Columnist Lester Pyatt from Omark Strategic Hospitality Solutions considers social media marketing and gives his tops tips for Twitter.
The explosion of cost-effective social media has created a new emphasis on how we now manage our advertising and promotion campaigns. Traditional methods like newspaper advertising have made way to more targeted connection platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, You Tube, and personal blogs.
Social Media Marketing: Twitter
I want to concentrate on Twitter, which is basically a micro blog that shares short messages of 140 characters called “Tweets” … but the question is: who and what do you talk about?
Here are my five steps to Twitter success:
- Your first task is to follow people or businesses associated with your target market. For me, these are UK hotels, restaurants and pubs. A good source for discovering who to follow is Twellow, a yellow pages directory of Twitter accounts divided into different hobbies, places and business categories.
- Once you have built a follow and follow back list, do not try to advertise or promote to these people straight away. Strike up a conversation, be friendly, it doesn’t matter if it’s about the weather, or a current trending topic; what you are trying to do is start a relationship of familiarity and trust with these people.
- Build your influence. You want to be known as an expert in your target market producing quality information. A good way to do this is to sign up for Google alerts and find relevant news and topics. The latest news can be automatically delivered to your inbox daily, allowing you to browse and post topical articles on Twitter. If they like your information, they will re tweet this to their followers and help spread your influence.
- Once you have established yourself, you will be in a better position to promote offers or information to your target customers. To make it easier for them to find trends or topics for tweets, people use the hash tag (#). So, if I have specific information for UK hotels, I simply include the tag before the tweet (e.g. #UK hotels – Free information to boost your profits), allowing others looking for that hash tag to see my tweet.
- Keep your followers current. It’s no good having followers who haven’t used their account for a long time. A good tool to use for this is Friend or Follow – allowing you to easily ascertain who you are following and who isn’t following you back and then delete them if necessary.
Ignore social media at your peril, combined with Traditional advertising, email marketing, newsletters, website optimization and killer press releases, you will have an arsenal of cost effective weapons to boost your advertising and promotion campaigns during 2011.
By Lester Pyatt