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How to attract customers with a limited marketing budget

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If you follow me on Twitter you'll have noticed a few cheeky sunny updates this week, along with the usual social media, blogging and sarcastic updates. I've moved office, just for a week, to come and work in Lanzarote in the glorious Canary Island sunshine. And if you really follow me on Twitter (and by that I mean actually know my passion for everything social media) then it will be no surprise to you that I chose my destination because of social media.

Lanzarote Lates | Casa Aloe Vera

WarwickTweetup's Lanzarote office for a week - Casa Aloe VeraBack in 2011 I 'liked' a page on Facebook called Lanzarote Lates. I met the owner on the off-chance an event where we got chatting. We instantly hit it off when we realised we were both obsessed by social media and we shared tips on Twitter and Facebook, and instantly followed and liked each other when we got home. This is not unusual for me; I often ask if someone I meet is on social media - it's the new business card! 

Naturally I started receiving updates in my timeline from Lanzarote Lates and usually I would tolerate this for a while and then unlike the page when it became a skimmer (something I would learn to naturally skim when I was no longer interested).

Something was different about this business page though, something I think all business pages should learn from. 

It was actually a very ‘social’ social media channel! And it worked; I stuck with the page for two years! I followed regular updates of comings and goings at the villas owned by Ange and her team, and I grew a relationship and an affiliation to the business. Even though I'd never ever used it, I just somehow I felt I knew it. 

IMG_6142.jpgLanzarote Lates post regular updates about their villas but also chat to guests already on the island or hoping to actually check-in for real, in person and on Facebook! They answer questions from guests, offer advice on where to go and also keep it light and quirky with funny pictures and related posts on holidays and other businesses in the area. Had they just promoted themselves constantly I'd have turned off long ago! 

So when it came to choosing a holiday we decided to grab a week in Lanzarote Lates’ newly acquired 'Casa Aloe Vera' which also has its own Facebook page. The page has been tempting me with shots of the hot tub, heated private pool, three bedrooms, mountain views front and back and a covered BBQ area that receives excellent WiFi reception - it's the perfect Canary office!

Casa Aloe Vera | LanzaroteOn arrival, the welcome book instantly encourages you to "turn off your 3G, log on to the WiFi and check-in on Facebook!" What a great idea; not only does it save your customers from unwelcome roaming costs but it gets them to promote the villas to their friends too. Ange also posted a nice welcome update on their page to us, and even sent us a personal picture using our Facebook avatar and wrote a welcome note on to it - inspired!   

BBQ at Casa Aloe VeraAs an office it was perfect and we've got some serious work done this week, all thanks to regular swimming pool breaks between blogs, free WiFi, and an outside fridge for refreshments! I even managed to write an open letter to Mary Portas from the hammock – and she replied. 

The only complaints I have about Casa Aloe Vera is that one week is not long enough and I never did find out what the switch labelled 'The Bat Cave' did!  

So next time you buy a villa after choosing a picturesque location near the beach, attract people without spending millions of pounds on an advertising budget by using social media. It’s particularly good when your target customers are over 2,500 miles away! 

AloeVeraplant.jpgSocial media helps you access your customers – worldwide. It's the world of mouth!

Do you think sales from social media are a myth and that I'm flogging an invisible dead horse? Trust me, build trust, and your customers will put their trust in you. Social media works when you build relationships and dare to be different. Embrace it like Lanzarote Lates did, and maybe you can attract worldwide customers through a free social media platform!  

 

 

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My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been immersed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.

Find me on Google+

Leave a comment

Posted by Ange on
Thanks Todd! We were delighted to have you as facebook ''fans'' turned customers and even more delighted that you never found what the switch to the batcave does as that means you'll just have to come back again and find it!
Posted by Warwicktweetup on
Ange, we had a fabulous week. Your Villa and service was the perfect remedy to an incredibly hard year. We feel relaxed, focused and blessed.

Come back? Oh you bet we will! *writes email asking for 2014 dates*
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