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!
Very nice post 🙂
I’me currently working as the E-Commerce for the recently created chain Tiara Hotels & Resorts http://www.tiara-hotels.com
Due to the increase of new users in Twitter, I’ve decided to creat our own: http://twitter.ciom/TiaraHotels
It’s been a exciting experience, with many people following our posts (even though they are still not so regular as I wanted them to be!).
I think that we’re the first hotel chain to have twitter in Portugal. For that, I’m already happy! 🙂
I’m still testing, and using, and exploring other twitters so there I could, in a near future, maxime our exposure and communication with twitter.
Great work Nuno 🙂 Had a look at your twitter page at twitter.com/tiarahotels – do keep us posted on how well it works out for you!
We’re an OTA ( @resideo – http://twitter.com/resideo ) that’s been using Twitter for many months now. We’ve got a small, but growing, community of followers and followees.
We post news & info (renovations, etc.) about the 40,000+ hotels we have in our system, as well as special deals and discounts.
We also try and assist folks who ask for help in finding & booking a hotel room.
One of our staff is also maintaining a list of hotels using Twitter — you can check it out here: http://resideorob.blogspot.com/2008/12/hotels-using-twitter.html
Thanks for the comment Robert – really happy to see that the industry is getting more proactive when it comes to online tools and trends!
As are we! We actively seek and follow the hotels on Twitter that are part of our system, so that we can pass along info & news to our site visitors.
Your screenshot from @mssinglemama — we responded to her post and were able to help her find and book a hotel room:
Amazing what technology can do for you if you just make the effort to use it! Thanks for the great example
We’ve had tremendous success in answering calls for help. Some folks never see our replies (they may be new, or they may think we’re spammers), but for the folks we have helped, it’s been exciting.
I started using twitter for my hotel and golf course a few weeks ago! I am looking foward to growing our network and building customer loyalty. We have a few contests planned to launch in February as well as a weekly blog. You have been an invaluable resource in the start up phase. Thanks for your help!
What are your thoughts on how to measure whether the effort is converting into revenue? A “how did you find us” questinaire?
Being part of a Large Private Uk Group of Hotels, its been hard to get a focus group together before launching on Twitter, https://twitter.com/MacdonaldHotels https://twitter.com/BotleyPark
But we are finding it a very nice way to get our Message across to potential guests travelling in our area, with instant offers for Room Rates and Availability of Golf Tee Times and Beauty Treatment times.
I would be great to get some feeback from the end user ( our guests ), and this will be tackled late in our quest.
Here’s hopeing they like us.
P.s Were finding it hard to locate the best software for Click through stats for promotion tracing, any ideas greatly appreciated.
There is a lot of buzz about hotels using Twitter, but does Twitter actually generate bookings or reservations?
Interesting post and comments. I think the hotel industry has to be open to extracting customer insight and engagement from the full range of social media out there – microblogging (e.g. Twitter and others), social networks (Facebook and mmany others), forums (where you often get more meaningful discussions) and blogs.
This insight can feed into improving services, engaging with customers, marketing and communications on a micro (hotel) up to macro (chain or group) level.
Hi, Thank you for the idea..being a newbie to the Net even, such info was very useful..bet I am gonna tweet about my experiences as a hotelier for the past 1 year 😉 and get to know and meet my guests ( past, present and future) online .. and I dont think many hoteliers use Twitter in Kerala especially if they are part of big chains , so will keep u all posted on whether the effort does ( as a by-product) convert into revenue too .
Great Post. After reading this article, you shows us how much twitter is become important assets for get updating all the time regarding any news about hotel industry. Micro blogging is one of the easy and effective way to get updated on hotel industry or also other information. Thanks for sharing this information. Keep this sharing.
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