Looking for new ways to market your hotel using social media? With a staggering 313 million active users worldwide, social media network Twitter is a great platform for interacting with customers and promoting your hotel brand. Twitter enables you to post, respond to and share short “tweets” of 140 characters or less.
Customer engagement is the key to customer satisfaction, and ultimately this satisfaction will increase your conversion rates and profits. Use social media effectively to engage your customers and provide a personalized customer experience. Research performed by Gallup found that “fully engaged hotel guests spend 46% more per year than actively disengaged guests spend”.
Here are the steps you should take to make the most of Twitter as an effective marketing tool for your hotel:
Build a following
Start by following relevant Twitter accounts such as those belonging to travel experts, local attractions, travel operators and other businesses that you work with. Also, search for people travelling to your destination. After posting interesting content, some of these people will (hopefully) follow you back and provide your hotel brand with valuable exposure.
You can also ask guests that are checking into your hotel if they have a Twitter account and then follow them. This way, you can directly engage with them during their stay and afterwards.
Listen and respond to your customers, fast
Twitter is ideal for two-way communication with your customers. Make sure to listen to what your customers are saying about you. Do this by carefully monitoring for mentions of your hotel brand by name or through hashtags.
Twitter is all about real-time. Provide personalized, fast responses to tweets about your hotel. According to Lithium, 53% of customers expect a brand to respond to their tweet in less than an hour. Make sure you’re always there to fulfill this expectation, and you’ll find your customers are more likely to do business with you again and praise your brand through social media.
Twitter response time expectations (Source: Lithium Technologies)
If a customer complains about your hotel, it is extremely important to respond quickly and then solve the matter offline to minimize exposure. This may even lead to the customer becoming an advocate for your hotel due to your excellent customer service.
Twitter users can search for relevant topics using hashtags (words preceded with a # sign). Use relevant hashtags such as your location, so potential guests will come across your tweets. Also, create unique hashtags for your hotel and any events or offers you are running.
For example, the Four Seasons Orlando uses the hashtags #FSOrlando and #LoveFL when sharing beautiful pictures of their hotel in Orlando, Florida. You can also use trending, popular hashtags to reach a wider audience.
Hashtags used by @FSOrlando
Advertise your hashtags wherever possible, on both print ads and your website. Encourage people to use them and make sure to use them regularly yourself.
Use rich media and links
Tweets with rich media such as photos and videos are more engaging than text-only tweets. The same goes for tweets with links in them. Include links to your website, landing pages, and interesting articles. Photos and videos are a powerful marketing tools. HubSpot found that tweets with images are 34% more likely to be retweeted than those without. Include relevant photos and videos of your hotel, amenities, the services you offer, behind-the-scenes shots, happy guests, and even nearby restaurants.
Use Promoted Tweets
Get a higher return on your hotel marketing costs by purchasing a Promoted Tweet. Twitter will display these tweets at the top of relevant search results, as well as on relevant user profiles and home timelines. You only pay if a customer engages with your post, making this a safe investment. Promoted Tweets enable you to reach far more people than just your followers. Choose your best content and promote it for a big boost in publicity.
Make the most of local events and seasonality
Include information about local events in your tweets, using relevant hashtags. You can even offer a special deal to guests who choose to stay at your hotel during the event using a tweet with an offer code.
Different seasons present different opportunities for customer engagement. Before peak times, such as summer and winter vacations, make tweets relevant to the season. Ask users about their favorite hot drinks in the winter and their favorite cocktails in the summer. Ask guests to share seasonal memories of their stay at your hotel. Use seasonal hashtags such as #thanksgiving or #vacation. The Cavendish Hotel made use of seasonality by posting a tweet linking to their blog post about Christmas events in London. This interesting seasonal content is bound to encourage retweeting among friends as the holiday season approaches.
Seasonal tweet by @cavendish_hotel
Offer trip planning advice and other tips
Engaging with customers shouldn’t be limited to answering enquiries and responding to complaints. Show a willingness to create conversation by offering trip planning tips and advice. One impressive example is Hilton hotel group’s account @HiltonSuggests. With this account, they respond directly and proactively to individuals asking for travel tips and recommendations. These genuine, personalized responses are a great example of how to build a personal connection with potential customers.
Mention influencers and customers, and retweet their tweets
A great way to increase your online exposure is by trying to get the attention of an influencer - someone influential and relevant to your hotel brand. Try to do this by mentioning influential people and retweeting their tweets. If an influencer retweets or replies to one of you tweets, it will be seen by their many followers, who could become your hotel guests.
However, don’t just limit yourself to influencers. Do the same with your customers, too. Although they don’t have as many followers as an influencer, they still provide an audience of potential guests. For example, retweet photos of your hotel tweeted by customers or reply to a compliment through a mention.
Through these top tips, you can make the most of Twitter as part of your hotel marketing strategy. Improve the customer experience and reach more potential guests for an increase in your hotel’s booking rates.