18 Sep How Luxury Hotels Should Use Twitter
Twitter isn’t a major part of most hotel social media marketing strategies – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of fertile opportunity.
Twitter may be as culturally relevant as ever, considering the obsession celebrities, athletes, and the President have with the platform, but it’s fallen by the wayside compared to Facebook and Instagram when it comes to hotels’ marketing mix. It shouldn’t command as much of your time as those channels, but it can still be a valuable tool. In addition to using it for occasional wish-you-were-here visual type posts, it can also be used for customer service. Here’s how.
It’s Not a Megaphone
There’s a misconception that Twitter is for blasting out messages and talking at your followers, almost like a megaphone. You won’t get much traction using it like that. Your messages will fall on the deaf ears of your overstimulated followers. Instead, listening is what should shape your hotel social media strategy.
Listen to Your Guests
By listening, of course, we mean customer service. Sure, you can (and should) still retweet the occasional tweet of praise from a happy guest and share a gorgeous photo of your property every once in a while, but the vast majority of your time on Twitter can be spent replying and messaging with people. Your KPI on Twitter isn’t followers; it’s the number of people who you can help. Sometimes, people will @mention you directly – those tweets are easy to see and will appear in your notifications. Other times, you’ll have to search for your hotel name (and variations of it) using Twitter’s search function to find people talking about your hotel. There’ll be questions, complaints, compliments – address all of them. Make them feel heard. The person managing your Twitter account should feel empowered to do so. If you reply to a specific tweet, understand that your followers won’t be able to see it in their timelines unless they follow both you and the person you’re responding to – so don’t worry about clogging up their feeds. If you feel more comfortable, you can always take the conversation to DM.
Listen to Others, Too
There’s opportunity to be had even if people aren’t mentioning your hotel specifically, but you have to go out and grab it. Twitter has a very powerful search functionality (twitter.com/search) – just hit “Latest” to sort it by the most recent tweets. With search, you can use queries like “traveling + [your city]” or “things to do + [your city]” or “places to stay + [your city]” and jump in and assist people. We understand that not every hotel has the bandwidth to be engaging with non-guests, but for those that do, it can be a helpful way to get on the radar of travelers who may not have otherwise considered you.
It Only Works if You Stick with It
A customer service–centric Twitter feed is only helpful if someone is actively managing it, so make sure that they’re checking it regularly. Twitter makes it easy to save searches (such as anyone mentioning the name of your hotel, or any variation of it) so you don’t have to type them in manually each time. It’s important to get to these queries as quickly as possible. Many are time sensitive, and responding days later isn’t very helpful. There are some things you won’t be able to solve on Twitter, via DM or otherwise – and that’s OK. Have a special customer service email address ready to share so that you can take deeper conversations with the privacy and space of email.
Examples of Hotels Doing It Right
Here, a concerned guest reached out to Kimpton ahead of their visit to their Washington, DC, property and received a prompt reply to their inquiry. It’s important that the person managing the Twitter feed has this sort of information in-hand, or quick access to someone who does.
London’s The Savoy was tagged in this guest photo and made sure to express their gratitude and offered well wishes, too. This light digital touch is an easy, personal way to show guests that you hear them and appreciate their business.
Hilton operates an account called @hiltonsuggests, through which they give tips to travelers, almost like a Twitter concierge. In this case, they responded to someone who didn’t even @mention them – they likely searched for some combination of “to + do + STL” and this tweet came up.