We live in a world where people like to tell their friends (or followers) what they’re doing. To do this they use social networks like Facebook, Instagram and the world’s most popular microblogging platform, Twitter.
Since travel content is so widely shared on Twitter, having a presence there is pivotal for any tour or activity company.
Here are 10 ways to use Twitter to help potential customers see your product…
1. Create a Twitter strategy
So many businesses begin using Twitter without having any real strategy. This can be a 100-word document or a one-pager.
When writing it, ask yourself questions like ‘What are my main objectives?’, ‘What are the KPIs?’ and more. Then once you’ve done that take to the social network with your plan in mind. It will make those tweets make far more sense. Here's our advice on creating a winning social media strategy.
2. Tweet! And listen…don’t just speak
This might seem obvious, but too many businesses have links on their homepage to accounts that don’t tweet regularly or worse still, haven’t tweeted in six months. You won’t sell anything by not saying anything!
To use Twitter effectively, you need to be active there. Engaging with people is the most effective way, but if you don’t have time for this, use free tools to enable you to schedule a number of tweets throughout the day.
In terms of listening, do you know anybody who does nothing else only talk about themselves? What do you think of them? You’re probably not crazy about them, right? If your Twitter account only shares links and doesn’t engage with people, you’re doing the same thing.
Don’t use Twitter to simply post link after link after link. Spend some time going through the tweets on your timeline – is there anybody you can help?
Also, track down conversations that you can take advantage of. If you’re a walking tour in New York City and somebody tweets ‘Does anybody know a good walking tour in NYC?’, that person is your customer! Use Twitter search to find these tweets and convert the authors to customers.
3. Have a content calendar
Twitter is different to other social networks in that there is far more scope to share the same content repeatedly than there is on other social networks. This is because the average lifetime of a tweet is between 20 and 30 minutes, meaning what you tweet might not be seen by your followers.
This is why it’s important to keep a content calendar. By keeping one you’ll see what content you’re sharing to avoid repetition. It will also ensure you’re sharing content regularly which will help grow your following.
4. Use great imagery
Up until a few years ago, sharing images on Twitter wasn’t that important when it came to driving engagement. Instead it was all about hashtags and choosing the right ones.
Things have changed – now images are given far more real estate in Twitter feeds, meaning tweets with good images stand out and drive engagement. Wherever possible, use strong imagery with tweets.
5. Look at data in Twitter Analytics
In mid-2014 Twitter opened up its analytics platform to all users (before this it was only available to advertisers). Once you log in you’re presented with a platform showing you engagement, impressions and more.
Make sure to check in regularly to see what drives most engagement – is it imagery, is it a particular hashtag or is it the content? Monitor this content and your engagement will grow.
6. Try Twitter advertising
Depending on what country you live in, Twitter ads should be available to you. These can be used to increase your following, promote certain tweets and more. Using the targeting you can ensure your ad is served to the right type of customer. You can also use their conversion tool to see if they’re working.
7. Use the free tools available to you
The free Twitter tools available to you are literally endless. There are so many that it’s difficult choosing where to start. Of all the free tools, available to you, here are my top three:
- Hootsuite: Hootusite lets you tweet from multiple accounts, schedule tweets, check the number of clicks your links are getting and more
- Topsy Analytics: If you want to see what hashtags are being tweeted the most, or how many times a competitor is being tweeted, visit Topsy Analytics.
- Buffer: Even though Hootsuite lets you schedule tweets throughout the day, you have to enter the times manually. Using Buffer, you can prepopulate your account with a certain amount of set times you want to tweet then schedule at these time simply by ‘buffering’ them.
8. Run competitions
People love free stuff. It’s that simple. People love free stuff even more when all they have to do is follow a Twitter account and retweet a certain account. If you’ve something you can give away by way of a prize then run a competition asking followers to ‘RT & follow’ to enter. Make sure to have a terms and conditions page also.
9. Use Twitter search for lead generation
We live in a world where people like to multi-task. So at the same time as looking for tour of Machu Picchu, people are tweeting about looking for a tour of Machu Picchu. Here’s an example from some days ago
This is just one of thousands of millions of tweets like this. These people are looking for your product…so present it to them! Set up search columns in Hootsuite for certain search terms, then monitor them on a daily basis to drive more sales.
10. Analyse your data
Like with all online marketing, if you’re not monitoring, you won’t know if it’s working or not. You must check stats regularly to get the most out of your efforts. With Twitter this means week on week followers, number of clickthroughs, reach of tweets and more.
Does Twitter drive sales for your tour or activity company? For more social media tips, you can check out our ebook:
Want to find out how online booking software can impact your business?
Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.