Building a Loyal Following: How to Attract Followers on Twitter

By Michael McKean CEO, The Knowland Group | January 23, 2011

Tweet, tweet! People are chirping, and its time you joined the conversation. Twitter is an outlet for many people's personal feelings, ideas, and activities; so how does that fit in with a static hotel? Simple, hotels are as alive and active as any human. It's up to your team to show that off. Taking that strategy to the Twitterverse is what's going to bring your hotel to life online. What generates new followers for successful tweeters is a steady stream of unique, interactive, and dynamic content. Keeping that in mind will not only help you generate followers, but business as well.

Where do you want Twitter to take you?

Any project or task requires a game plan. By creating a Twitter account, and starting your hotel's dip into the social media pool, you must determine if you're going to stay in the shallow end or dive in head first. Even if you're unsure about whether or not you'll be diving in, take the time to reserve your hotel's name. This ensures no imposters will be sending out fake tweets and confusing people online. Next, start out by posting hotel updates, new services being offered, and upcoming events. This base line of information is endless and abundant. Hotels are always buzzing.

Give Tweeters a Reason to Follow You

People are drawn to Twitter because it provides them an exclusive first person account of what's happening. They are excited to tell their friends and family about what they saw on Twitter, which helps to create that word of mouth buzz every business desires. Reward your followers by advertising deals or packages not advertised anywhere but Twitter. People will need to continue to follow your Twitter stream to get these exclusive deals, and will encourage others to do the same. Take a look at your competitors and see what they're offering. It might be a complimentary bottle of champagne, a couple's weekend getaway, or an early bird special at the hotel's restaurant. Rewarding people for following you is an easy way to entice more followers to join the conversation.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.