The world has been ‘atwitter’ for quite a while now, and the thousands of people join Twitter by the day…and even more ‘tweet’ about their lives, their work, their passions and in some misguided cases, even their bowel movements. So just what IS Twitter, you ask?
In the simplest terms, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows to send and read others updates in the form of short text messages (140 characters max). It’s kind of like blogging by sms. So who’s doing it? Kids, Professionals, Marketers, Bloggers…and even President Elect Barack Obama, while he was on the campaign trail!
For most hoteliers and indeed most people Twitter is a tough one to relate to, unless you happen to be obsessed with Facebook and updated your status 50 times a day. But there is more to Twitter than meets the eye. At the very basic level, here’s what Twitter can allow you to do as hoteliers or hotel internet marketers:
1. Learn what people are saying about you and get a consumer feel for your brand, product or service
Use the Twitter search site to find out what people are saying. Here is a simple example – a search for “Dubai Hotels” returned quite a few interesting comments from the Twittersphere regarding dropping hotel room rates in the wake of the global recession.
2. Connect with your customers and talk to them
Here is an example of a new hotel twitter page, from the Mina Seyahi complex Dubai…a great way to put out updates on hotel activities, competitions, other social networking developments and even a bit of genuinely interesting online PR.
3. Generate traffic and spread your ideas
As you use Twitter and follow others in your niche, you’re bound to pick up a following of your own. Twitter then is a great way to disseminate ideas and thoughts about your product to people who really care about it. It’s also a wonderful way to elicit feedback from these followers and take engagement to a whole new level.
These are just some ways to get started using Twitter. Signing up and using the tool is very easy and you have a variety of options besides going to the website to post on your Twitter page. e.g.
- Posting using your Blackberry with TwitterBerry,
- Posting using the Twitter Facebook application,
- Using a great tool like Ping.fm to post to various sites all at once, etc.
Other tools also allow for options like scheduling tweets, tweeting to multiple accounts right from your desktop (a great software app to use is Thwirl) and more.
So what are you waiting for? See you in Twitterworld!
You can follow Hotel eMarketer on Twitter too!
About Twitter: Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, or email, or through an application such as Tweetie, Twinkle, TwitterFox, Twitterrific, Feedalizr, and Facebook. Four gateway numbers are currently available for SMS: short codes for the United States, Canada, and India, and a United Kingdom-based number for international use. Several third parties offer posting and receiving updates via email. Twitter had by one measure over 3 million accounts and, by another, well over 5 million visitors in September 2008, a fivefold increase in a month. (Source and more information)
Have you used Twitter for hotel marketing, connecting with guests or disseminating information? Let us know!