

Hey – pretty simple when you put it like that. And probably quite familiar. If you’ve read a self-help book, attended a personal development course or listened to a Christopher Howard CD, then I don’t think that there is anything “new”. And whilst you can apply this 5-step process to other life circumstances, and your business success, why not start by applying it to your next car parking expedition?

It’s often good to get evidence that you can create small things before you move on to bigger and better things! I think I’m ready for bigger and better things. I’ve been unconsciously getting the perfect car spot for more than 15 years. This year, I’m going to start applying this to the rest of my life – consciously. I’ll be sure to update you in future blogs on how I’m going, car parking and otherwise!

I’d love to hear about your own car parking experiences, or other aspects of your life where these principles/theories have worked for you – so please add your comments.

Til next time,

Tracy Tormai