Mark W. Schaefer is a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer, speaker, professor, consultant, and author of many books, including the bestselling book on Twitter: The Tao of Twitter. I will share his thoughts and explain how they can be applied in the bed and breakfast industry.  I highly encourage everyone who is interested in learning how to effectively use Twitter to get this book!

Mark states that Twitter is used for:

  • Networking
  • Information
  • Advertising
  • Searching
  • Sharing
  • Connecting
  • Teaching
  • Entertaining

Twitter can help businesses (including bed and breakfasts):

  • Attract new audiences and potential customers (guests)
  • Follow your industry, customers, and competitors
  • Find people who can solve problems quickly
  • Stay on top of the latest opinions and insights
  • Learn new skills
  • Strengthen new and existing relationships

Schaeffer defines "tao" as a way, path, or route generally used to achieve success.  He believes, when it comes to Twitter, that there are three essential components:

  • Targeted connections--it is important to surround yourself with people who likely want to know us, learn from us, and help us
  • Meaningful content--it is crucial for person to person connections to be authentic and human on Twitter, relax and be yourself, share content for human beings and not search engines
  • Authentic helpfulness--the new media marketing mindset to put priority on interactions which leads to connections, awareness, and trust over time

According to Mark, some good news about Twitter:

  • The Twitter community is engaged and loyal
  • Twitter users are three times more likely to follow brands than Facebook users
  • Twitter users generated double the median monthly leads of non-Twitter users
  • Twitter enables companies (bed and breakfasts) to receive feedback from users (guests)
  • Twitter users can become advocates for your bed and breakfast
  • Twitter users are the most influential online consumers with seventy percent publishing blog posts at least once monthly
  • Just 25% of Twitter's user base is in the United States, you can appeal to guests from all over the world
  • There is an opportunity to connect on a global scale
  • Twitter users with more followers are more active and successful

To set up your Twitter profile:

  • Use a personal photo over a company logo in most cases (however, I think a photo of your bed and breakfast could be better than a personal photo so that people can visualize your bed and breakfast when they see your tweets)
  • Provide a link to your website
  • In your bio, use keywords that people would use to find your bed and breakfast: bed and breakfast, inn, travel, hospitality, etc.
  • Select an easy to remember user name such as @BlueMountainBB is the Twitter name for Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast

Good to know:

  • People will not see your updates unless they follow you back
  • Follow people based on what your bed and breakfast does or its particular location; examples: follow a local fishing guide if your area is a great area to fish, follow an equestrian organization if you have horses for your guests to ride, and so on
  • You can connect with people without them following you back
  • The 140-character limit was built to accommodate tweets being updated from phones

We are going to be digging deeper into Mark W. Schaefer's book The Tao of Twitter in the next three blog posts. Bed and breakfast owners and innkeepers, if you are not currently on Twitter or need help to develop a consistent marketing strategy as well as achieve and maintain social media success, consider choosing Bed and Breakfast Blogging with Kristi Dement to help your B&B attract even more guests.


About the author 

Kristi Dement

Tapping into her love of hospitality & accommodations, as well as her talent for marketing, Kristi started Bed and Breakfast Blogging in November of 2013. She loves helping owners of B&B inns & other properties become more effective with their marketing. She is a member of the Association of Lodging Professionals. 

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