Why Twitter Won't Help You Find Guests...

...But May Help You to Book Them

Twitter certainly has taken the world by storm. More and more companies are setting up a Twitter account and linking to it from their website. For some companies, Twitter is a great tool to keep in touch with their customers, provide personal-touch support and generally tell the world what's happening with their products or services. So with all the success of Twitter, does it have a place in helping you to find guests for your holiday accommodation?
Why Twitter Wont Help You Find Guests

The fact is, when potential guests are searching for a place to stay for their next holiday, Twitter is not, nor will be in the foreseeable future, the first place that they look. The search engines will almost undoubtedly take potential guests to the major online listing sites or standalone accommodation sites long before they display Twitter pages as results. These sites are built for accommodation seekers and moreover are optimised to rank above other sites like Twitter.

That said, Twitter does have a place in your accommodation marketing plan. While it won't help your potential guests to find your accommodation online, it may help them to eventually book with you. If you treat your Twitter account as supplemental to your main marketing activities, it can give you great rewards — just don't rely on it as your sole online marketing strategy.

Let Guests Know What's Happening With Your Accommodation

The nature of Twitter is that it allows for short, sharp bits of information to be shared and shows them in a nice reverse chronological order. So why not use it to let your potential guests know what you've been doing with your property? If you've made an improvement to your property based on your past guests' feedback, Tweet about it. If you've just completed renovations, Tweet about it. If you've just celebrated a milestone (100th guest, five years in business, etc), Tweet about it. If you've found a wonderful story online or link to an activity which your guests might enjoy, Tweet about it.

Tweeting these updates and notifications lets accommodation seekers know that you are actively managing your property, making improvements and keeping your guests in mind. Contrast this to an accommodation which doesn't share this sort of information — which would you be more inclined to book with?

Additional Benefits of Having Your Own Twitter Account

Do a search within Twitter for other businesses, government groups or associations in your area and Follow them. This is a great way to keep up with what's happening with those groups and any discounts or specials that they might be offering. With this new stream of information coming straight to you, you can pass it onto your guests via your own website, newsletter or even by "re-tweeting" the offer on your own Twitter page.

Make The Most of Your Twitter Account Settings

While Twitter is meant to keep real people informed, one shouldn't ignore the fact that search engines are looking at your account too. When setting up your new Twitter account and Profile settings, be sure do the following to fully optimise your account for search engines:

  1. Create a username that matches your keywords.
    For example, if your keywords are "palm cove holiday accommodation", a username of "PalmCoveAccomm" or "PalmCoveHoliday" would be fitting.

  2. Create a Profile name that matches your business or accommodation name.
    This will be displayed on your main page.

  3. Set the location of your accommodation.
    Twitter gives you the option of specifying where you are in the world. Set the town or city name of your location plus the country; for example, "Palm Cove, Australia".

  4. Include your website in your profile.
    Although the link is a no-follow link (which means that it won't help in your SEO) efforts, it will help people and search engines find your site.

  5. Use the "Bio" to write a 160 character description of your property.
    The Bio should be filled with keywords. With 160 characters, there is lots of opportunity to put in different variations of your keywords or key phrases.

  6. Upload a background photo that highlights your keywords.
    Use your best location shot or interior photo as your Twitter account background image. Twitter allows the background photo to be up to 700kb in size so you should be able to upload a fairly high resolution photo. Before you upload the file rename the file to match your keywords. Using the same keywords from above, a good file name would be "PalmCoveHolidayAccommodation.jpg". People won't be able to see the name but the search engines will thus increasing your SEO.

To see an example of the above in action, you can check out the Twitter page:

When it comes to sharing information, Twitter can be a great alternate weapon in your online marketing arsenal. So while Twitter won't help guests to find you, it may help them to eventually book with you by showing them that you are an active property manager. Having a search engine friendly Twitter account doesn't hurt your SEO either — every little bit counts! If you haven't set up your account already, what are you waiting for?

Good luck!

Christopher Van Eenoo
Australian Holiday Property Marketing Online © 2008 - 2015

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