It is even more surprising it is that no resort has really nailed a sustained, quality blog considering how straightforward the opportunity really is. In addition to the blog fundamentals cited in my yesterdays “Maldives Resort Blog Roll” post, here are a few angles that almost write themselves for most resorts…
- Staff Profiles – A common feature on corporate blogs is to do profiles of various members of staff. Sometimes they are people doing particularly intriguing or esoteric jobs. Sometimes they are people with particularly unique backgrounds. Sometimes they are staff with special interests. We do them on our Red Bee Piero blog. The benefit to the resort and the guest is that such pieces really personalise the resort. Such individual stories make a bit of a human connection to this plot of sand with some villas and palm trees on it. Another benefit to the resort is that very often the staff are quite proud of the work they do and their story they tell.
- Snorkel Central – Snorkelling is the main event for the most guests to the Maldives. It is one of the first topics of conversation at the bar in the evening…”What did you see today?” Invite guests to share their house reef adventures and discoveries. Also, the majority of resorts now staff marine biologists. I find too many of these MBs focus on education. They write and speak about the ABCs of marine life. I think they should invest more effort and time in writing about “stuff they saw”.
What about Facebook? Many of the approaches I’ve listed above (eg. sharing snorkel pics) are what resort marketeers do on Facebook. They sometimes respond, “Blogs are passé, Facebook is where it is at.” Yes, blogs have been around for a while. The hype behind them hit a crescendo and has since tapered off (typical of many innovations). And Facebook is very of the moment. Though indications are that Facebook is hitting its own hype apex. Despite Facebook’s popularity and ease of use, it still has a number of major shortcomings especially vis-à-vis blogs…
- Offline Accessibility – Getting Facebook updates delivered to your offline Inbox (eg. Outlook) is a complicated set of menus and settings, while blogs provide simple (“Really Simple”) RSS Feed that deliver straight to your Inbox for offline reading (eg. on an airplane, in remote areas).
- Archivability – After certain dates, finding and accessing old posts and updates is a real chore (and I find they often disappear). On a blog, you can readily access them with direct links, Search boxes and dated Archive listings.
- Searchability – One struggles to find material on Facebook with Google, but Google readily finds most all blog material.
- Formatability – Facebook has very limited, almost primitive, formatting capability. Your own blog frees up your ability to format your posts in your preferred branding style or in a rich way that makes the post more engaging and/or appealing
- Linkability – Investing in a blog doesn’t necessarily forgo Facebook. You can have your cake and eat it too. Simple draft a rich format blog post…and then link to it with a brief comment on your Facebook page.
Many resorts find it impossible to create a useful, factual website let alone a blog! The Internet seems to be a very randomly used resource and many resorts are really missing a trick because not all of us are on Facebook/Twitter.
More importantly – I like reading blogs!