Follow up to
Please keep in mind I am not an expert on this, just an observer, no one can be an expert on something that changes and has emerged as a new medium this rapidly, so take everything with a grain of salt or two, or maybe a few dashes of pepper, also smoked paprika is nice, it makes a killer goulash.
I do know what I see working for quite a few people out there, so like everyone else I am trying to also glean what works and what does not. Is twitter here to stay? I hope so and think so, but I’ve said it before, even if it doesn’t, jump on board now before it disappears and have a good ride.
Two types of twitter guests
The small minority:
They will follow you and will probably expect to be followed back, these are guests you will build in person and online relationships with.
- They are guests that have vacation spots or business areas they go back to over and over and over again.
- They are someone planning a wedding a year from now or reunion or some other event.
(both of the above you can go and search for and target, you don’t have to wait for them to come to you)
The very large majority
- A guest that will never follow you but may converse with you online or perhaps not at all, But twitter is where they originated. These are people who may have been lead to your twitter page though a search engine, they were on twitter and your post came up in search, they may have keyworded “lodging………………” or had a an aggregate find certain posts reflecting certain things or they may have followed an @yourinn.com that was in someone else’s conversation or a retweet of something you posted.
These are people that found your profile, clicked through to your website and made a reservation, the only way you can find out, is to ask how they found you (they may not remember), you can see how much traffic from twitter you are getting from your website stats. Adding a referral code and small incentive helps tracking somewhat. But similar to a regular directory when you ask people where they found you, “umm, online somewhere I think”
Think about it, If I am traveling once to or through another state or even instate, I will look for places to stay, I may not think about if I will ever go back in the future. I might look for lodging on twitter and check out their information from there, If I go and book a room and have a great time, yes maybe I will want to friend them. But on the first ping I don’t because I don’t want a stream of tweets in my box that I don’t care about.
What I am getting at, is don’t expect people that may be future guests to become your friends on twitter. Many people have started using it as a directory. and as research information hub. I use it to find restaurants in LA when we go to visit and then I check out their websites, but I don’t want to “friend” them. I am not particularly interested in getting their specials posts daily in my twitter stream. If they were in the same town and it was somewhere I liked to eat, totally different story.
This seems to be a common misconception in that innkeepers say “I am not getting people that follow me that are potential guests.” Well they probably won’t and probably are not. So throw that concept out the window.
Think of your twitter stream as a print or radio or tv ad, you throw it out there to the four winds and people see it. You don’t know how or where they see it but they do.
Rainforest Inn http://twitter.com/rainforestinn was nice enough to comment on my 1st blog post and also posted one of his own at http://myblog.rainforestinn.com/ and on my comment pointed out this article
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2341087,00.asp (by the way I will do a post (or maybe a few) on blogging for inns, this is totally different from twittering for inns, so the same concepts are not going to apply)
In the article he pointed out this: ”If you don’t abuse it, you can use an occasional link to promote an app you’ve built, an article you’ve written, or a longer plea for someone to please, please help you move on Friday. Just keep it to three links a week; any more and you’ll alienate followers who already know about your work or couldn’t care less.”
I have a problem with that bit of wisdom, the rest of the article was good. My issue with it is the “The very large majority” factor above, these are not people that are going to follow you and notice that you have posted the same special 4 times in one day (especially if it’s mixed with other information and some personal stuff) Links are bait and the hooks that the casual passer by browser will grab. This is a generic article on how to do twitter and I don’t feel its applicable. I could be wrong but in the case I don’t think so.
People that do follow you, even if they have small follower accounts don’t pay attention all the time, who has time to spend all the time looking at twitter feeds, think about the stock streams that run at the bottom of CNN, do YOU read them all or just the ones you want to pay attention to? A couple of my favorite inns are in twitter and seeing their specials posted are great, I don’t pay attention to the stream all the time, I would never get any work done. But I like to see specials because a good one will catch my attention and then I can say to my hubbie, lets split dodge for the weekend and have some fun.
The articles that are out there on how to market with twitter right now are generic, there are no real how tos or suggested tos, i.e. how to tweet market for different industries. If I was going to write (and maybe I will) Twitter Marketing for Restaurants, many things would be very different and I would not approach marketing it the same way. Different target market totally.
You would not market a B&B the same way you would market a car dealership or a computer repair store. So when an article is written for PCmagazine (as exampled above) it’s a generic suggestion, what will work surefire for one industry may be a total dud for another and vice versa.
Hopefully someday soon there will be more information out there for industry specific marketing and some good solid guides for it. Until then lets make the most of the information we can 🙂
Part 5 coming soon – A daily list of suggested type tweets for inns & B&Bs
- 2 types of twitter guests, the ones you connect with and the ones that are casual passersby
- Links are good, interesting links are even better
- Twitter is good for SEO and good for general search
- Don’t expect that people will remember how they got to you referred from twitter, think directory
- Don’t think that general twitter marketing suggestions will work for everyone, every industry is different