1.No plan - You really do need a plan if you are going to embrace social media. What are your objectives? What do you want to achieve? Yes yes Sales but do you also want brand awareness? Are you going to be there and use it as a customer service tool? You are the first point of contact for someone looking to book a stay with you.

2. Content: You must be giving value, not just throwing out ads. What value are you giving to your audience? Are you sharing your knowledge? Are you assisting others? Or are your posts all sell sell sell?Are you mentioning others in the community and supporting other businesses in the area? Try Feedalpha.com for finding great content about your area or the tourist industry. Feedalpha is also great for scheduling your content. And it’s Irish too! Build relationships with other tourist destinations, restaurants in the area and local businesses.

3.They don't want photos taken - Seriously? In Tourism especially a photo can be so powerful! People buy from people, we want to see behind the scenes. What is your shop like? We'd love to see your team helping customers, it makes us more comfortable when we walk in to do business with you. What are you doing right now? Are you on the way to the gym, are you at an event? Are you preparing your content? Take a photo!

Here is a great example of a tweet from Brandon Hill camping

I saw this tweet and decided to investigate this place. I ended up booking it and got great engagement from the owners.

Because I enjoyed my trip so much I tweeted to 45k people while I was there!

4. You are not engaging with people who mention you. When someone mentions your hotel or desination it's nice to acknowledge that they mentioned you. A simple thank you or 'Look forward to welcoming you again' would be sufficient but do add these people to a Twitter list so you can keep engaging with them from time to time to see how they are etx.

5. Using Auto DMs Big mistake that a lot of people make so don't worry. Us Twitter users don't like to get automated direct messages. We would like to speak to a human.

6. Following the wrong people - It's great to follow big companies for information but if you want to grow your followers you start by following who you think might like to connect with you. I guarantee you if you follow a big government organization or big company the chances they will follow you back are quite slim. They should ....but most don't. You also have a very very slim chance of them EVER retweeting your tweet. (If it was something relevant, you might get a like) but it would be more productive if you followed people who actually DO love you and what you do and people who 'get you'. Past visitors are your best supporters so engage with them.  Surround yourself with like minded people also like other business owners. They get you! You can join my women's inspire network if you want to connect with other Female Entrepreneurs for example. Check out hashtag twitter chats also like #womensinspire #Belfasthour #Louthchat #irishhealthhour

7. They think 10 trillion followers is the most important thing This is very important. It's not about the amount of followers it's about having the right people following you. Are they people you want in your network? Are they spreading the word about you? If they are, it's because they feel you give value, and they know, like and trust you. Also past visitors - Are you following them? Are you engaging with them regularly and keeping in touch? They might come back you know!

8. They don't measure success Track your success. Google, Facebook, instagram, Linkedin, Twitter all have great analytics that you can use for free. Use them! Find out what is working for you, and keep doing that.

9. They send people to a website and it's rubbish Ah yes, how many times have you clicked on a link in a tweet and gone to read or buy something and it takes you to a website that looks awful and isn't really user friendly? Get a professional website done. Also, make sure you are on Google my Business.

10. They don't answer messages Yay you have a query.....it's in your messages. But wait, you don't answer until 3 days later. Too late! On Twitter we expect a response within 6 hours (I expect one within half an hour) and Facebook messages being unanswered is very frustrating. Some people message Facebook instead of ringing you. So do check your messages and answer them. Even if you are unavailable right now explain that. You can set up automatic ones on Facebook but really it’s nice to get a personal one back.

I put out a tweet recently looking for somewhere to stay:

One of my followers Helen, tagged these guys are they responded.

11. They don't use images in their social media posts - Did you not notice that when YOU are scrolling through your social media that usually it's an image of some sort that stops you. Tweets with an image are much more likely to be retweeted than a tweet with no image. Start learning how to use Canva

11. They don't use video Ok if you aren't using video yet, you will get left behind. You can do great 'how to' videos on You Tube. Create a You Tube channel and do some really professional ones OR use your phone! Twitter video, Twitter live, Facebook live and Linkedin video, instagram stories all work really well. You don't have to be a professional. Just push the button and watch the magic happen.

12. They don't respond to questions Someone has asked 'how much is it' when you post up that lovely photo.  Answer them straight away. They are obviously interested and in 'buying mode' so be swift and reply. Here is an example of a tweet I did recently looking for somewhere to stay

13. Using the wrong hashtags You might love all things to do with the GAA but what do your followers want? They want to buy from you. Are the hashtags you are using actually going to be ones that your customers will be using or watching? If you are a hotel in Galway use #Galway #Wildatlanticway #Travel #Ireland #Hotels #Tourism #Getaway #Timeout etc

So why are so many mistakes being made? If it is lack of training then come to my social media bootcamp I’m doing with my team Esther and Jacinta. It’s a full day of learning where we will teach you all about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Creating images, content planning, analytics and much more! There are only 15 places at this workshop. Book your place HERE