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Hospitality Industry – Servicing your customer through 7 Twitter Secrets

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For those of you who have not heard of Twitter – it is a micro blogging communication platform that has redefined the way the world communicates, shares information and advertises. Twitter is an online communication tool that allows you to post updates that are less than 140 characters that can be viewed by everyone or a restricted group, depending on your settings. If you refer the dictionary for the meaning of the word Twitter, you would find – “a short burst of inconsequential information”. Fig 1 Top Tweeting Nations, Source Barrcudalabs.com|sysomos.com With more than 200 million users worldwide and 140 million tweets per day (i.e. ONE BILLION TWEETS PER WEEK!), this platform

For those of you who have not heard of Twitter – it is a micro blogging communication platform that has redefined the way the world communicates, shares information and advertises. Twitter is an online communication tool that allows you to post updates that are less than 140 characters that can be viewed by everyone or a restricted group, depending on your settings.

If you refer the dictionary for the meaning of the word Twitter, you would find – “a short burst of inconsequential information”.

Fig 1 Top Tweeting Nations, Source Barrcudalabs.com|sysomos.com

With more than 200 million users worldwide and 140 million tweets per day (i.e. ONE BILLION TWEETS PER WEEK!), this platform for sharing “inconsequential information” has suddenly become the medium of communication for friends, politicians, business owners, marketers, customer care executives, and everyone else.

Politicians use Twitter to disperse political messages, friends use it to keep in touch, media companies use it to break stories and businesses are using it to communicate with their employees and customers.

No matter who you are or what business you are in, you cannot ignore the influence of Twitter when it comes to engaging and communicating with your target market.

Twitter today is so infamous, that the word Tweeting is not only a recognised English word but it has become synonymous with communicating and sharing information. The most common question among any two people who have just met is “What is your Twitter ID?”

Benefits of Twitter for the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is probably the world’s most social and service oriented domain and integrating with social media is probably second nature. Restaurants, hotels, pubs and themes parks more often than not have a Twitter and Facebook account together with location based services like Foursquare. This is because the hospitality industry understands that social media is the platform in which the customer has a voice and this voice can be heard globally.

Fig 2 Exceptional Customer Service, Source – web.clickfox.com/best-practices-survey-results

So how do you leverage the social media platform – more importantly Twitter, to maximise your Return on Investment (ROI)?

In the hospitality industry the customer is KING and customer service is paramount.  What better medium to offer customer service than Twitter? Its Free, its easy to use, its short, real-time and its global.

But hotels and small businesses are leveraging Twitter for more than just customer service. There are using is to take delivery orders, to arrange personal meet and greet based on the Tweet location, or even accepting table reservations.

Twitter and Social Media is not just about Return on Investment (ROI), it is also about engaging with the customer and really listening to their stories and experiences. Tweeting is all about story telling in a 140 character headline that grabs attention and connects with the audience.

Top 7 Twitter Secrets for the success of your business

  • Twitter is an online communication and marketing tool that helps your reach your target market with keywords.
  • Twitter is used the same way newspapers are. People browse for topics or keywords that spark their interest or are currently trending. Therefore, you should craft your tweet like a headline that grabs attention and is packed with keywords.
  • Twitter is a marketplace for consumers. You can create a strong brand for your hotel or restaurant simply by the way you communicate and tweet. Customers will engage with and your services if they find that there is something beneficial for them. Your tweets should not be self promotions, but more about being a value addition.
  • Keywords are vital to the success of any social media marketing campaign. You need to use the right keywords to getting people to follow and interact with your tweets; some words become trending topics – known as hashtags. These topics, whether they refer to an event, a person or an idea, become widely circulated across the network.
  • Timing of the tweet is important to gain maximum impact. Today you can craft a tweet on the recently concluded Travel + Leisure Awards 2011 and connect it to your hotel or service. A clever tweeter would be able find a connection with any current breaking news and link it to hospitality.
  • Post regular information such as travel restrictions, volcanic eruptions, airline delays and weather patterns. This is will ensure that you are providing real information to people with which they can make real decisions.
  • Twitter is all about branding. So maximise your branding efforts by asking questions to engage the user, build your reputation through a good website together with informational ad meaningful content and use the tweets to drive traffic into your website.

How does it all add up…

If you are still not yet fully convinced on how useful Twitter can be to engage with your customers and grow your customer base, then its time to start talking numbers.

According to eMarketer, by the year 2013, nearly 28 million Americans will be tweeting and an estimated 52% of the 152 million adult leisure travellers in the United States are already use social media, and generating USD 102.9 billion for the domestic US tourism sector with more than 72% of US travellers accessing social networks during travelling.

In a recently conducted study by Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) almost 70% of US hoteliers responded saying that the marketing channel with the greatest return on investment was online.

Fig 3 – Service Channels and Social Media Outlets used by Customers, Source – web.clickfox.com/best-practices-survey-results

If you are a hotelier, a small restaurant owner or simply working at a burger shop, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Using Twitter as a marketing channel is the best way to build credibility, collect guest references and reviews, increase brand recognition and value and in turn increasing traffic to your website, maximising return on investment together with greater social equity. Using Twitter as part of their Social Media Strategy is a must for all the hospitality companies regardless of their size, location or turnover.

Next Steps…

Twitter is a communication tool that has helped level the playing field between large and small business owners. Companies no longer need a large corporate advertising budget to engage in large scale advertising and branding building. Twitter can do it for in 140 characters or less. Assuming you are already active on Twitter take the next steps and follow our top Twitter secrets and start tweeting you way to a smarter, more effective and a more successful business. Alternatively, you can also read Logan Nathan’s www.twittersecretsforbusiness.com for in-depth insight into the Twitter, tweeting and business success or you can also attend one of our upcoming workshops, www.socialmediaforbusiness.com.au

About Logan Nathan

Social Media Business Consultant| Internet (Web) Marketing Strategist Speaker| Trainer

Based in Sydney, Australia, Logan has been an avid & passionate social media user since the advent of Facebook. Logan runs his own workshops on the social media secrets in Australia and overseas and many of his clients have been from the Hospitality industry. He has also written a number of eBooks on the same subjects (Social Media Secrets for your Business, Twitter Secrets for Your Business and Social Media Startup Guide for Business), all of which are now published and available online.  Logan has had an illustrious IT career, spanning over 29 years. He has worked for more than two decades in various managerial positions in Asia, Europe and Australia, and has held positions with multi- nationals such as BHP, Cathay Pacific and SITA.

For more expert opinion or to arrange a one-to-one consultation contact logan@logannathan.com or via Direct Message (DM) on Twitter – www.twitter.com/logannathan