140 characters are worth 1000 words.” Is that true? Who can write anything meaningful in 140 characters? It sounds impossible. It must be true, though. With 750 million Tweets every second flying between 450 million Twitter users, something good must be happening. Twitter provides quick blasts of information, which are primarily social and used mainly for engagement.
With that sort of speed and those kinds of numbers, Twitter is particularly suited to the fast-moving mobile usage of today’s travel shoppers. This site provides free advertising and definitely increases your Internet exposure, but it is important not to make your posts primarily sales related. Your main goal with Twitter should not be to drive traffic to your website and sell. That approach will simply turn prospective guests away. Your main goal is to connect. Here’s a quick guide on how to use Twitter for your hotel.
Grow your following through tweets
The typical suggested number of Tweets per day ranges from three to 15 or more, so you will probably need to use some automated scheduling to keep up with your tweeting schedule. You will also want to post at all hours of the day if your guests or prospective guests reside around the globe. The three top examples of popular and effective schedulers are HootSuite, Tweetdeck or Buffer. Choose your tool according to your needs or staffing availability, whether you have one person, or a larger team running Twitter.
It is a Twitter best practice to open social media to all staff and it is essential that everyone understands your strategy and approach – Twitter calls it a Charter – so that you have consistency in posting. You also need people available to monitor retweets and responses, thank tweeters who mention you, and keep an eye on, and respond to, others – including tweets of your colleagues and competitors. These strategies expand your reach and allow followers on both sides to see your tweets, often following you as a result.
How to connect with Twitter followers and convert them to guests
Be attentive, watch, read, and you will find out more about your followers. Regularly respond, and eventually your Twitter followers will convert into guests — almost as a by-product.
Give your followers information that they care about, and keep sales tweets to a minimum while you build trust. Soon your followers come to know you and then you can tweet special deals, create buzz about special events, and tweet information about your property. For out-of-towners, tweet also about events in your neighbourhood or city.
Use images and videos to get action
Tweets with video drive double the engagement – and 100 million users take social action on videos.
Similarly, photos are retweeted often. Post a compelling image and watch the speed with which it is retweeted!
For both videos and photos, shoot fun and personal subject matter such as guests enjoying your hotel – don’t forget to get their permission (you could provide a simple form to make sure).
For a unique hotel insight, take a visit to the kitchens and shoot the chef at work – either on video, or make a gallery of photos. Twitter integrates with such video sites as YouTube and Vimeo, and now the Twitter Vine sharing app allows a six-second video to be embedded into your tweets. Here is the first Vine clip ever shared: Steak tartare in six seconds.
You could think of loads of little sneak peek videos to shoot in your hotel: a walk to your hotel’s reception desk, some nice dishes of your restaurant etc. For images, the Twitter phone app has Instagram like functionalities to give your photos that extra artsy touch. Note that, probably for this reason, Twitter no longer supports Instagram.
Hints to set up your site
Twitter provides you with a default background, but dare to be different. Jazz yours up and make it personal, and be willing to stand out from your competitors. Here are a few brief suggestions to remind you about Twitter’s recent design changes. The three elements are the background, the header, and your profile image (See the image of the Four Seasons Twitter page above, and the image of Hyatt Concierge Twitter page below.)
- Create your own individual background using your company colours and design – you can use a screen shot or a recent photo of your hotel. Keep it simple.
- Background measures 2048 x 1900 pixels and has a maximum size of 2 megabytes.
- Place your square logo about 291 pixels from the top and 100 pixels in from the left.
- Dimensions are 1252 by 626 pixels with maximum file size of 5 megabytes.
- You can include more than one design element in the header, such as your profile image, logo, or call to action.
- Profile Image
- Change the size and position of the profile image within the header to suit your taste
- Remember to keep any text concise and include contact information and Call to Action!