Using Twitter to Market Your Hotel, Guest House or B&B: Part 1
Twitter is powerful social marketing tool for sharing short, descriptive messages, having online conversations and building a loyal following of potential guests and stakeholders.
Although many accommodation providers are using Twitter, many do not know how to send their tweets to the right people. When your tweets end up lost in a sea of twitter-crazed competitors, it means losing a valuable social media marketing tool. Let’s look at how your hotel, B&B or guest house could use Twitter to reach clients effectively.
1. Create a relevant Twitter account
Ensure that your Twitter account reflects the value of your business.
Before you start tweeting, it is important to create an account that resonates with the market you’re targeting.
Here’s a few pointers on how to do it.
Use the name of your business. If the username is taken already, opt for something close to it. Avoid dashes, underscores or any unnecessary numbers on your account’s name.
Think like a potential client. What would they type in if they were searching for your establishment? Would it be easy for them to find your page? If so, then your Twitter account will be a lot more visible.
Keep your profile concise and specific. Add information that is related to your guesthouse or hotel. Avoid sounding too sales-driven or casual. Something like ‘the best hotel in town’ sounds too sales-laden and has probably been seen by clients a million times. However, ‘a relaxed spot to spend a night’ is more inviting. Keep it short, simple and subtle. Do not forget to add your website and location on your bio.
Design: Keep your design simple and straightforward. Use an image or logo of your guesthouse. You could also create a customised background with images or content related to your business.
If you have followed these three steps, then your twitter account is ready.
2. Find a monitoring tool (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Buffer)
Hootsuite has a multitab system. Photo by Wonderdog
Now that you’ve established a twitter presence, you’re ready to join the conversation. Wait, not just yet. Before you put any tweets out, you need a well-integrated applications such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Tweetdeck to help monitor any activity related to your Twitter account. Through a multi-tab system(streams) on these applications, you can schedule tweets, see when your businesse is mentioned and compose tweets. Play around with the settings on the streams on the system by putting in a customised search. This will help you track any tweets related to your market. For example, keeping ‘hotel + Cape Town’ as your custom search, means you’ll find any tweet that has Cape Town and hotel in it.
3. Join the conversation
A Twitter conversation. Photo by Linkbuildr
Ok, your profile looks neat and you have the right applications in place, it’s time to start tweeting. It’s important to control your tweets in a proper manner to ensure it does not antagonise the client. Scheduling your tweets is one way of doing it.
Tweeting about offers can result in bookings, but building a loyal following is a better goal for your business’ account. Avoid turning your account into one long sales pitch. You don’t want to want to sound like a robot sending out tweets about your business. After all, the main reason for having a Twitter account for your hotel or guesthouse is to create a marketing platform based on interaction and communication.
Your tweets also need to tell a story about your accommodation business. That’s where web content comes into the picture. By having an active blog or content on your site, you can sell your business in small digestible chunks. It also gives your followers a breather between your sales tweets.
(Click here “blogging”)to see how blogging could boost your business)
Another way of making sure your tweets reach your market is through conversation.You could do this by asking questions to potential clients or providing a solutions to any problem related to your services. For example, if a potential client tweets about a service related to your business, reply to the tweet. As the conversation builds up, you can throw in some of your packages in a casual manner. People will feel much more comfortable if you establish dialogue before selling your business to them.
.@triposo founder Douwe Osinga is sharing thoughts around the future of travel guides #ETAS13
— Springnest (@Springnest) September 9, 2013
Twitter gets a lot more interesting when you start using #hashtag. By using a hashtag, you are likely to reach more people. Every time a person searches for that topic, your tweet appears. Try weaving in two or three hashtags into your tweet for more visibility.
Lastly, do not be shy to retweet content from businesses in your market. This includes content from competition and industry experts. By doing that, your business builds more social traction among people with common interests. Read GTBC in Tweets to see how conversation between companies and personalities unfolds on Twitter.
Related: Using Twitter to market your guest house,hotel or B&B:Part 2