In 2008 we had developed our Luxury Farm Stay set in the Heart of Shakespeare’s England, we wanted the world to know what we had to offer so set up our own website OaksBarnFarm.co.uk we looked at how others advertised Holiday opportunities and selected a couple of paid for sites to reach more customers, these were and are still Holiday Lettings and Owners direct.
Fortunately for us Holiday Lettings teamed up with Trip Advisor enabling us to benefit from guest searching under both. We then set about listing on all free business listings, yell.com, scoot, Bing and many more.
All of this time Facebook was in the background, something we neither used nor understood but we did realise that we were still not telling enough people what we did, or facilitating our guests to share their experience of our Farm Stay.
Local networking enabled the Farm to meet some key people who were making headway in the new world of Social Media, Jason Adams formerly of The Arden Hotel Stratford upon Avon who can now be found @GMFoxhills and Sian Smith now of @cloverleafBD, both hosted a local network for hoteliers delivered by Grant Appleton of @hospitalitweets, I have named these three individuals as they were key players in enabling our Farm to reach more customers through the introduction of FacebookPages and setting up our Twitter account.
We now had a communication channel which allowed us to learn more about our existing and future customers, let people know of local attractions to visit whilst at the farm and most importantly an opportunity to maintain a customer relationship far beyond their stay with us, which time after time has resulted in our guests returning to the Farm.
Thirsty for how we could do more We attended a Facebook Workshop at the Stour Enterprise Centre run by Michael Thomas @BlueEyedDigital who helped us shape the way our page looks and works today.
Today through our Facebook page, our guests get a feel for each of the seasons on the farm, see new life coming onto the Farm during Lambing in the Spring, and have a deeper understanding of the roll Farmers have to play in where our food comes from.
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