For the second part of our social media series we are focusing on Twitter.
Like Facebook, Twitter is one of the most popular social media sites in the world. But Twitter differs from Facebook as the updates are far shorter snippets of information written in a text like format. Anyone can share or read short messages or “tweets” on Twitter of up to 140 characters.
It’s a great marketing tool as over 340,000,000 tweets are sent out each day - that’s an incredible 2200 tweets every second!
For business users, Twitter is all about sharing brief but informative pieces of information to attract to potential customers or users in a chatty, non-sales way.
The beauty of twitter is its immediacy - you can tweet or read about realtime events and this is often how people hear news first these days.
The first step to using twitter is to set up an account and you can choose any username as long as it is available and in the required number of characters – so it’s wise to choose something self-explanatory!
You can then personalise it by writing a very short (no longer than 160 character) bio about yourself and add your own background. This is called your profile. Once you’ve set up your account all you have to do now is get tweeting – and following other relevant profiles similar to yourself.
The important thing about twitter is to interact with others – it is all about engagement and sharing information with others and you will find other twitter users very willing to do this. The main culture on twitter is to help other people and engage with them.
Once you have set up your account you can become a follower and be followed! It is important to follow companies or people that are relevant to your business and who will tweet about things you are interested in. Most popular ones for holiday home owners will be your local tourist board, restaurants and cafe’s in your area and anywhere that has tourist attractions or events as well as airlines, rail companies, other holiday related service providers and of course other Owners Direct holiday home owners.
Twitter is an ideal place to raise awareness of your holiday home and it’s a good idea to really try and get your personality across in your tweets as well as your willingness to assist your guests with their individual requirements. This will help and reassure people that your property is an excellent place to stay.
There is certain terminology associated with Twitter and talk of retweets, hashtags and DM’s can all seem a bit complex but here are some basic translations of key phrases for you:
@Mention – mentioning another user in your tweet by putting @ then their username, for example:
@OwnersDirect thank you we will contact your customer service team
Tweet: short update of information in 140 characters or less
@reply: a reply posted in response to another users message
Direct Message (DM): tweets are private between sender and recipient
Re-Tweet (RT): A tweet by another user forwarded by someone you follow. Often used to spread news or share valuable findings.
Followers: A follower is another twitter user who has followed you and you can follow others you are interested in.
Hashtag # : The hashtag is used to make a given word into a search term – click on a hashtag and you can see all tweets containing that word. An example of this is a tweet that Owners Direct recently posted:
Twitter isn’t just about posting information about your holiday-rental, it is more about engagement and realtime conversations. Find Twitter mentions of your area through Hoot suite and Tweetdeck, which are platforms offering easy ways to manage Twitter including the option to add pictures to your tweets and schedule content in advance For example if you see a tweet about an event in your area, re-tweet it and you will then be engaging with the event organiser and anyone else that might be interested. If the event has a #tag then by using it in your post you might be found by other people searching for information about the event.
The best way to learn about Twitter is to look at other feeds, if you go to http://twitter.com/ownersdirect you will be able to see how we engage with our followers. We also use our page to promote special offers that are currently on our site.
If you have any questions about using Twitter please ask our social media team – they’re here to help and don’t forget to follow @Ownersdirect. We tweet at least 8-9 times a day and are happy to re-tweet your events, ideas and offers. With over 3,700 followers your tweets will get excellent coverage.