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Hotels: Your target audience is on Twitter

Posted on: November 4 2013 | Posted in: Client Help

The other day a client, who runs a boutique hotel, stopped by the Compucast office.  As he was leaving, he asked us, “We don’t really need a Twitter account do we? It doesn’t really help a hotel like us, right?”

This is a common question we get from hotel clients, and it’s understandable. Many smaller hotels have limited staff and time. When it comes to social media, they know they have to have it, but they’ve never been taught why it really helps. Having a Twitter account can seem more of a burden than a benefit.

But social media can be a benefit, and using Twitter in particular can be a big benefit for hotels. Here’s why:

Over 500 million tweets are sent out daily by Twitter users, and a significant portion of those tweets are travel-related conversations. That fact comes straight from Mike de Jesus, Twitter’s Head of Travel.

“That portion continues to grow every year,” de Jesus said in a recent Review Pro online presentation. “People on Twitter are talking more and more about vacations, holidays and three day weekends.”

This puts the hospitality industry at an incredible advantage on Twitter. Talk about finding your target audience!

Use Twitter to find customers

If a hotel in New Orleans is on Twitter, it can set up searches for things like tweets that mention “New Orleans” and “hotel.” This will bring up a stream of tweets of people searching or asking recommendations for a hotel in New Orleans. The hotel can then respond that they have rooms available and help those people book exactly what they need. This type of interaction between hotels and customers happens more and more every day on Twitter.

Twitter is a great customer service tool for hotels

The number of people using Twitter while they travel is growing, and this includes people staying in your hotel. Customers regularly tweet when they are in the line to check in, when they first get to their rooms, and when they’re checking out. Monitoring mentions of your hotel on Twitter can be extremely beneficial, especially if someone has a complaint.

For example, if a customer tweets that they checked into a room that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned and the hotel sees it, then the hotel can respond publically and fix the problem. This does three things:

  1. Diffuses the bad feelings of the customer tweeting, which usually leads to nicer follow-up tweets to their followers.
  2. Show the public that the hotel is listening, cares, and takes care of problems quickly
  3. Prevents bigger problems, like a bad review on TripAdvisor, after the customer leaves.

Some hotels have a policy of monitoring social media for mentions of their hotel and responding within an hour.  This is a great way to turn an upset customer into an advocate for your hotel.

Don’t know what to tweet? Here are some suggestions:

-          Capitalize on seasonality and help plan trips. Christmas, Thanksgiving Easter, etc – all are good times to send out holiday-related tweets and to reach out to potential customers.

-          Push Twitter-exclusive promotions and discounts. An internal Twitter study shows that a large number of people follow brands for discounts and deals, de Jesus said.

-          Leverage and integrate with local events. This shows Twitter users that you are relevant. (Example: Mardi Gras, Voodoo Fest, etc)

-          Showcase amenities via rich media, like photos, videos and/or Vines. It has to be visually compelling.

-          Showcase unique property selling points, like an indoor pool, or if you offer free parking in French Quarter.

-          Ask questions.

-          Use whole dollar prices ($10 vs. $9.99)

-          Use words like exclusive, free, sale, win and bonus

-          Don’t overdo it with the exclamation points

-          Actually use Twitter. By this we mean don’t just connect it to your Facebook account. Twitter users don’t want to be forced to go to Facebook, and they will unfollow you if you try and make them.

These are just the basics, so if you’d like go more in-depth about how your hotel can utilize Twitter to book rooms, connect with customers and build brand loyalty, then we can help. Call us at (405) 779-5188, or contact us today!

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