Among social media platforms, Twitter is one of the giants; there’s no question of that. But what makes it stand out? The brevity of its user posts (or ‘Tweets’), as they’re only 140 characters long? Well, yes, on the surface, that’s what distinguishes it from its competitors; sure. But there’s more to it than that. If you’re looking to put together, implement and make a success of a digital media strategy for your hotel then one of the tools that has to be at its heart is Twitter. It’s as simple as that. But why? What is it about Twitter that makes it so essential for hotel marketing?
The power of a Tweet
The basic answer is that Twitter offers a fantastic opportunity to consistently get out your hotel’s message (inform what it’s about and establish its brand) to an audience and help to both publicise and create the best possible guest experience. The 140-character limit of the Tweet plays a role in that, for sure; it urges short, punchy, direct informing and updating to potential guests – and their contacts elsewhere on the social media platform – and the concise, quick-fire nature of Tweets also encourages conversation.
A conversation across a potentially enormous audience too – Twitter has 313 million users whom, together, Tweet a staggering 500 million times a day. That’s one hell of an extended audience to share news of your hotel’s services, amenities, promotions and other special offers and deals with. But, again, there’s more to it than that.
Engagement and interaction
Because, let’s be honest, you’re not actually going to be communicating with every one of those Tweeters across the globe; you’re going to attract and reach people who have an interest in your service offering and like the sound, look and feel of your hotel’s brand. To that end then, Twitter’s a social media platform that, with its excellent ability for instantly generating conversation, has the means to build not just interest but an online community for your hotel.
In which case, it’s a terrific resource to reach out to and provide quick responses to fellow Tweeters’ enquiries – and should they have genuine concerns, issues or frustrations, you can address them and assuage them swiftly, efficiently and professionally. This is an incredibly powerful resource, as it demonstrates (often in real time) how your business cares for, is willing to listen to and puts guests and former guests first to potential guests of the future. And, to that end, it’s likely to stimulate Twitter users to interact with you, as doing is so quick and easy.
The facts speak for themselves
And if you’re still to be convinced of why Twitter deserves pride of place in your hotel social media strategy
, then consider these recent findings unearthed by data specialists Digital Information World. The company’s research found that nearly nine in every 10 users (85%) ‘feel more connected’ to a business when they ‘follow’ it on Twitter, while nearly eight in every 10 of them (77%) ‘feel better about’ a brand if it replies to a Tweet they’ve posted to it.
For those users then, Twitter isn’t just a virtual community comprising virtual conversations, it’s a real place to connect with real people and companies and interact with them in a living, breathing way. And, from the perspective of businesses, those on Twitter claim to have enjoyed an increase of 19% in customer satisfaction.
Making the most of Twitter
So, just to reiterate, setting up a Twitter account for your hotel and enacting a marketing campaign via the social media platform can help you to:
- Build genuine, valuable interactive relationships with former and future guests
- Gain invaluable insight into issues that require improvement and/ or resolution
- Use feedback from guests so they – and others – can get the absolute most out of their hotel experience
- And, perhaps most importantly of all, through publicising promotions, services, amenities and your hotel’s brand, increase opportunities for direct bookings.
There’s no denying that, in today’s ever more competitive hospitality marketplace, largescale hotel chains are more and more using their resources to outmuscle smaller rivals, but via social media marketing, independent and boutique hotels have a chance to level the playing field; reaching out to, connecting and interacting with and deepening brand engagement to, overall, boost direct bookings and drive up revenue.