Marketing Eagle Brae HotelIn the first of a new series of blogs looking at the ways hotel owners use marketing, Destination Copywriting talks to Mike Spencer-Nairn, who owns Eagle Brae Log Cabins with his wife, Pawana.  

The idea behind this interview series is simple – we want to share how various hotel owners approach marketing their businesses, and give an insight into what’s currently working for them, and what’s not.

Eagle Brae provides guests with luxury log cabins, in the highlands of Scotland. In the interview, Mike explains how they use Facebook to keep guests coming back time and time again, and how TripAdvisor is helping to keep their luxury log cabins full up, all year round:

How do your customers tend to find you?

Word of mouth referrals and basic internet searches.

What steps do you take to market your hotel? 

Nothing, currently – word of mouth and internet searches are keeping us full year round.

So how do you keep your guests coming back?

We find that social media – such as Facebook – is much more useful for keeping in touch with previous guests than it is for generating new business.

We use Facebook to keep our business in our guests minds, to keep them talking about us, and to keep them talking to their friends about us.

How do you get your hotel’s unique personality across when interacting with customers online?

We try to give our establishment a personality of its own on social media, as if it were a person in its own right. This makes it easier to relate to.

Our posts are always jovial, light-hearted, non-political, fun and create a sense of holiday fun that potential guests will want to be a part of.

With a view that good, who needs Twitter?Do you find it easy to manage your brand online or are there challenges?

We have found it quite easy to date. None of us in the team have really grasped Twitter, but via the website and Facebook we have a created an online brand that seems to be managing to maintain a distinct and attractive profile for people.

We find social media useless for generating new business, it is only useful for maintaining contact with previous guests and keeping us on their radars.

Email lists are far more productive in producing bookings. Email subscribers are actively interested in staying at our establishment, social media followers are predominantly viewers only. TripAdvisor is exceptionally effective in producing new bookings, we do zero TripAdvisor maintenance, we like to leave TripAdvisor as one-way traffic for guests to post about us – we do not see the need to interact on TripAdvisor.

What will you do if you receive any negative comments on TripAdvisor?

We have not encountered any negativity on the site yet, but when it does happen we will not respond on TripAdvisor – we will respond directly to the guest.

How do you keep your online marketing efforts consistent and effective?

Only one person posts them so their is no conflict in the online personality of the business.

Is online marketing worth the time and effort that goes into it for your hotel?

Yes I think it is. Guests would be disappointed if they had a quick look and found that we had no Facebook page, or had no TripAdvisor page. I think it’s important to have them for guests, even if they aren’t then scrutinised by those guests.

Do you have a content schedule of any kind?

No. we post whatever is happening on an ongoing basis, no plans and no schedule. But we do try to mix it up so that there are never too many subsequent posts that are similar.

How important is it to understand your audience?

Not important for us. Our customer demographic is far too varied to even try to pin down a certain audience type. Everybody likes fun, especially when on holiday, so we like to portray a sense of fun and adventure that appeals to everyone.