You’re A Green One Mr. Bennett

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN GREEN GREEN!  Gah I don’t even like GREEN but I find myself surrounded by it!  Even my wife, Susan,  loves to joke that I am GREEN, she claims I have an “olive” complexion, so I guess I have always been GREEN.  Heck, I even remember being “GREEN with Envy” about 15 years back when my ex-wife left me with a mountain of debt and no car.  I would ride my bicycle, a second hand garage sale 10-speed, to work, then to work and back every day, about 10 miles.  I would wait patiently at a light, watching people whizzing bye in new cars and think to myself “why isn’t that me?”

That was probably my first personal motivator, my fist step at self improvement, the envy of others locomotion.  I took a hard look at my life and asked, “why not?”  It made me realize that if I wanted to progress the only thing holding me back was a little GREEN, a little money, and if I wanted things to change I would have to find a way to make a little more.

So I did a little self evaluation, took a good hard look at my life and realized that if I kept  doing what Id always done Id keep getting what I’d always got!  I looked into my personal toolkit and realized of the X,Y & Z’s of my current process, only Z (working in hotels) was my best bet as it was the one in which I had already progressed the furthest.  It offered my the best potential for GREEN.

I ran with it and never looked back, took it to the top of my game, I reached the GREEN, the peak of my earning capacity at my terms with that tool.  I didn’t hit the point of “riches” but I did get to a point where I could afford to live the life I watched whizzing bye on the side of the road so many years before.

I wasn’t done yet, however, it turned out that I needed more GREEN.  This time GREEN popped up in my life in the form of health and wellness.  I had ignored my personal health to the point where I was in trouble.  I had a choice to make between a life of a plethora of expensive pills with obvious side effects or to again change my life.  I went GREEN, vegetarian that is, and changed everything.

I began cutting out all the harmful habits I had developed in my previous pursuit of GREEN,  fast food, meat.  I replaced them with GREEN healthy vegetables, fresh juice and organic produce.  I lost some weight and gained back some of the health I had lost and then, I hit a plateau.

This time I knew what I needed to do, GO GREEN and change again.  I found, thanks to a close friend, this amazing company, Melaleuca, that allowed me to begin the process of DETOXING my home and my life.  My weight loss was kick started, my health improved dramatically (haven’t taken a diabetes pill all week), I started to feel better and more in control AND it offered me a BETTER way to try and meet some of my financial goals.  It showed me #somethingreal that I want to share with everyone, I would love to share it with you just contact me here or at socialhotelguy@gmail.com.

I know this is a bit off topic but I just felt compelled to share. I also find I don’t hate GREEN so much anymore.  I think that if someone were to come up to me and say “You’re a GREEN one Mr. Bennett.” I might just respond,

So what do you think, am I a "GREEN one"?

So what do you think, am I a “GREEN one”?

“Why yes, yes I am!”

TripAdvisor Top Ranking, A Story of Success in Austin Texas!

5496845008_3a98e03309Here at Nextgen Hospitality Solutions one of our core tenants of reputation management has always been “TripAdvisor is your friend, and if it’s not…make it one!”  Let’s face it folks, TripAdvisor is a trusted resource for most leisure travelers, chances are they think of it and visit it first, BEFORE your brands or hotels own website.  Also, remember that Social Media is about being “social” with your guests; Trip Advisor is a fantastic place to start having meaningful conversations with them so don’t avoid it!

I know that sometimes the conversation you find on TripAdvisor is not always the one you would choose to have (in the case of complaints), however,  it’s always an opportunity for improvement when  a guest lets you know how they feel about your quality or service and you choose to have a real dialogue with them.  The Software Advice article, “How The Four Seasons Hotel Maintains Top TripAdvisor Ratings” very clearly spells out the importance of both having that dialogue, as well as having a clear and concise plan of action when dealing with guest complaints AND compliments.

The basics of this plan are simple:

  1. Monitoring online comment sites for feedback, they utilize a program called Revinate
  2. Establishing deadlines for response
  3. Standardizing a template to address complaints
  4. Leaving a personal response for compliments.

The results, however, are anything but simple!  The Four Seasons Austin has maintained top TripAdvisor ranking for over 3 years, up from a ranking of 27!  I will point out that the place I differ in opinion from the blog writer, Mr. Taylor Short, is in automating the search for online comments.  Although I have never used Revinate, and do appreciate the metrics demonstrated in the blog, I still believe that a thorough in person search needs to be done regularly of your hotels comments.

I have to say BRAVO to General Manager Rob Hagelberg and his entire crew for a job well done.  In fact I would have to say that these 4 basic guidelines are regularly espoused to our own client hotels, with very similar results.  This is just basic customer service mixed with a little old common sense.  In fact I would even go so far as to say take it a step further.  Establish a 24 hour response deadline to ALL feedback, positive or negative regardless of where you find it!  There is nothing better than to feel like someone is out there and listening, make sure you keep listening to your guests, if you don’t one of your competitors will!

I would like to thank the fine folks at Software Advice, Mr. Robert Bellovin I am looking at you, for making sure I was paying attention and pointing me at this fine article!  I would also like to encourage our other readers to share THEIR opinions of TripAdvisor with us here.  We would also welcome any other recommendations for Blog topics as well, either leave them below or send them to me directly at SocialHotelGuy@gmail.com.  Thanks! SHG

EDIT:  ADDENDUM

Since writing this article I visited one of the properties I consult for and, despite not having top ranking on TripAdvisor they did receive the 2013 Certificate of Excellence Award.  This from constant and immediate response to their comments and encouraging ALL guests (not just the ones you think like you) to leave comments.  The result has been a 17% increase, year over year,  in OFF SEASON business, primarily from OTA bookings!  TripAdvisor makes a REAL, dollars and cents, difference in your business, get on board!

-SHG

#Smoopsie

So, today is my birthday, so I wasn’t going to blog but … when something falls into your lap you have to pay attention.  This morning Trending Now, which is the Facebook page of the daily “Trending Now” newscast on Yahoo, posted a vid cap and call to action to a video on their site entitled “Social Media Mistakes To Stop Making”.  Intrigued  (after all I am a Social Media Manager and wouldn’t want to make any mistakes) I clicked to view the video and … nothing.  They had posted a post about Social Media Mistakes ON Social Media without editing or verifying that the link was clickable!

Even the BIG DOGS make mistakes!

Even the BIG DOGS make mistakes!

So I, being me, let them know there was a problem in the form of a post, “Maybe you aren’t sharing a clickable link with your picture, maybe THAT mistake … Just sayin” … crickets, no response, then … wait for it … nothing!  They took down the post, corrected it and reposted (thus eliminating my pesky and embarrassing observation).  Of course I liked their new effort, even applauded them for the correction, but it left me wondering…who is handling their social media that:

  1. There was an incorrect, non-clickable link on their initial post in the first place?
  2. They didn’t even bother to send a personal thank you for the correction (less than 2 minutes after posting I might add, so I saved them some grief there right?)
  3. That they deleted the post (and thus my pithy comment) instead of merely editing the post & preserving my clever musings for future generations (we know no one is perfect, least of all Trending Now)

The world (at least I) may never know but it did bring me to these take away’s:

  1. Even the big dogs make mistakes!
  2. If you do make a mistake, THANK THE PERSON THAT HELPED YOU CORRECT IT! (Good PR is priceless)
  3. #SMoopsie has a nice ring to it, I wonder if it’s a thing already, if not I am SO claiming it!
Wait, where did my comment go????

Wait, where did my comment go????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about you, any great #SMOopsies that you have either made or caught on the internet?  How do YOU feel about #SMOopsie as a #hashtag?  Post your #SMOopsies or opinions here I would love to see them!

Not All Brands Are Created Equal!

It’s a fact and as hoteliers we hear it all the time, “the suchNsuch hotel in Somewhereelse was much better/worse than your hotel.”  We are constantly being compared, for better or worse, to other hotels within our own brand,  so why aren’t we listening?  Why do we, as hoteliers, often simply rely on our branding and corporate marketing to tell our story?  Why would we assume that someone sitting in an office at corporate knows how to put our hotels in the best light?

If you are a franchise hotel (and most of us are) this simply won’t work, in fact this seldom works for corporate branded entities.  Let’s take Wal-Mart as a case in point, it is 100% corporate owned and operated and, you would think, their corporate image/message is consistent across its brand…right?

WRONG. It’s not even close and anyone who has lived in both California and in Texas can tell you the same!

In California, Wal-Mart is much more comparable to Kmart or other lower end Big Box stores, they are small, crowded, poorly maintained and have limited inventory.  In a word, it’s a bad experience at BEST!  Now West Texas on the other hand, these Wal-Mart’s are clean, SUPER, well stocked/maintained, frequently remodeled and updated and frequently the primary shopping experience in the community!  Personally, I would take a West Texas Wal-Mart over a Target any day unless I am in California (then it’s all about Target)!

Wal-Mart even goes so far as to cater their inventory to its local demographic for example in an area that is more rural you might find more Men’s work clothes while in a larger city the collared shirt and tie selection is larger.  Wal-Mart has stated that the goal is to operate each individual store as if it were a single store chain.  Therefore, if even Wal-Mart knows that each individual store within its own corporate structure is different enough to need to be treated as unique, why don’t we as hoteliers?

When you have a spare moment Google “Your City” hotels and take a look at the top ten results.  Here is what my result looks like.

Search results for “Amarillo Hotels”

The number ten spot on my results page is the Ambassador Hotel, an independent hotel, the question is why?  When we have so many top rated brands in our city is an independents marketing efforts beating La Quinta and Best Western?  The answer is SIMPLE, this hotel had no choice but to create content that was specific unto itself, it had no “brand” to do its marketing for it!  The result is not surprising (or uncommon) non branded hotels consistently end up in the top results or secondary or tertiary markets, the why is likewise simple!

We, as hoteliers, have begun to think of ourselves as our brand and not our location and it has inhibited our online and social media marketing efforts.  In fact in some cases it has hurt us, few guests know or care that hair dryers are a brand hallmark of Best Western but MANY would love to hear that you offer biscuits and gravy with your hot breakfast!  Yet it is these types of amenities our brands feature in their advertising on our “mini websites” (Days Inn for example still list that “Children Stay Free”) instead of the original mural by a world class artist in your lobby!

Resting on your laurels or on corporate marketing is a recipe for disaster.  Locally had a well-known and respected bakery, The Village Bakery, recipient of multiple write ups ad awards local, regional and national.  In January new owners bought the bakery, began outsourcing the “baking” to chain bakeries and by May had closed down.  A decade old local legacy was killed in less than a year because of owners that anticipated they could simply rely on their brand!

Savvy owners and those competing in first tier markets know that you MUST supplement your Brands message with your own if you want to stand out and be noticed.  Take the time to learn and practice Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing, look into developing your own property specific website, or hire a professional to develop a plan for you.  These are MUST DO’s in today’s fast paced “word of mouth” society.  If you do intend on taking on these efforts yourself, ASK QUESTIONS, in fact if you have any ASK THEM HERE, I love to talk, it’s kind of what I do!

It’s been a While…

I just wanted everyone to know that I haven’t forgotten you!  I have been focusing on the “management” part of my business and it took away from the “social” part, which IS inexcusable and I AM SORRY!  I am actually working on two new Blog posts for this week one is about knowing WHEN to say WHEN, the other is about when good social goes bad!  I hope you stick around to see them both.  I also have some soon to be released podcast and video blog material!  So please stick around we might just have an I Scream Social! (punny huh???)

Shh, You Have To Listen!

Shh, You Have To Listen

I hope I do not offend anyone by going “Back to Basics” on this post but recently I was reminded of the importance of “active” listening.  A guest, let’s call her Mrs. Garza; recently called a property my company manages and asked that I call her regarding an upcoming  event, Cowboy Poetry.  This event is very important locally and had been weighing heavily on my mind for some time.  The event sells out the city every year but the property in question had always been poorly positioned to capitalize.  The year before I had made some rate adjustments that were not universally well received and, as a result, I had fielded many phone calls regarding these new rates. Most guests were insistent that we MUST have one more room available or that SURELY they would receive a discount, seeing as how they had attended the event, and patronized our hotel, for years!  In any event, when I saw the message I almost dismissed it out of hand and passed it along to a desk clerk , surely they could handle the nay saying  just as well as I could!  Luckily, I listened to the little voice inside asking me, “surely you’re not too busy to give a guest five minutes?”

So, I grabbed a phone, dialed up Mrs. Garza and prepared to waste five minutes or so listening to the standard sob story.  From the start, I was convinced I was right, she mentioned how she had always stayed with us in the past, how much she loved our property, how she understood our company was new to managing the property, etc.  I was waiting for the punch line, ready to break in and say “I am sorry Mrs. Garza but there’s really nothing I can do for you about the rate…”, when I realized she had just mentioned dates later in the year…

HUH??? Did I miss something, I quickly pieced together what I had heard and found that she was asking to give me MORE business, not complaining or demanding anything!  Whew, that was a close call, I had actually opened my mouth to interrupt, and I might have blown the sale.  I had almost not called her personally at all.  That is when it struck me; I had stopped “actively listening” to people when it came to this event and these dates!

I am sure you have all heard about the L.A.S.T. technique for customer conflict resolution (Listen, Ask, Solve, Thank), and it works perfectly well.  However, while working with Best Western International, I was introduced to their “I CARE” program which, among many other valuable insights, expanded the listen part of the LAST technique to “Actively Listen” or “Listen to Understand”.  Most of us have mastered the listening part by the time we make manager (we seem to be listening all the time, praise, complaints, excuses, instructions), yet if we do not make an effort to listen actively, to really hear each guest as a unique conversation, we are opening the door to failure!

As managers we live the talk, at least to our employees, whether we mean to or not.  We “set the culture” and our employees are paying attention.  I had been spending several months at this property, looking for a new full time manager, and my bad listening had affected the staff.  I started noticing that a lot of my phone messages sounded vague (“some lady called about rooms or something”) and uninformative, forcing me to go into the calls cold and uninformed.  I realized that there was plenty of listening going on, but not very much active listening.

The staff, taking a cue from me had started assuming they already knew what the guest wanted (you know what they say about assuming) and were doing a sort of mental shorthand in their customer service.  Fortunately, this staff was very proficient and friendly, so it had not as yet hurt the property and, believe me; I made it a point to demonstrate some serious active listening, with both our internal and external customers from then on!

So, have you ever “paid lip service” to listening, or misjudged a guest’s intention?  Have you found your staff enthusiastically picking up your bad habits?  I would love to hear your #Hoteltales (go ahead and use that Hash tag as much as you like, by the way)!

photo credit: Skelekitten via photopin cc

Nextgen Hotelcast Episode 9

Scott Roloff and James Bennett, CHA (the “Social Hotel Guy”) hosts of the Nextgen Hotelcast interview Hospitality Educator Jim Traister!

Show Notes:

Introduction: Scott finally reveals the “hotel company that cannot be named!”

Promo: Nextgen Hospitality Solutions

Interview: Jim Traister discusses being an educator in a Hotel & Resturaunt program in Fort Worth!

Closing: James has a call to action!  Send us your story about how “LISTENING to understand” has resulted in a guest service win, or how not listening resulted in a guest service fail.  The best stories will be included in next weeks Blog and possibly shared on our next podcast!

Please contact us with comments, or opinions, or even your opinions on mp3!

contact@socialhotelguy.com

Social Hotel Guy Facebook Page

Social Hotel Guy Twitter Page

Nextgen Hospitality Solutions Youtube Page

Riding the Rails, Some “Need to Know” Tips!

Tuscon Station
This is definitely one of my favorite station stops, Tuscon Arizona. There is a wonderful shop called Maynard’s and a farmers market on the weekend!

Even the phrase, “Riding the Rails” has an exotic and romantic feel to it. Sitting on an Amtrak, racing across New Mexico at sunset, as I write this it definitely feels exotic. The low buzz of near by conversations, the wonderful blend of colors of a sunset unspoiled by ambient light, the dim glow of the coach lights. These combine to give this mode of transportation a special and unique feel, it’s comforting and attractive, IF you aren’t in a hurry, and I have already decided it does the trick for me.

 

Although not wholly new to train travel, I am definitely new to being a regular commuter and it was a matter of expediency that brought me to it in the first place. My company manages and consults with hotels throughout the west Texas region and,unexpectedly, I lost a manager and received notice of a brand quality inspection on the same day in Alpine Texas. I quickly got online and scrapped a number of travel options due to cost or timing and then remembered that Alpine had an Amtrak station. Why not, I thought, if I have to make an emergency trip why not take a little time and relax, my leading option at that point was a nineteen hour drive. The twenty hour train ride would get me there in the same time but with, I hoped, a little more rest. By the end of that first trip I had decided that, when possible, I would always travel by train!

It wasn’t until I arrived at the train station that I realized that there is a culture involved in train travel and I wasn’t prepared! Thus, finally, the reason for this break from social media or hotel blog entries (although train travel IS tourism). I hope you forgive the lapse, and bear with me, I thought it might be both interesting an informative to learn a few of the “need to know” elements of train travel.

One of the best tips I can give is to know a little about the station you are embarking from, whether it a station with facilities or a “whistle-stop”. Some stations, like Tucson Arizona (my personal favorite) have full facilities like a lobby, Amtrak employees and agents, food and shopping. You can check your bags and receive status updates on your train ( they do not always run late, contrary to popular belief, but it’s still nice to know). Others are simply part-time stops (the train only stops for an advanced ticketed passenger) call “whistle stops” with few if any facilities. My first experience was at one of those and I was a little daunted by the lack of employees and instructions, one quick travel tip regarding whistle stops is that you must carry on and find stowage for your own luggage (plenty of room but you have to keep track of your own bags)!

Amtrak cafe carAnother tip, food is scarce and far between, plan on packing your own or dining on the train. Most stops are for five minutes and passengers cannot get off the train,  not even to smoke. The longer stops only occur at actual stations , like El Paso, but even then don’t count on food or. Shopping near by. El Paso is a big beautiful station, and nearly empty! In fact, unless the burrito lady is out braving the elements, there is no chance to refuel here. Dining on the train is actually a nice experience, and not nearly as expensive as you might fear. You have two options, the cafe is open convenient hours is a cafeteria like environment and fair, prices run from around $6 for a burger, pizza, or sandwich. The dining car has open seating for breakfast, about $10 per person, then by reservation for lunch and dinner, $15-$20. Travel tip, table seating is 3-4 per table, if your party is smaller you will be seated with other passengers. Also, if you purchase a sleeping room your meals are inclusive!

It may not seem like much but its much roomier and more comfortable than a plane AND it’s a full recliner. Did I mention each seat has a power outlet?

Now when it comes to comfort of seating, Amtrak is the hands down winner in my book. The seats are big and comfortable and reclining (not just the back but like at home a leg support pops out if you trigger it) making it totally possible to catch some sleep. However, because of the fact that you can move between cars (in an enclosed transition) some of the climate control is lost and the coaches seem to run cold, so BRING A BLANKET, they will provide a pillow in the evening. Beyond that, a good book, a laptop, a Kindle an Ipad (typing this on it now) are all good options but don’t expect continuous 3G, cell signal or wi-fi it can be spotty (some line have no wi-fi at all)so download ahead of time!

Finally, be prepared to be social, chances are if you are traveling alone you’ll be seated by a stranger or eating next to one. I have taken at least eight twenty plus hour trips so far and each one is unique, due in no small part to the people around you. Walk around, chit-chat, it is definitely part of the experience. Sit in the observation car, eat in the cafe car, get off on the longer stops and explore, you won’t regret it but don’t be late, they won’t wait!

I would also like to say that it appears to me that Amtrak has really stepped up its advertising presence AND has really embraced social media. They are a regular, and effective presence on Facebook and Twitter and even have a handy mobile app that let’s you know if your train is on schedule. Amtrak also has its own rewards program that, while definitely not for the “casual” traveler does offer rewards that are not unattainable.

So, have you ridden the rails? If so what were your thoughts, I would love to read them. Leave a comment here or email me at socialhotelguy@gmail.com!

Exploring the station stops is part of the fun, so get out and stretch those legs. While exploring the Tuscon station area I found the Hotel Congress, a brilliantly eclectic boutique hotel and its Cafe Cup!

 

President Obama Could Ruin Your Business’s Social Media Efforts!

'Obama in Terre Haute' photo (c) 2008, BeckyF - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Now that election news has died down a bit I think it might be ok to talk about something that concerned me this last election.  President Obama, whether you were for or against him, could kill your social media strategy!  I’m not saying that he, personally, is aware of or even cares about what YOU are doing on Facebook or Twitter, what I mean is having a vocal opinion can lose you some hard fought for likes!  It was actually my daughter who pointed it out to me, she has a very passionate opinion this year that not all of her friends shared, the result of which was that many of her longtime friends “unfriended” her on Facebook. This, for her, was devastating (of course she is only 11) but, I thought to myself, surely this isn’t mirrored ion an adult or “professional” level…little did I know!

I began to pay attention to what people were saying about the election; particularly on Facebook as the posts have a much longer “shelf life”, and the responses they were receiving.  It was obvious the nation was polarized on this one and just as obvious that people were taking it VERY personally!  I am not the only one who noticed either, according to an unofficial poll (http://mashable.com/2012/11/07/election-facebook-friend/) conducted by a writer for Mashable 47% of those surveyed “unfriended” someone as a result of their political posts!

USA today quotes a study completed by the Pew research Center, One in six social network users say they’ve changed their views about a political issue after discussing it or reading posts about it on a social networking site, according to a Pew Research Center survey fielded in January and February.” That article can be found here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/10/12/facebook-politics-unfriend-obama-romney/1597491/.

It seems that we have all forgotten the Rule of etiquette, probably best known as spoken by Linus (Charles M. Schulz) “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people…religion politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”  The term “Social Media” seems to have opened a Pandora’s Box of opinions in what is, essentially, the most public of forums.  Common sense, it seems, has gone out the window as well as regard for others feelings or concerns about what you say or do.  I think this YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mojIVuXHkvY) REALLY struck it home for me; in it a young lady who had just robbed a bank brags about the event and discloses enough information for the police to apprehend her!

An “unfriending” in the case of your personal Social Media may be disheartening or upsetting (it was for my daughter) but in the case of your business page, it can totally unravel your hard earned follower fan base!  In addition if you boldly proclaim your opinions on your “private” page and it is linked to your business page you can suffer a similar fate!  I think a good rule of thumb, for anyone utilizing Social Media for business, is too ask yourself this question before posting on your sites.  Would I say this in front of my mother, my children or my best client?  If the answer is no it might be best to stop typing!  I think the he Science Fiction writer Sherrilyn Kenyon stated it best, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts…and Social Media Gurus!

Earlier this morning, my hospitality podcast co-host, Scott Roloff, texted me that he was attending a web conference with “social media experts” and he told me later they had actually been introduced to the conference as “gurus.”  This struck me as funny because, to me at least, Scott is a bit of a social media expert!  I mean he has been engaging in “new media” (podcasting) for over three years now and has thousands of hits on his YouTube channel, he knows his stuff.  He was excited, it seems, about some new data they were introducing.  Essentially they were explaining to him the WHY of what he was already, to some extent, doing intuitively.  I guess that is really my point, Social Media needs to be done, you can’t sit around and wait for an expert or some magic template!

I remember a discussion in a networking group associated with the “tribe” that taught me social media marketing that you should never trust anyone that styles themselves a “guru!”  That’s not to say that there aren’t people with MORE knowledge than us in social media, it simply means that this is “new media” and “constantly changing” and no one really knows it all.  Take me, for example, I “do” social media on a daily basis, commit more time to research, reading and training than most people I know and yet the new Twitter profile page took me completely by surprise!

It is constantly evolving; things I learned a year ago when I started my company no longer applies and the changes keep on coming!  Part of that is that this is a “social” interaction and people want MORE, Facebook, Twitter and the rest are constantly changing merely to keep up with demand, people are the variable that precludes it being a constant.   For example, let’s look at football (another area I am NOT an expert in) to see if my theory, that once the public is allowed to express their opinions things must change, is true.

A fantasy football Blog and Podcast

Marcus, the official mascot of the Fritos Banditos Report.

I recently spoke with David Fernandez one of the hosts of the Fritos Banditos fantasy football podcast and asked him about the differences between football (a closed activity) and fantasy football (an open social activity).  According to David football has set rules that rarely change except as they pertain to player safety or how officials call the game.  Fantasy football, however, has an ever evolving rulebook that is set, primarily, by public opinion and changes as opinion changes (sounds a little like Social Media).   He has been playing since about 1996 (although he has heard of pre internet groups playing as early as the 70’s) and his group regularly changed their rulebook during the first 5 years and again around 2000 as the activity started having “generally” accepted guidelines.

He does acknowledge that there are some “experts” with credibility among fantasy footballers, personalities that have gained a following, yet individual leagues still will find the off rule or nonstandard rule to spice up the fun!  He states that it’s “like art, you may have studied for years but you can’t tell me what I might find beautiful, it’s the public setting the trends.”

Likewise, there are plenty of people that “get” social media marketing and can help you shape your efforts but if you are waiting for an “expert” to guide you, STOP.  There isn’t one, at least not for long, so jump on in there and get your feet wet, get started now!  Find someone, or a club or a group who “makes sense” to you and learn what you can but in the end your social media experience is going to be unique to you.  There is no official play book, there is no magic formula or template, it’s just being social and chances are you’re already an expert in that!