I was recently reading a Mashable article about small businesses on Twitter and it got me thinking about a similar issue but for hotels. Building a strong and steady Twitter following for your property helps get the word out about your hotel, improves your SEO, and enhances your credibility. But what is the best way to go about gathering a large but loyal following?
One of the first tips I can give you is embrace the power of following others. When I come across a brand that has a high number of Followers but a very low number of Following, it automatically gives me the impression that the company cares very little about doing actual outreach. I feel like the company is unlikely to interact with me and has a presence on the social network only to promote itself and gain followers so that it can showcase “impressive” numbers.
Who Should You Follow?
It can be tricky figuring out whom exactly to follow because you don’t want to follow just anyone. Show your Tweeps love by following people that frequently interact with you and retweet you. You should not follow back everyone that follows you, especially since you will probably get some spambots in there, so take a minute to read someone’s bio and possibly check out his/her tweets before making the ultimate decision. If what you see is pertinent to your hotel then I recommend following back, especially because you may not know how influential the person is or who he/she knows.
In terms of seeking out people to follow, influential hospitality bloggers or other key industry people are a good place to start, especially because those can be the people that carry compelling Twitter conversations. Community leaders are also interactive on the network. Does your hotel have a killer golf course next to it? Follow golf bloggers or people who have a clear interest in golf. If you have a unique special then seek out people whose interests are relevant and start conversations with them or invite them to check out the special. Don’t forget about local venues or events with Twitter accounts as well.
Twitter Lists are a great way to find people to follow within targeted areas. Your hotel itself will probably be added to others’ Lists and that will only increase your exposure. There are some websites you can use that help you mass follow people, but in general that is frowned upon and can bring you many low quality followers. If you follow a large number of people but want to see who isn’t following you back, sites such as ManageFlitter can tell you and even lets you unfollow people from the site. Unfollowing people is helpful if you are trying to keep your number of Followers and Following balanced and while it may seem a bit unethical, maybe you have nothing in common with a specific user so following him or her might not be the best connection.
Building a following can be time consuming but keep in mind that it’s quality, not quantity! For more tips and hospitality-related articles, follow us on Twitter!