I was talking the other day with the marketing manager at a large, well known hotel. She was complaining how they had posted their telephone number on Twitter on several occasions and had never received a single call on the special line they had setup. Her complaint was although they have more than 25,000 followers not a single person has bothered to call their special Twitter hotline to make a booking at the hotel. The conclusion – Twitter is useless!
Sadly this is a case of misunderstanding how to use Twitter and the value that can be added to any business through Social Media. I have commented before about the danger of advertising based posts on Social Media and this is a specific example of doing just that. To publish your business telephone number, or links to the company web-site alone on Twitter is not how to leverage the channel properly.
People who use Twitter every day do so as a part of ongoing conversations. Yet each of these conversations have relevance for business if you tap into them correctly. Twitter (and for that matter other Social Media channels) are all about communications, and most especially joining the conversation. Notice I said conversation. So for this hotel they should be searching for people who want information about their town and be involved in the conversation about visitors and their local city. Everyone knows who they are because their Twitter account will give all the relevant contact information.
What is there to see? Where should I go? How do I get to? Tell me about this local attraction? These are all topics that are open for discussion and it is important that this business be involved in that discussion. They should be providing valuable information that will entice a potential visitor to make the trip to their city. For the person to decide to stay at their hotel they must become the trusted expert.
Having a Blog is also another vital component of attaining success on Twitter. The blog gives you an opportunity to write beyond Twitter’s 140 character limit. You can write an article about each of the local attractions and who might enjoy them. Have the blog showing clearly the name of the business and contact points (eventhough the blog’s web site may have a name that does not directly relate to the business name). This way the blog will in and of itself build a following, in fact it may also be references as a local expert resource by other hotels. Have blog posts sent to Twitter and other Social Media channels automatically and you will be seen as contributing to the body of knowledge about your business.
For the hotel this provides them an opportunity to give local knowledge of some of the town’s attractions, which will help people decide to come to their town as well as their hotel. It proves they are local experts and have the visitor in mind when they come to the town. This is all about demonstrating expertise and building trust, which in the long run contributes to the revenue stream.
Tags: Building Trust, Communications, Marketing, Social Business, Social Media, Trust Based Business, Twitter