Twitter is an incredibly popular platform for travel networking. It’s especially favoured by the travel blogging community and frequently used by travel companies to build loyalty and increase their customer base. Airlines in particular have encouraged followers with special Twitter deals for the followers.
If your company is just getting started on Twitter or you feel your brand needs a Twitter refresh here are a few pointers to make sure your profile is set up correctly and you are making the most of this fast moving social channel.
Is your profile optimised?
1. Your Twitter username should ideally be the same as your brand name. Your username can contain up to 15 characters while your real name can be 20 characters long.
2. Your profile picture should be relevant to your company, such as your logo or mascot. If you are a tourist attraction or destination, a well known landmark or sight can also make a distinctive avatar that is instantly recognisable. Alternatively, a lot of people like to see who they are conversing with, so don’t be afraid to personalise your account by using an image of the person who is doing most of the Tweeting. Your Twitter profile image should be 81px by 81px.
3. Fill out your bio section with information about your company and what you will be tweeting about. You have just 160-characters to make a real impression! What you say in your bio is one of the major factors that people take into consideration when deciding whether or not to follow you. Make sure your bio is engaging. It can also carry some SEO weight, with certain tools searching Twitter bios based on keywords. You want to make sure that social influencers interested in the content you are sharing are able to find you easily.
4. It goes without saying that you need to include your website address, but it is surprising how many people leave this off in a hurry to set their profile up and never fill it in again!
5. Your header image is displayed directly behind your profile photo and is faded to black as your bio is placed over it. The size that this will be displayed at is 520px x 260px.
6. Choose a background image that is simple and clean and also works with your brand. There is a 2MB limit on file sizes and all images will be justified to the top left of the screen. It is fairly common practice to add an overlay to your image with pictures and information about the people who will be Tweeting, or with other company information.
Tips for engagement
Tweet with caution
Tweets are intended to be informative and newsworthy, so use them that way. Keep your followers and their interests in mind. It is very easy for people to re-share your tweets and once a bad tweet is out there it is impossible to recall and stop it spreading.
Follow individuals, travel bloggers, companies and destinations within the travel industry to keep up with trends, news, and events. A lot of the time you will find that these users follow you back in return, increasing your Twitter reach. Also, if you’re following users aligned with your primary focus, your feed won’t be clogged with irrelevant tweets. Start by following us @DotTourism.
Reach Out and Respond to Others
You’ll want the majority of your conversations to be be public. You can reach out to people publicly using an @Reply. All you need to do is click the reply icon below someone else’s tweet, or just type “@” followed by the recipient’s Twitter username to start up a conversation. Remember that other people will be able to see this conversation. This helps increase your brands visibility and in the example below shows how good your customer service is.
@username hope the tour information we sent over was useful. Let us know if you need anymore advice
If somebody is following you then you can also talk to them privately using a direct message using the letter d in front of their name. This is useful when discussing details you don’t want the public to see.
d username I’ve sent you an email with the cost details for the trip you were enquiring about. Shall I give you a call about it later this week?
Include Shortened Links
Including links in your tweets is a great way to point to additional resources or promote your content on Twitter. With only a 140-character limit for your message, long URLs aren’t very Twitter-friendly. Use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly to make the links you want to share on Twitter more tweetable.
Use Hashtags (#)
Hashtags are a way of tagging tweets to make it easy for anyone anywhere to follow, promote, and respond to news, products, ideas, events, questions, and offers. People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show up in searches. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword allowing you to join in with wide reaching conversations and specific chats. Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end. It is important that you don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. Check out our cheat sheet for top travel hashtags.
Don’t use all 140 characters
Don’t use the full 140 characters in your messages, so that when someone retweets you, there is room for their Twitter handle or so they can add a brief word or two.
Don’t do Rapid Fire Retweeting
Hitting retweet a bunch of times is not a good use of Twitter and you’ll be spamming your followers feeds. Find out more on this with our How Not To Tweet blog post.