5 top tips to maximise Twitter

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The majority of hotel owners, both chain and independent, are on Twitter these days. But how do you get the best out of the service without sinking a disproportionate amount of time into it? Boutique Hotelier takes a look at what the people behind the world’s most famous micro-blogging site have to say about it but more importantly – what it can do for your business.

Have you sent out a tweet in the last few hours? If so, you’re most definitely not alone. More than 500 million tweets are posted every single day. Social media has become the marketing tool for the new generation and there is no getting away from the fact that Twitter is a fundamental part of it. 230 million users now have a Twitter account, giving some idea of just how pervasive it has become.

As any hotel owner with a long-term Twitter presence can tell you, it can be a useful tool for promoting services, sharing company information, highlighting changes within the hotel, responding to customer enquiries and tapping into industry trends.

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But it can also sometimes feel like a burden. Not only does it require someone to constantly micro-manage and keep it up to date; but the tangible rewards and leads that come from it can be difficult to measure.

You need to know the right formula to get the best out of twitter. The little things are often the most important in garnering followers. Don’t put important messages out on a Friday, for example. Twitter has most of its user base log on between Monday and Thursday; with the highest traffic mid-way through the week between Wednesday and Thursday. If you do send a tweet later in the week then you should consider retweeting a variation of it on the following Monday to optimise exposure.

So what else do you need to bear in mind to ensure that Twitter benefits your business? Here is Twitter’s very own advice on how to achieve the results you want.

1. Connect in context
People talk about what they care about and what’s happening around them right now, including your business. This gives you powerful context to connect your message to what’s most meaningful to your customers in real time. Engaging with real-time tweets can influence conversations in a way that can help build your business.

2. Interact and respond
Reply directly to people who tweet about you. Favourite and retweet positive messages from your customers, and thank those who praise you. You can engage directly with your clientele so informality can help. Promptly and calmly address critical tweets about your business also keeping in mind that retweets can represent your voice and brand personality.

3. Tweet often and in real-time
Timing matters, especially for breaking news or live tweets. Similarly, tweet frequency depends on a number of variables such as your audience, purpose and business objectives. That said, a good basic rule is between three to five tweets a day. You may want to try tweeting a couple times a day to see how your audience reacts, then adjust as needed.

4. Create tweets that resonate
Use the platform to engage your audience in a unique tone with a combination of exciting, useful content. Include links, images and videos. Your tweets should reflect the individuality and personality of your business so give them an accessible brand. Think about including behind-the-scenes photos, discounts and new product previews that they wouldn’t normally be able to find.

5. Keep tweets short and sweet
Creativity loves constraints and simplicity is at Twitter’s core. Tweets are limited to 140 characters so they can be consumed easily anywhere, even via mobile text messages. There’s no magical length for a tweet, but a recent report by Buddy Media revealed that tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate.

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