Ah, the New York Palace…a truly gorgeous hotel in New York City with a stunning view of St. Patrick’s Cathedral (and The Primeburger), luscious Molton Brown toiletries, and nightly turn down service. All in all, not the kind of place I’m usually seen haunting. However, we visited them for the second time just last week for SESNY, and experienced the same fantastic service that we did during our initial visit. Basically, if it comes to making you feel special, they have it down to an art. We got the room at an insane discount due to a special they were having, and we obviously don’t look like posh people (unless they caught a glimpse of my skull-emblazoned Vans), but we were treated with the exact same courtesy and respect as the people in line beside us with a full suite of Louis Vuitton luggage. That’s because they know what they’re doing. Or else they thought Jay was Kyle Maclachlan.
Here’s our view by the way, in case you think the only hotel views in New York are of the ugly backsides of office towers and people sleeping on trash bags. Maybe that is just my experience though.
Now, to relate this to link building…well as you can see, this hotel treated me nicely, and they’re getting a link. End of story. Not the end of this post of course, as that would be just silly.
With social media letting us all vent the second someone steps on our toes, brands really do need to think about how their customer service ranks in comparison to their competitors. You can either treat people fantastically and get a nice link or you can treat them like shit and get a link with the “asshat” anchor text. No one wants to rank for “asshat” though (like you could ever beat urbandictionary!!) If you start to consider performing a Twitter sentiment analysis on your brand and all you see are frownie face emoticons, well that’s enough to really wreck your damn day. You want to see smiley faces. If my room wasn’t ready when I checked in at the appropriate checkin time (which did happen during my last NYC visit…not at the Palace of course!), my pillows were lumpy and crusty, and I was referred to as “sir” during checkin, I’d be on Twitter fussing like it was my job. You see, I do like to fuss, and I wish fussing could really be my job. If, when checking out of the Palace, I’d felt like they were laughing at my Vans, which are insanely cool seriously, I might have done an apathy icon at the very least. (I was actually so happy with them that I didn’t do any Twitter emoticons though, as that would have seemed declasse and I just wanted to get some tacos.)
If you search for “New York Palace” in Google, you’ll see that the first ten results are all positive. I imagine that they have people monitoring their brand and helping manage their reputation of course, but I also imagine that it’s difficult to find fault with them because they’re just so damned perfect at what they do. You don’t see them making jokes about Japan right now. Cough.
As a link builder, when anything positive or negative happens, my immediate thoughts relate to link building because it’s really what I live and breathe. I don’t think the New York Palace staff were nice to me because I might give them a link, of course, although I like to imagine them seeing my name on the registration form and thinking “damn that name rings a bell…ah yes!!! THAT Julie Joyce, the one Bryan Ferry keeps saying is so cute!” I think they’re just nice to everyone, as much as I hate to think of myself as being all common. It’s like when they card you for a drink and you smirk and pull out your driver’s license only to hear them loudly say “oh we card everyone.” Screw YOU.
Anyway, treating people well will always be an overlooked way to boost your visibility. When we talk about link building we sometimes forget all the really simple ways that it can happen. Just be nice, or respectful, or interesting at a party. You never know where your next link is coming from, so why not ensure that it’s a nice, sweet one? So yes, they got a link, and now I’m off to write glowing reviews on every review site I can find. I’ll mention them on Facebook and Twitter as well, and I’ll use a smiley face.