As I see it, Twitter has 3 major advantages of all the social media tools available*. First of all it is a form of micro-blogging, so the messages are kept short and conversational (like a sms). Secondly, you connect with your followers, people who have chosen to follow you, and you are able to keep your business top of mind for them. Finally, you get to build new customers.
What Twitter can do
I love Twitter! There are multiple real time conversations (represented by short messages of 140 characters or less) constantly going on worldwide that you can listen in to, or better yet, join. People are always posting links to articles and news on any topic. You can do research, poll your following, and see what hot topics are are being discussed right now. Recent discussion has been on whether Twitter will overtake Google as a search engine.
But back to the real reason that I like Twitter, and why I think it is great for the hospitality industry.
You get to have real time conversations with your guests, diners and customers – even when they are not at your establishment. The converstion can continue even after they leave, and can also be used to entice them back. You can continue to be hospitable and of service after they have left your premises. For your customers to follow your messages, it is not necessary to be attached to a computer or laptop. Your messages (Tweets) can be recieved via your mobile#, or any mobile device that supports web access, such as iPhone or Blackberry. This means that the conversation can also take place on the run, which brings us to number 2.
2. Top of Mind
You can remind your fans why they love you. That means that you can keep your business top of mind for when they want to grab a coffee, meet friends for dinner or get away for a mini-break. Your posts might be things like your special of the day, choc strawberry muffins fresh from the oven, book now for Easter, seeking a new Barista, or anything to keep the conversation going.
3. New Guests
The most amazing thing about Twitter is how the conversation spreads. You can invite people to join your feed via email, but what tends to happen is that word tends to organically spread based on all the contacts of your followers. Your followers then link back to you either by replying to one of your posts, or by re-posting one of your posts on their own feed, called a retweet (RT).
For example, if you sent a tweet “Reminder: Dinner & Movie Special every Tuesday only $29pp” everyone of your followers would receive it. They can then a) reply “Book me in for 7pm” and that is then seen by all their followers who can trace back the original message. They can also b) ReTweet the message to all their followers with your exact same message. Who can then send it on to their followers, who then send it on to their followers… Soon you have people choosing to follow you from all over the world putting notes in their diary to come and visit you when they arrive at your destination!
Making Twitter work for you
The best way to really understand it is to do. Click here to start following me on Twitter. This way you can stay up to date in real time and continue to receive more tips on how your Hotel, Restaurant or Cafe can connect with customers.
Sales Coach and eMedia Specialist for the Hospitality Industry
*Twitter is my favourite out of Facebook, You Tube and Flickr all of which I recommend for the hospitality industry
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