So last Saturday I found myself in Rhode Island with a booked hotel room in an expensive hotel for our belated anniversary, a perplexed husband, a mom who drove 90 minutes to stay overnight at our house to watch our 23 month old, and a staff at the StillWater Spa in Newport, RI wondering what the hell I was talking about.
You see, we had driven 2 hours to the Spa Week/Stillwater Spa Pink Martini Night on October 15th. The issue? It was on October 7th. A week before.
I left with tears and feeling like it was my fault. But how could it be? How could I have gotten the date so wrong?
Here is the story.
I had gotten the heads up on the event on the Spa Week Blog. As a Hot Spa Mom, there is a list of us on the Spa Week Blog. I thought nothing of the post being outdated since it is constantly getting new Hot Spa Moms added and the opening paragraph of the post listed the correct week for the Fall Spa Week festivities.
As you can see from the bottom of the image above, it had listed a great blogger as being a host of the Pink Martini Night Party. So I clicked on that link. This is the post the link took me to….
So there was nothing that gave me pause that anything was amiss. I clicked on an active blog post that took me to another blog post where, on its face, nothing would indicate it was an old post for an old party.
However, when I was standing in aforenamed Stillwater Spa, they informed me the post was from 2010 and that I should have noticed the small box on top of the page.
Yet, why does that matter (even if one did notice the teeny box at top on a page with tons of ads and a huge hot pink invitation image competing with it.) The link from the Hot Spa Moms took me here. Furthermore, that Hot Spa Moms page even had a 2010 date, but it is an active post, so why would I think this post would be any different. (Especially since the “invitation image” didn’t have the year on it?)
It turns out there was another post, posted on October 5th, 2011 about the October 7th, 2011 Pink Martini Night Party. However, I had called on September 20th to register for the October 15th party according to my phone records. Everyone following me here? How could I have registered for such party if there was no post until a couple of days before. How is it as a Hot Spa Mom that I am not getting notice of these events? Even when I called to register, there was no notice from the staff of an incorrect date on my part.
I even tweeted to the Spa Week corporate account the day before the supposed party.
As of the time and date of this post, I still haven’t gotten a return tweet saying “Huh?” Or anything like that.
So thanks to the wonderful Hyatt in Newport, they refunded us the room. We called my Mom and drove the two hours back to Massachusetts. Around 9pm that night, we had a bowl of cereal and went to bed. Not the night I was expecting and out $8 in tolls and a $50 tank of gas.
But here are my Social Media tips that any company or business should consider when they have a company blog.
- Constantly check your links. Even as a small blogger I do that. There are great WordPress plugins like ReDirect and Broken Link Checker to help.
- Spend one day a month reviewing posts. I go through my small blog once a month and clean up old or irrelevant posts, like event listings or old giveaways. One can delete them altogether or make them revert back to draft form for updating later. It is easy to do ‘en-mass’ in WordPress too.
- Update the post date. If you are updating a post, update the post date. In WordPress, it is easy to do. Just above the “Update” button on an existing post, you see the option to change the date of the post. More often than not, it is a good thing for SEO since it makes your post more relevant for the bots to find. And prevents confusion like my post above shows.
- Have an active Twitter account. If you are a company or run your own business, always be checking your account, even on the weekends or at night because a lot of people tweet about events, issues or activities and you want to be able to respond in a timely manner to head off any problems early on.
All in all, should I have known? Do you have other tips? Do you think someone as SpaWeek should be accountable? Should Stillwater Spa have handled it better? Let me know your thoughts. (Because I am still weepy over it.)