………BEFORE they start trying to market on it.
The first one is the Most Important!
1. Check your profiles, look at it when you are not logged in. Go to http://www.twitter.com/(yourinn) and take a peek.
- Have you put your profile bio in? Most people will not follow you, or follow you back (I don’t, unless I know who you are, without some sort of bio and link)
- A website link or blog link? If you don’t have either, consider using a link to a directory page your establishment is listed on, if it has photos and information. Do NOT shorten your link with a url shortener. People that put a shortened URL in their twitter bios are generally looked on with suspicion, its mostly used by spammers and MLM marketers, if you see this on some else’s profile, I suggest you click far far away.
- When you put your weblink in, test it, I come across at least 2-3 inns per week where the links are incomplete or in there as http://http://www.janedoeinn.com
- Is your profile and other information to the right readable? Twitter should make it so you can’t make the sidebar deep red and then make your text the same or a very similar color. If I can’t read it, then neither can your future guests.
- Please don’t make your text color white, while this may look cool on your sidebar profile overlaying a dark color, your main text in your tweets online in the “whats happening” portion of your twitter stream is not readable either. I can see it on tweetdeck and other apps but people using twitter online just see nada.
- Check your bio, look at it while not logged in. Twitter does not like & and your nice Bed & Breakfast translates as Bed&Breakfast. B&B to B&B etc.
If you are not sure where to go to start customizing, near the top right of your page, go to the settings tab.
This is a good example, I emailed them awhile back about this but if an inn (or anyone else) happens to talk to them on twitter regularly, they would probably appreciate a DM.
-It can be useful as well to change your bio occasionally and change your links as well. Redirect people to your blog or Facebook Fan page for awhile, you may find a change in the amount of traffic you get.
2. Use URL shorteners
I like http://bit.ly/ the best. Sign in and create an account, you can track click throughs from your shortened links easily this way and a shorter post makes it much easier for others to retweet you if you post something of interest. I don’t know how many times I see someone writing the full 140 characters and would like to retweet the post but can’t because no matter what I cut, it’s still too long. Even when you shrink or abbreviate the update when you are retweeting it, it loses some of the appeal and it makes it less likely that people will bother. They might read it but retweeting is important.
3. Check your followers and get into the habit of it.
If you are going to be active on twitter and not just use it for PR/SEO purposes (which is fine, you do what you can, when you can) don’t rely on email to let you know when you have new followers. The more you tweet, the more followers you will get generally because the more “noise” you are making.
After talking to a bunch of people about this with similar problems and seeing this also on my own account. I get an average of one email per every 7-9 people that actually does follow me, so relying on email to let you know when you have new followers and most importantly someone you might want to follow back is not a sure fire bet. I have taken to logging in briefly online at night to check out new followers who I have not been emailed about, there’s usually a few, or more then a few in some cases. If you have a potential guest follow you and you may not necessarily want to follow them back, you can still send them a nice (not spammy) DM or @ them to say hello. Acknowledgment is half the game.
4. Check your @ replies and get into the habit of it.
Learn how to check your @replies and learn to talk to people, I see conversations going back and forth between new tweeters (if I’m following both) who it’s clear they are talking to (or at least they think are talking to) each other, I have people ask me questions and I only catch them because I have socialoomph.com and tweetbeep set up for my name, URLS and twitter name. Or I have seen people @ other people or businesses and it’s clear from tracking it that the @’ed person has no idea that they have just been spoken to.
If we have some new peeps on twitter and they don’t even know where to begin, http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/ is a great resource for all things twitter.
If you are looking for some ideas about what other lodging establishments are tweeting about, check out http://twitter.com/forfeng/lodging and http//twitter.com/forfeng/lodging2, there may be a #3 eventually and I add to the list almost daily, so follow the lists or just check back. There is a 500 count minimum on lists if people are wondering. It’s got a cross section of B&B’s, inns, motels and hotels on it and I did that deliberately instead of categorizing them because it pays to pay attention to all sectors of the business. If I was a B&B that was pet friendly I think I would want to keep tabs on other local establishments especially if a local hotel started being pet friendly as well.
If nothing else, pay attention to #1.
Lodging Marketing: https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/marketing-for-lodging-resources/
Restaurant Operations: https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/restauranting/