4 twitter tips for Inns and Bed and Breakfasts

I’ve mentioned some of these before but I am reiterating some of them again, because I’ve recently had several inns ask me either about them, or advice on what to do about them, in the last few weeks. So off to revisit.

1. Twitter Avatars

I’ve probably had at least 50 Bed and Breakfasts ask me this in the six months. Which is better to have? A picture of the innkeeper(s) or a photo of the inn?

There is no right answer to that, it’s more a matter of preference. Keep in mind though you can always leverage the image/background on your twitter account to have a photo or photos of your inn if you opt for a personal photo or vice versa.

A good size for a twitter background, either stand alone so it appears at the top left of the page background, or repeated/tiles, is 600 Pixels high by 200 Pixels wide. Hint, you can also use this image for your Facebook Fan page profile picture.

2. Twitter Followers

Check your followers. Daily, if you have a minute, weekly, at least if you don’t.

If they look like they are a potential guest, for cryin’ out loud follow them back. If they spam sales DM you, feel free to unfollow them, but if you don’t even follow back, let alone engage with a potential guest (who I might remind inns, guests do come from all over the world) you are losing a GOLDEN opportunity to engage with them.

As a potential guest viewing twitter profiles, perhaps having come to the twitter profile VIA an inn’s website, I (as a potential guest) would ask myself, “Why on earth would I even bother to follow an inn that has 300 people following them and they follow 0 or 12? Perhaps I should go check out their fan page instead”. Note here, that a similar thing is also going to apply for Facebook.

No engagement = probably not much interest, click click away.

“Real” people follow you for a reason generally, not just to get updates about your latest and greatest special offer, or your 30% OFF sale on your rack rates.

3. Check your replies

There seems to be a misconception out there that if you are on twitter and someone replies to you, you have to reply RIGHT AWAY.

Ouch! A reply at all is better late than never. Most people will remember a question or comment they posed to you even days (or a week plus later). If it’s been a tad of time, reference the original tweet.

Even if you are relying on Facebook to feed your posts into twitter, technically, your still using twitter, and people DO reply to you and ask you questions.

Its better to check and not find anything, then have a potential guest ask you something and then feel ignored when you don’t answer them at all.

4. Twitter Bios

  1. Make sure your twitter bio is filled out, make sure your website (or blog, or Facebook URL is also filled out) and make sure it’s correct, i.e. it works. I’ve lost count of the number of inn’s websites that are missing a period or a .com at the end, so a viewer clicking through ends up with dead air/non connecting website.
  2. Look at your twitter profile when you are logged out of twitter. Can an exterior viewer see your text on the right and the tweet text to the left? A fairly common thing is to go crazy playing with your twitter color settings and a viewer then can’t read your number of tweets, number of followers, followees and the lists your on, because the background color is the same color as the text. I’ve also seen the main tweet text be white or the hotlink URL be white or a very light gray. Someone can’t click on a link if they can’t see it.
  3. Putting shortened links (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_shortening) in your twitter bio or main URL is a no no. Shortened links in the body of twitter posts are one thing, but most frequenters of tweeter will not click on a shortened bio URL link. That type of thing is usually reserved/used by obnoxious sales spammers, p-o-r-n bots and M-L-M Marketers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing)

Tip: The nice thing about the twitter bio, that most people don’t take advantage of, is you can add an extra URL to your twitter profile by putting into the bio portion and then it does become a clickable hot link.

example: 

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About Chef Forfeng

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/marketing-for-lodging-resources/
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6 Responses to 4 twitter tips for Inns and Bed and Breakfasts

  1. Personal Personal Personal would be my credo. I don’t want to tweet against a wall or a logo.
    And yes I’m an inn keeper. Make the portrait as close up as possible and try to smile. You have to compete against 1000nds of nitty small avatars on walls.

  2. Excellent advice and great to be reminded of it from time to time. Thank you Heather.

  3. I signed up with twitter pretty early on, and was advised to use my name and my picture in the avatar/username, because it IS social media and people want it to be personal. Let people have the conversation with you, not a business. You become the face of the business. I still stand by this approach to social media, although I am sure there are people who will disagree.

    • Chef Forfeng says:

      Hi Sarah, personally I agree with you, but I have had innkeepers concerned about their privacy online and don’t want to post a personal picture (I know you can find photos of anyone if you look hard enough and innkeeping is a social occupation, a topic for another time)

      There is also the aspect of if its an account that is wants to be (as several people have put it), more professional, sort of like putting a logo in place. I think people probably need to experiment and see what they feel works best personally for them. I do have to say when people change their twitter avatars, especially if one uses tweetdeck like I do, it’s very disconcerting and I find I miss tweets from familiar people.

      I heard and read arguments from both sides of the spectrum about what is better to have as an avatar for a business and very valid points for both which is why I say I don’t think there is a wrong way to do it, innkeepers can put a personal photo on their twitter background if they are going to use a inn photo as the avatar. (did I put that in the post or am I getting old and blonde? 🙂

      it kind of raises the question though, should one have a personal photo in one’s facebook profile picture for an inn as well.Food for thought……….

  4. Thanks so much Heather for the timely reminders and great tips – sometimes we get so focused on the big picture that we forget it’s the little details that are so important! We do it daily in our bed and breakfasts/inns – and we want our guests/potential guests to know it, so it is essential to make sure we do it on-line!

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