I’ve just been talking to a friend who is a work from home Mum with 2 small children. We got chatting about social media, and I suddenly found myself giving her all sorts of advice. Am I an expert? Absolutely not (and that’s why I’m interviewing Josiah Mackenzie on “Making Best Use of Social Media in Marketing Your Hotel” for my interview series “How to Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge“.) But I have learnt enough in the last 12 months to apply the principles to my own business. And I know where to turn to when I need help.
Just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean it isn’t applicable to our business. It’s all too easy to think we can get by, because it hasn’t done us any harm in the past. The thing is as the saying goes “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get, what you’ve always got.” In other words, if we want to make improvements in our business, we need to learn and be prepared to take on board new ideas, new trends and new technology.
Here are three stages to embracing new ideas:
- We need to understand how they can help. Without that understanding there is little incentive. In the case of social media I know hoteliers who are still ignoring TripAdvisor, let alone embracing what the likes of Twitter or Facebook can do for their business.
- Once we get our head around that, we need to set objectives. It’s all too easy to get taken away with a new idea and throw all our energy into it, in the hope that something sticks. Do we use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, a blog, YouTube, all of them ……? Well; that all depends on our objective – who is our target audience – potential customers, suppliers, joint venture partners, and are we using it to bring in business, demonstrate credibility, build rapport….?
- Finally, we need to think about the strategy – how we are going to implement it. And this might not mean going it alone. Who can help us, give advice on the best approach, who can talk us through setting it up, how often and how much time will we devote to this, can we outsource the setting up or day to day implementation to take the headache away?
So, just what can social media teach us about embracing new ideas that we can apply to anything new in our businesses? It has reminded me that:
- We can learn new ‘tricks’ if we understand why it can help our business
- We need to be clear on our objectives, so we know what we are aiming to achieve, and can measure its success
- We need to put a strategy in place – the how, who, where and when
And before you know it we’ll be talking like an expert, too……
P.S. Join me as I interview 10 hotel industry ‘experts’ over the coming two weeks in “How to Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge“.