The whole power of the internet is the idea of collaboration. At first, I was worried that people doing similar work to me would be competition but the more I spend time online, the more time I realized these people were my colleagues. We trade information and ideas, refer each other for work, and are otherwise friendly.
I had a meeting today with Phyllis, the Director for the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce and she told me about theBar Harbor Bed and Breakfast Association. Here’s what’s neat about this group:
They chose a shorter domain name: sleepbarharbor.com.
BarHarborBedAndBreakfastAssociation.com would have been way too long to remember, not to mention print on business cards. Sleepbarharbor.com is much more descriptive and equally memorable.
They refer each other via their website, and word of mouth.
On the top of their website, there are two clearly marked places to check availability. This one location allows an internet user to check all 26 locations at the same time. You can also narrow your search for rooms that include certain amenities, like a television in the room or a water view.
If you call one of the inns and they are full, I am also sure that the person working at the front desk would help the person over the phone book a room at another inn using this website.
Dana Moos is one of the most useful people I follow on Twitter (@danamoos). I happened to finally meet her in real life at two tweet-ups (that’s a meetup for Twitter users for the non-nerds out there).
Anyone who watches Dana on Twitter or anywhere else sees that she makes great food (usually associated with the hashtag #foodporn), takes gorgeous Maine photos, and otherwise seems to be everywhere at once. I asked if I could pick her brain about how she uses her website, Twitter, Facebook, and other websites and manages to sell real estate.
First question: Do you ever sleep? If so, how do you manage to do your job, study, be a social media superstar, and have fun?
For the most part, I work from home. So if I’m not out showing property, I am on the computer from the first cup of coffee until it’s time to think about dinner! Then I might be back on the computer after dinner for a little bit.
It takes time, dedication, focus and organization! And it has become part of my routine. Just like exercise (which I don’t do as much as I should!) but the time that it takes hasn’t become a chore for me because I can be so creative with it. Any time I can be creative, I’m happy about what I’m doing. In high school and college I was involved in the Arts, then got away from it and into business, now I’m back. But now I can combine both and I love it.
How did you get into using social media? Did it start out with a blog like it did for me?
That’s exactly how I started. When I was an innkeeper, I learned a great deal about web marketing. So when I got into lodging brokerage, The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty has a beautiful website, but I wanted my own, for my listings, my focus. So in December 2008, I designed a blog through Google Blogger (mainelodgingbroker.com) because I didn’t have the time to have a website designed by a professional. Besides, I wanted to take a stab at eventually designing my own! So after my blog was established, I joined Facebook and Twitter. And I follow my stats very closely. Seeing the impact of just these two social media sites, I expanded my blogging and photo blogging, primarily for business.