Social Media is critical in today's Internet World! Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Business Places all need to be active and help your website!
This article will address all of these important concerns.
What does this have to do with running an RV park? Just as websites have grown to be incredibly important for a business, the social networks are next. Thinking back to the “Yellow Pages,” the social medias are the equivalent of a really large full color ad.
Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube , Google My Business (Mapping Location & Reviews), FourSquare – you name it – are all growing incredibly fast. All of these social sites allow people to connect with each other. This allows customers to rate your park, utilities, service, desk clerk, owner, WiFi, laundromat, etc.
Suddenly, you could have a huge amount of negative “publicity” on the Internet, without even knowing it.
Worse, many of these sites are now becoming part of search results (especially when using Google). Less than a year ago, a typical first page of search results would list only websites on their result pages. Now, you will see “other” forms of social media sites within that first page of results – YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Business Places, etc.
Suddenly, your RV park business website is now competing with the social sites for space on that first page of search results.
Imagine if you’ve been just making that first page of search results – without a strong social media presence, you’ll be relegated to page two or even three of the search results. That RV traveler planning to come through your town this summer may never know you exist.
Social Media and What to do?
Facebook – Start a “Wall” on Facebook. That’s your business site that you can link to and from your website. People can write reviews, show pictures and “Like” your RV park. Here, you have a chance to correct a bad review. Pay one of your kids or grand kids to “manage” it, at least a few hours a week.
Instagram - Incredibly popular and has lots of pictures!
YouTube – Video a short movie about your RV park and post it on YouTube. Link it to and from your website. It doesn’t have to be done “professionally.” Again, most teenagers could work one up for you within a few hours.
Pinterest – Keep your eye out for a great picture within your park or a cute RV or something you could post on Pinterest with your link to it.
Business Places – These are not a social site; but, oh, so important! As a business owner, “claim” your business location on Google Business Places, Maps, MapQuest, Bing Business Portal, Dex, Yelp, etc. Get some pictures of your RV Park and be sure all the info is correct and the Map shows your location correctly.
Foursquare is a great social site for the "Go To" place - restaurant, night club, cafe, etc. People "Check-in" to Foursquare when they get there and invite friends, review it and generally let other people know where they are right now!
Most of these sites are free, relatively easy to setup and will provide an excellent back link to your website from a very credible website – Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, FourSquare, etc.
Very important concept to always maintain – your Website is the “center of attention”. Be sure to keep in mind that you want to drive traffic to your Business Website. Many business owners make the mistake of trying to get people to go to Facebook and “Like” them. Sure, social media is important, but getting people to “like” your actual website is more important. That’s your “money home base.” Always get people to go to your business site - even thru Facebook!
Keep your social media sites positive and upbeat. Customers like that and will hopefully respond likewise. Remember, these are the sites that people can “review” you. Too many negative comments and that traveling RV'er will see those and by-pass your park.
I’ve seen many search results that will display your “Facebook” page before your actual website. Always make sure your business website is following SEO Best Practices to help eliminate that.
I know of one very large search engine company that is now looking at positive reviews of a site as part of its scoring system. Think about it – if your RV park has negative reviews and your competitor has positive reviews – they will display the positive RV park above yours.
Remember, the goal of search engines is to provide a positive experience for the Searcher.
The next article will be about putting this all together.
By Bernie Martin
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