With the advent of online booking sites, AirBnB, more and more accommodation venues and review sites, you need to be more active and savvy with your marketing than ever. The really good news is, it is easier than ever before to promote, market and sell your accommodation offer.

Here is a quick list that we put together from our experience of eight things every boutique accommodation provider, bed and breakfast and motel needs to do to attract more customers and bookings.

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1. Get your social media accounts and posts really humming

Social media, whether you like it or not, is the modern marketing centre point for any small luxury hotel, guest house and bed and breakfast.

At a minimum you need:
1. Facebook;
2. Facebook Messenger;
2. Pinterest

To really start seeing some traction and building a digital profile, and developing a presence and kudos in the space, you should also look at:
1. Instagram;
2. Youtube;
3. Twitter;
4. WeChat (for Chinese market);
5. Tumblr;

2. Use Video

Video tells a story like no other medium. Video is visual and does what words and pictures can’t do – show your restaurant and its atmosphere in movement and sound. There is simply no better option for you to get people excited about dining at your restaurant than with an enticing video. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but make sure you have someone who knows what they’re doing to film and edit your story.

3. Keep Your Website Simple

We’ve seen lots of restaurant websites. The majority of them have extremely poor delivery. You don’t need a fancy, animated website (it most likely won’t work on mobile anyway). Most websites have way too many distractions from what people are there to look for. Your menu, contact info, location and hours of operations should be easily visible. Great photography and some testimonials will round it out and inspire. Anything else is just filler.

4. Get More Google+ Reviews

Google+ reviews are crucial for your restaurant too not only look good to potential customers, but to be found at all on Google. People trust reviews, and choosing a restaurant you’ve never been before for a special occasion is taking a big chance. The more reviews you have the more likely people will trust that they’re making a good decision by dining at your establishment, assuming you have mostly good reviews that is.

Quality, Quantity and Frequency

5. Make Your Online Booking & Ordering Simple

Who has time these days? Time to worry with cumbersome booking popups and clunky interfaces? No-one! It’s going to cost you bookings and revenue. If your restaurant offers online bookings don’t make it hard for them If your restaurant offers takeout or delivery then have online ordering options on your website. People hate to make phone calls these days. Everyone emails and texts. Not to mention answering the phone at your restaurant wastes your staffs valuable time. Make everyone happier by letting your customers order food directly from your website. Make the process even easier by accepting online payments. We offer a great, easy to use online ordering solution.

6. Be Social Media Active

Social media is now the most powerful marketing tools for restaurant owners… it’s where customers are hanging out. Your restaurant needs to be on your customers mind when they are thinking about where to eat when they want to eat out. Social media allows you to engage with your customers to keep you on their mind and bring them into your restaurant.

Related article: When are your customers hungry?
Related article: Facebook marketing for your restaurant
Related article: Instagram marketing for your restaurant
Related article: Pinterest marketing for your restaurant

7. Optimize Your Website For Local Search

Everyone now uses the internet to search where to eat out or order online. There are lots of options to choose from. You need to optimize your restaurant for local search otherwise your restaurant’s website will get buried in the never ending list of competitors. Learn how in the article below:

Related article: 7 Ways to Grow Your Restaurant With Local SEO

8. Free WiFi

Wifi is very important, and in some cases a necessity for a lot of restaurant customers. Many people decide on where they are going to eat based on whether or not you have Wifi. Your customize want to socialize online or even get caught up on work while at your establishment so it’s important to give them that incentive to come in.

9. Know Your Regulars

It’s not always about finding new customers that haven’t been to your restaurant. It’s much easier to make more with what you have. Getting to know your regulars on a personal level can greatly benefit your business. By getting to know them you’ll be showing them that you truly do care about them and their experience at your restaurant. Keeping a customer loyal can be much more profitable than trying to find new customers.

10. Use A Smartphone In The Kitchen (see also 1. Take Amazing Photos)

Having a good smartphone in your kitchen at all times is worthy of your investment. Have your chefs and staff upload pictures in real-time to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms easily and quickly. Customers want to see what’s happening right now, and they want to see pictures. Pictures are an easy source of content to post online to find new customers and get them engaged with your restaurant.