Why hoteliers should treat Facebook and Twitter differently

eMarketer estimates that Facebook growth will come to a screeching halt at only 13 percent this year after about 40 percent growth in 2010 and over 90 percent in 2009.

More importantly, user behaviour, led by the US, is showing that social fatigue is setting in: video uploads show sub-5 percent growth and categories like application installation and virtual gifts declining more than 10 percent year-over-year.

These trends clearly point out that Facebook’s growth years are behind us, and that after the hunting years, now it’s the time for harvesters to settle in. While sweepstakes may still be fairly successful on Facebook in the short-term, to make a Facebook page successful it has to be an engaging experience (more on this at 5 tips for a strong Facebook page.

However, the hotel business is still dominated by hunters that look for criteria like ADR, occupation and RevPAR as the be-all-end-all of hospitality success. And this is why many are turning to twitter. Twitter is the perfect hunting ground. An open community, where brands have settled in successfully both for improving customer service, but also for offering deals, much like flash sites do. This article offers 5 tips for having a successful hunting campaign on twitter:

Five tips for engaging guests on twitter

  • Gather twitter profiles.The first thing to do when starting a twitter campaign is to listen to the ongoing conversations. Make it easy for guests to share their twitter profiles with you. Ensure you keep track of those on your CRM – they are public information after all!
  • Read tweets of next arrivals. A good way to check the mood of your next arrivals is to check their twitter feeds. Based on the last few tweets and whether they were recent or not, you will be able to see if they are “looking forward to the vacation” or “dreading the business trip”. Use that information at check-in to service them better.
  • Share local tidbits, funny pictures. Like any social community, twitter is about having fun first-and-foremost. So share interesting news about your community, funny pictures of a “lobster race” in the neighborhood and you will see immediate return with people retweeting your content. It’s not about the hard sale, it’s about getting users interested.
  • Offer a twitter concierge. Make yourself available to help. Listen to questions directed at you or about your destination and answer users with relevant information. If someone is asking for a restaurant, don’t offer just the top choice. Treat twitter dialogs like you would a guest at your property, offer them advice about the small bistro that most tourists don’t know about.
  • Share twitter-exclusives. Monitor success. Ultimately, twitter is about conversions. And the best way to monitor those is to offer special deals for twitter. Make them good deals and you will develop a following, no doubt.

You may think that the above is a lot of work. There is some work involved, but tools like Tweetdeck help dealing with all the complexities. You can use promo codes to make twitter exclusives.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s