Twitter isn’t a match for businesses in every sector, but it’s big for travel. Travel businesses are increasingly using Twitter to connect with potential customers and offer travel inspiration, and with over half of travellers saying they get their travel ideas from social media, it's probably time your business gets on board.
Twitter is a very sociable channel where you can never Tweet too often, and is the perfect platform for establishing your brand’s tone of voice and getting involved in live trending topics and current events. If you’re a business that wants to show that you’re not a robot, and want to express a personality to your customers – then Twitter is the best place to do so.
Remember: Twitter is active
According to Inc, Twitter is home to the “Information Junkies” who are always looking for new things to learn and consume, and because the nature of Twitter is fast-paced, they're always looking for the most current content. It's essential to post regularly on Twitter - more so than on any other social channel. If you don’t have time, Hootsuite is a great tool to use in order to schedule your posts across social channels, doing the work for you and keeping you connected to your customer base.
Getting hashtag-savvy is a way to really boost brand awareness and engagement. Twitter is the place where hashtags started, and they're definitely sticking around. You may or may not have used hashtags before, you may think they are overrated, or you may wonder why they even exist. But, tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without, meaning a simple ‘#’ symbol can double engagement with your brand.
How do I use hashtags?
Hashtags are easy. They are used for businesses to broaden reach, keep on top of trends and include tweets in a topic. When you add a hash tag to your tweet, it is added to a stream where it can be seen by anyone interested in that topic, even if they’re not connected to your brand. For example, #TravelTuesday is a big hashtag trend, so if you were looking to share information on a resort, adding the hashtag to your Tuesday tweet would make it automatically feature on a feed full of people seeking inspiration.
The don’ts of Twitter
1. Don’t over-promote your business
People get fed up with brands constantly posting about their products and services. It’s similar to your relationship with your friends – do you enjoy spending an evening with someone who only talks about themselves? The trick is to give your followers useful and interesting information. Marketers have now moved away from the traditional hard-sell, and are focusing on building relationships with customers and marketing subtly through engaging content. Your potential clients on Twitter will engage with you better if they see you as a person, not a sales machine.
2. Don’t post anything and everything
If you do Twitter properly, it’s a great way to get a refined audience of people who are interested in what you have to say. You’ve built a following of travel enthusiasts for your business, why would you post about anything else? Irrelevant Tweets will result in people unfollowing your brand, because they followed your brand for a reason, and they don’t want to feel unnecessarily spammed.
3. Don’t be boring!
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Because of the 140 character limit, you only have a few words to grab people's attention. Establish an informal, chatty tone of voice that doesn’t get drowned in the sea of tweets. One suggestion would be to use emojis when you’re trying to capture attention – research shows that emojis significantly boost tweet engagement, and more and more brands are now jumping on the bandwagon. 92% of the entire online population use emojis, and believe that it is very effective in expressing a point. Using emojis in your tweets, or simply communicating in a friendly, informal tone of voice will humanise your brand and make you more approachable.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of interaction
So you’ve established your friendly tone of voice – now it’s time to use it. What’s great about Twitter is that it's easy to interact with people. This year, Twitter is rolling out new features for customer interaction which shows they are focusing even more on being a customer service platform. Twitter is somewhere people go to feel more involved with a brand than they can elsewhere – so take advantage by chatting to people where you can.
What should a travel company tweet?
Once you've built your community of like-minded people, you can share anything, as long as it would appeal to that audience. You can share destination info, holiday inspiration, deals, industry articles, and as well as your own content, you can curate from elsewhere. This means sharing articles/videos/images from third-party sources, further immersing your brand in the travel sector and easily providing people with relevant content. The trick with writing your own tweets is to subtly let people know what your business is about without crossing the line into direct selling. The best way to do this is by inspiring your followers.
Tweet destination points of interest: "This hidden gem in #Barcelona, Can Paixano, serves the most delicious Cava and tapas which will only cost you a few Euros! 👌🏼🍷" [attach image]
Tweet photos of dream locations: "Winter may seem to be dragging, but this luxury resort in the #Maldives could be just a few months away" [attach image]
Something travel agents don't take advantage of enough is what their customers can do for them. You've built relationships on Twitter, you've got bookings, so show it! Encourage your customers to update you on their travels, telling you about their experiences with supporting holiday snaps.
Tweet your bookings: "We just booked a spa weekend for a couple who have some time without the kids. We hope you enjoy your relaxing break John and Jen 😊"
Share customers' photos "Here's a photo of gap year students Faye, Georgia and Joe at the Grand Canyon 🇺🇸 - a big one to tick off the bucketlist!" [attach image]
...I could go on. The key things to remember are that you cannot neglect your Twitter page, the more you interact informally - the better, and that Twitter is a great platform for travel businesses! If you'd like further help with setting yourself up on Twitter and building your online community, feel free to get in touch. In the mean time, take a look at these travel companies' Twitter pages and see how they use Twitter best practices to maintain a strong online presence.