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Our county just hired a former television news producer to do social media to attract tourists. Her advice? “In the meantime, she is not shy about offering tips for the county’s businesses who want to attract more tourists.

“Today, it is important for businesses to follow themselves on Yelp,” she said.  “People plan their trips around ratings on Yelp. If a restaurant has bad reviews, people won’t try it versus customers who have had rave reviews.”

That is the sum total of her offering [you can read the whole article here]. With all due respect, however, using Yelp to attract people to your business is like driving down the highway looking in the rear view mirror!

Google my business

Statistics show that approximately 85% of people begin their vacation plans in Google. Over a billion people use Google Maps when they are out driving and looking for dining and entertainment options. For that reason, I think the single most important thing a small business owner can do is use the Google My Business program to literally put their business on the map. Google My Business allows you to create a page that is fully understood by Google and that will show up in search in what Google calls the ‘zero moment of truth’ — that moment when people are actually actively searching for options. Google has a program that will give you a free website and online training as well. You can find it online at [of course you’ll want to adjust the location for your city!].

If you want to attract tourists to your business location, take the word of someone who taught content marketing, search engine marketing and social media at the local technical college. The single most important thing you should do is put your information into Google so that hangry people find you first!

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