Lessons Learned from Top 25 Engaged Brands on Twitter to Promote Your Travel / Tourism Business

November 16, 2014

Successful marketing through Twitter depends on engaging your audience, and the results of a recently commissioned study will help you promote your travel tourism or hospitality business effectively.

In The Top 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter Today, nestivity blogger Henry Min notes that while countless different Twitter strategies abound, the one thing they all have in common is seeking engagement with customers through building community. Min, who is a creative director and social business expert with over 15 years of experience working for some of the world’s best-known companies, has led many digital marketing campaigns.

Nestivity commissioned Evolve Capital, Inc., in partnership with Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, to conduct a 30-day analysis of the top 100 most followed brands on Twitter.

The study of the top 100 most influential brands concludes that the brands with the most followers on Twitter are not the most engaged brands. While they have managed to attract millions of followers, they are not using Twitter to cultivate relationships with their customers, nor are they influencing followers or inspiring advocates to amplify and share their messages. Simply having vast numbers of followers does not translate into interaction and success for businesses.
To illustrate this, Min points to @JetBlue Airways, which has more than one million followers and ranks highest in post volume – but – shows very little engagement with any of its followers. The analysis of more than 739,000 Tweets found the difference seems to be in the way Twitter is used as a communication tool. The majority have, says Min, fallen into a trap of using Twitter like an old way of broadcasting messages. Twitter is not a one-way communication tool, yet over 73 percent of tweets directed to top retailers are never answered.

The most engaged brands do not just broadcast messages and pontificate, but reply to questions, retweet interesting points of discussion and take the opportunity to start conversations among their followers.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT USING TWITTER THE WAY THE TOP 25 MOST ENGAGED BRANDS DO TO HELP YOU SUCCESSFULLY MARKET YOUR TRAVEL TOURISM OR HOSPITALITY BUSINESS:

  • Don’t get caught up in counting how many followers you have: The nestivity study proves that having a million followers doesn’t mean higher engagement (remember that 70 percent of the least engaged brands have a million followers). What is important is interacting with your followers, replying to their questions and inviting their discussion and building community through engaging with customers – not preaching at them.
  • You don’t have to Tweet without ceasing: You don’t have to have the highest Tweet volume to engage your followers. Compare the high volume @JetBlue with its low engagement to a highly engaged brand like @Dropbox, which tweets only weekly or monthly. You need to figure out what engages your audience.
  • Be consistent: You don’t have to tweet constantly, but don’t let your account lie dormant either. Consistency is important, be that hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Top brand @Disneyworlds tweets regularly each day and inspires high engagement with followers while the equally highly engaged @Arsenal tweets in spurts.
  • The right tweet time: The study reveals that the top 25 brands tweet most frequently on Wednesdays around 4 p.m. CST. Watch and see what timing seems to really catch the attention of your followers and then stick with it.
  • Quality, not quantity: Keep your focus on engaging with your followers through meaningful information sharing or dialogue. The study showed that while the brands that tweeted with the most volume (sending multiple messages each day with clockwork regularity), not one of them were on the most engaged list. Think about what will resonate with travellers and invite them to learn more about your business.
  • A picture is worth a thousand tweets: It may be surprising, but photos scored very highly in the study with ¾ of the content from the top 25 incorporating photos. Including photos and visual media should be an easy strategy for any tourism and hospitality business to try. It is worth noting as well that videos are popular, too, with 18 percent shared.

The study recommends checking the InfiniGraph website for more insights into social media engagement and you can even add your brand to compare it to competitors. There is only one tourism-related category: Hotels/casinos/resorts. It is a very user-friendly site that allows you to compare brand against brand and also review how each brand is faring with respect to brand engagement intelligence.

Take the time to benchmark success by reviewing some examples of high engagement posts, such as Marriott International’s:
Throughout the year our fans have captured some amazing sunrise/sunset shots from our hotels. Post your dawn/dusk photos… or
‘Like’ this post if you want to be poolside surrounded by palm trees. Can you guess where?
or
warmandtote.com with RT @warmandtote #Air #travel tips for #travelers with #health issues or disabilities. Please share.

Before pursuing your own Twitter or social media marketing campaign, start with an online marketing plan to ensure you have the right focus.

Email me or call me (604-484-6571) or Contact my team at Stir Tourism today to learn how we can help with your travel and tourism online marketing and social media strategy, campaign set-up, implementation and management.