If you need some proof that Twitter can work for small business, look no further than the Three Tree Inn in Geneva, New York. This quaint bed & breakfast located in the heart of New York's fabulous Finger Lakes region, is owned by an incredible couple, Paul and Marcia Swenson. We share the same last name, but don't think we're related. But my wife and I consider them our best friends.
We lived next door to each other for seven years in Lawrence, Kansas and always shared New Year's Eve together in those years moving the festivities between our homes. Life happens and we both moved from Lawrence five years ago or so. Paul and Marcia eventually returned to their home area in upstate New York and bought a bed & breakfast in Geneva.
They completely renovated the place and between Marcia's impeccable decorating tastes and Paul's incredible cooking, the Three Tree Inn took off in 2010. They did it basically with word of mouth and referral and did well. But they knew they wanted to do more and that is where Twitter comes in.
Char and I traveled to New York over the holiday to renew our New Year's Eve tradition with Paul and Marcia. One night, our discussion turned to PR and marketing (I wonder who did that) and one thing led to another and on New Year's Eve morning,@threetreeinnbb was born.
We set up their Twitter account and then spent some time over the rest of the weekend identifying the right people to follow and as always happens, people began to follow back. It was so much fun to see how fast a social media strategy works. As I write this post, @threetreeinnbb has 101 followers and is following 435 other tweeps and it has been one week. Marcia is fast becoming a pro Tweep!
Sometimes in our business, we have to wait a while to see a strategy work. Watching what is happening to our good friends at the Three Tree Inn is a good reminder of how great social media is for small business. Oh, I forgot to mention the most important metric. After just four days, the hits to their website were eight times the norm for this time of year. And they got some bookings for January right out of the shoot.
So check out @threetreeinnbb on Twitter and more importantly, travel to the Finger Lakes and stay at The Three Tree Inn. The wines being produced in that region now are incredible. The restaurants fantastic. And the landscapes are beautiful. I'm a Finger Lakes convert and I know a great place to stay whenever I go there.