This week, I posted how and why 32 travel brands use Twitter, and words of wisdom from 34 travel industry Gurus who tweet - and I couldn't help but wonder, what in the world gets "retweeted" the most? With that question in mind, I polled some of the leading travel hotel and airline brands that tweet daily, and asked them: "Which one of your posts enjoyed the most RTs/comments/activity?" I then asked them to send me the actual tweet.
The results were surprising. I had assumed that deal promotions would be of most interest, but instead it was the provocative tweet - something completely out of the norm, that garnered buzz and activity.
Out of the 19 travel brands that sent me their most popular tweets, only three promoted time-sensitive deals...and they were Twitter-exclusive rates and fares.
The most retweeted tweets: United Airlines' Twitter-only "Twares" and Southwest Airlines' shout-out from their Captain Kirk, during the release date of Star Trek. For hotels, the greatest number of retweets (ie, exposure) came from Secrets Resorts "swine flu vacation guarantee," and Starwood's provocative "Best in Bed" comment.
5 brands tweeted pics or events happening at their properties. One airline found that a tweeted survey prompted the greatest number of retweets and activity, and 2 hotels were successful launching Twitter sweepstakes/contests. Only one promoted last-minute deals. And check back here, the list of popular travel brand tweets continues to grow....
All of this indicates to travel suppliers that it's not the "deal" that gets Twitter folks excited - its creativity, spontaneity and uniqueness that grabs the spotlight. Want more quality followers? Want to get the most return on your time and social media investment? Want buzz? Take a look at the most retweeted/hits below...and then look at your own strategy. 'Nuf said?
Happy Memorial Day weekend to my US Twitter followers from @SusanTravels
1. @Kimpton: Sleep Rules! Late check-out at Kimpton hotels every Sunday in May in honor of Better Sleep Month http://bit.ly/4WU7j
2. @PeabodyMemphis: http://twitpic.com/57y8j Gavin MacLeod , Love Boat's Captain Stubing to be Honorary Duckmaster Sat 5PM. Come aboard...we're expecting you...
3. @ICEHOTEL_Sweden: Most RTs : The coolest drum solo ever! Watch the drummer from Hellacopters in action at the ICEHOTEL: http://bit.ly/1HKTXq
4. @hotel_max: ATTN: Book your room at Hotel Max w/ the special Twitter Follower Rate! 15% off the best avail. rate and comp WIFI! http://ow.ly/7U6Y PLS RT
5. @affiniahotels: Want to perfect your grilling skills? Reserve a seat at our BBQ Bootcamp 5/16 for tips from masters Samuelsson and Burke http://bit.ly/NDq0J
6. @Oceanisleinn: Versatility http://twitpic.com/50grh http://twitpic.com/50gv7 http://twitpic.com/50gx0 http://twitpic.com/50gyg #oceanisle #beachgetaway
7. @HiltonAnaheim: Do you want to win a TWO night stay AND Dinner for TWO at Mix? Random drawing of first 2,000 followers! Spread the word!
8. @Fairmonthotels: Fairmont rolls out Mini-Moons for cost-conscious brides/grooms. http://bit.ly/1zxod Emerging travel trend?
9. @StarwoodBuzz: 10 years later Westin is still the best in bed. In the last decade more than 75 million people have tucked themselves into a heavenly bed!
10. @thebonaventure: Ok, here we are: "This is a major award!" Win the award! Follow the link, now! http://bit.ly/fra-gee-lee #LAPrimetime" 554 clicks!
11. @UnitedAirlines: Hurry and get your first-ever, time-sensitive Tware. $63 o/w Chicago to DC. + taxes. Addtl terms at http://tinyurl.com/qlf82x. Book soon!
12. @qatarairways: SURVEY: Will you be flying more or less in the next 3 months than you did the last 90 days? Also, what country are you from?
13. @MacdonaldHotels: Famous Industry Faces will be 'Posing in their Pants' http://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/ ... Rgds SIR
14. @TabletHotels: Newsletter is out: Introducing Last Minute Tablet - Get away within the next 14 days at great prices http://bit.ly/MRa9g
15. @RooseveltNYC: Check out our new blog http://thenyknow.com/ !!
16. @TheSofiaHotel: Hi Susan! "Please go to www.thesofiahotel.com and enter Twitterific Promo Code 25267 for a 20% Nightly Discount off Room & Tax!"
18. @SouthwestAir: From our Cpt. Kirk “Welcome aboard the Starship Enterprise. This is Cpt.Kirk along w/ my FO Spock" http://bit.ly/7wmp4
19. @SecretsResorts: If a guest contracts A-H1N1 while staying with us, next 3 vacations will be free of charge http://tinyurl.com/d4dsfo