Power to the “PEOPLE” and Pinterest

Are you creating a simple mood board? Consider Pinterest.com. Here are a few reasons:

  1. With a “secret board”, you can easily collect inspiration and keep links to the original page in one click.
  2. Pinterest also makes it really easy to share the board with clients and have them contribute cooperatively.
  3. Only folks you invite can see the board and you can uninvite them.
  4. As you filter your pics to your final list you can easily create sub-boards (i.e. PEOPLE Final) and tag the key inspirations there without losing them in the original list.
  5. Pinterest is a free way to create mood boards fast.

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BTW – More to come from these guys… believe me. First there was PEZ, next… “PEOPLE”. Stay tooned as they say, stay tooned.

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Brand Origin Story

“Super” Brand Positioning Chart

Hulk smash! Why is there no good Brand Positioning Chart image on web!?!

While it is a great time to be an entrepreneur with almost every visual asset you need can be found quickly through a Google Search, a great example of a brand positioning chart is not one of them. As I was searching for one to use with my COFFEE Business Stimulus clients I found it to be as elusive as a cagey super villain. So I decided engage the help of a few super friends to do my part to make the internet a better place and upload one here.

Nice Brand Positioning Map

This positioning chart plots popular super heroes vs. one another, not in a battle to determine the fate of mankind but by how far they are from human and how many benjamins they have.

Tied closely to another mythical marketing tool – Origin Story – Positioning is the most essential part of any brand strategy. Are you clear where you fit in and how you can soar above your competition? Your origin story is the unique set of circumstances and choices that lead to your super powers (a combination of skills and attributes) that few others have.

Complete the free COFFEE ThinkSheet and get clear on where you stand and find your most powerful position. 

If you would like a higher resolution version please reach out in the comments.

4 Tools to Monitor Your Tourism Business Reviews and News

I had a lot of fun this week hosting a Tourism Edge webinar for a group of businesses in the Kananaskis region of Alberta, Canada. In the session we addressed how feedback from your past guests is a wealth of information for tourism businesses. We also discussed how being vigilant about responding to reviews is important to attracting more guests. “Raised in reviews” and well versed in their nuances, many potential visitors evaluate businesses on how well operators respond to (negative) reviews, as much as the review itself.

While important, constantly scanning for comments and reviews related to your business is untenable. You have a business to run. Fortunately there are some affordable tools you may choose to invest in that can make the task much easier.

Rated from cheapest (free) to most expensive here are 4 tools that can help you keep you head above water while keeping your eyes on your online reputation.

Google Email Alert System (FREE)
You can sign up for Google Alerts quickly and relatively easily. Identify your brand/business name, common mis-spellings and other topics related to your business. Google will continually scan for instances when these terms appear together and you will be sent an alert straight to your inbox when they do.

As I have learned from experience, if you have a common business name or are interested in a common keyword make sure that you focus the search or you risk being overwhelmed with irrelevant alerts.

Google lets you use boolean logic rules to focus your search. It’s as fun to use as it is to say! 🙂

For example if you are a whale watching business in California consider including the state or nearby city as a keywords in combination with your brand, product or service. I.e. “Whale Watching + California + San + Francisco”

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Reputology ($29 US/Month – Free trial)
Reputology helps you monitor and manage online reviews with alerts, dashboards, and analytics. A nice feature is the summary reports that help you make decisions based on consumer feedback.

ReviewPush ($39 US/Month – Free trial)
ReviewPush offers multi-site monitoring, keeping an eye on new reviews on Yelp, Google, YellowPages, and more. They send you an email when new reviews are posted and you can respond to that review directly via email.

Review Trackers ($49 US/Month – Free trial)
Review Trackers allows for multi-site monitoring in one spot, and attractively for tourism and hospitality businesses covers industry-specific review sites like TripAdvisor and OpenTable.

Give one of the tools a whirl and see if the time savings justifies the cost. I’d love to hear which system you preferred and how things went.Did you uncover reviews you did not know existed? Did you address a problem and gain a fan?

Want to get more guests with less work? Get realistic help for the tourism bootstrapper. Read more and drop me a line.

Affiliate Marketing – Logitech Web Cams

As I continue the journey of bringing my tourism business marketing expertise online, I am preparing to host my first free tourism marketing webinars Feb 1, 2017 (Procrastinator’s New Year).

Gear wise, in the tradition of the 4 Hour Work Week I am focused on being mobile so I am getting small transportable equipment as I build up my mini-webinar studio. First on the list was a webcam.

Logitech C920 or C930e

Looking at the options it was tough choice between the Logitech C920 and the C930e. Both are considered better than most other webcams on the market. To get the 90 degree field of view so I can show my students on screen examples over my shoulder (and not be smooshed into the frame) I went for the C930e. I will post an update with my impressions.

I’m an affiliate now

After working extensively in Affiliate Marketing in 2005 this is the first time I am an affiliate myself. I decided to see how the Amazon Associate system works. Monetizing online content is another experiment I am running for myself, my friends and students. If you are in the market for a webcam or anything on Amazon please use the links below.

Consider sharing your expertise and passion with the world in 2017!

Discovering my love of coaching was my biggest breakthrough in 2016 and I am going after it in 2017. I am ready to solve problems and inspire students across the globe as an online content provider. If you are on a similar path lets connect and share secrets! For any of you that have already taken the plunge I’d love to hear about your hurdles and successes!

And, for those of you who have not taken the plunge drop me a line for some tips. Subscribe to Socialgenics as I will be sharing regular insights. And, consider getting a Logitech c920 or Logitech c930 for yourself!

Looking for the best tourism business specific marketing advice?
Join the private Tourism School Facebook Group here.

Two Tourism Marketing Tactics – Social Ad Targeting

Happy new year to everyone and especially those of you marketing tourism businesses!

Having worked with over 100 tourism businesses I know two things to be true, you all work incredibly hard, and since time and money is limited, you need the Social Media marketing tactics that deliver big bang for little buck. For that reason I focus my advice into actionable and high potency hacks. Feeling revved up to hit your marketing goals this year? Start here!

Two Tasty Tips for Online/Social Ad Targeting

I had a lot of delicious treats over the holidays and hope you did too. I did not however have any Oreo cookies and it shows. They are on my mind so this post packs a two part punch on social ad targeting tips for travel businesses. Thanks to Claude Faerden from kananaskisoutfitters.com for the inspiration! Check him out when you are in Canmore, Alberta, Canada!

  1. Promote your experience to only the people travelling near your location.Targeted Facebook ads are the most flexible and accessible advertising opportunities for tourism businesses. Best of all for tourism businesses, with advanced (but still simple) targeting you can promote your experience to the people that match your exact desired demographic AND are currently visiting your destination. If your product or service can be bought with limited lead time, there is a clear benefit to targeting your ads to people that are logging-in near your place of businesses. Facebook’s”Travelling-In” location targeting effectively lets you remove all local Facebook users from your ad audience. Leaving you with only visitors/recent arrivals! This technique is extremely effective for hotels, restaurants, rental and tour businesses.

    Read how to create the perfect Facebook audience for your travel business.

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  2. Put your  posts in front of past customers AND people JUST LIKE THEM on Facebook!
    Who better to put your paid ads and promoted content in front of than people that have done business with your before? No one… except maybe new people that are the same age, live in the same place and have the same interests as your past customers. If you have a mailing list of at least 1,000 people (even if you don’t use it) can can easily create a custom audience for you paid social content and extend it to thousands of new potential visitors just like theme. This is the number one tactic I recommend to anyone looking to experiment with targeted Facebook advertising. The cleaner and more current your email list the better. Consider excluding emails you know don’t represent your target customer.

    Read how to create a Facebook audience based off your past customers.


There is more free help where this came from.

Salivating at the thought of these tasty tactical treats? Take advantage of free practical tourism marketing advice. Drop me a line for a 15 minute coaching call. The more people I help the better I get, so reach out we’ll both learn something!

Shy? Don’t like free help? Follow me on Twitter.

Starbucks #RedCupArt = Seasonally Socialgenic

Famous for inspiring a cult following and even an anti-Christmas controversy the #RedCupArt Campaign is an annual bellwether moment for Starbucks and social media marketers. While you likely don’t have their global reach, you can find a few gifts of wisdom in Starbucks’ campaign that will show returns for your marketing in 2017.

Be choosy with your hashtag

As you can see from the Instagram gallery above, #RedCups has a different meaning in binge drinking circles (and I don’t mean COFFEE) that could likely  bring up some #NSFW posts in a random search. Starbucks has been deliberate in circulating #RedCupArt to maximize their ownership of the term, and minimize the potential for embarrassing content confusion.

Be Socialgenic and be welcome in the conversation

As with the word photogenic, things that are “genic” – cause or produce, or are well-suited to something. Therefore things that are Socialgenic produce or are well-suited to social sharing. You heard it here first, Socialgenic strategies are THE hack for businesses looking to turn their customers into their best marketers in a world where every guest is a broadcaster. Employ this tactic to create value through your social efforts and be relevant in fan’s social feeds rather than imposing your own content on them like an unwanted guest at the holidays.

Give the gift of an audience

By providing a canvas for creativity (red cups) and sharing the stage (their global social media accounts) Starbucks turns talented and ambitious fans into content creators. Importantly, since the iconic green circle logo is inextricably “baked in” to every user-generated red cup creation, each post is in fact a “user-generated ad” not just user generated content. Because the creator is the star and the brand is the stage, red cup art is shared to a fan’s peers with pride as an expression of their personality and will be welcomed with a much warmer heart than a brand initiated message.

Tip to go

Consider how you can make your product and promotion more Socialgenic. People are looking to express their personalities and take part of something bigger than themselves. How can you create a canvas for them and share your stage? If you can, you will be a welcome guest in their social conversations rather than unwanted visitor.

Looking for inspiration on how to make your brand or experience more Socialgenic? Drop me a line or ask for help in the comments below.

CBC’s This is That anchor leaves program after hearing teenagers are making “$1000’s of dollars a week.”

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Pat Kelly, the award winning co-anchor of the CBC’s popular satirical news program This Is That has abruptly tendered his resignation.

Immediately following the taping of the network’s flagship culture program “Q” Pat Kelly” notified CBC brass that he would be pursuing “other opportunities”. Pat was a guest on “Q” discussing the changing nature of satirical news in the age of social media and search algorithms. He seemed stunned to hear that teenagers were earning “thousands of dollars a week” distributing fake news on Facebook.

Recently social media algorithms have been a hot topic for their role in  spreading “fake news” and polarizing the information people have access to. Events as significant as the recent election of Donald Trump are being sited as outcomes of the new media landscape.

It is unclear what the future holds for the program. Neither Pat Kelly, Peter Oldring or the CBC could be reached for comment.