If you read yesterday's blog post, you saw 32 leading Travel Brands' tweets on how and why they participate in Twitter.
They felt that this medium holds much promise, but for now, most are listening and engaging with their customers.
18 of the 32 brands used "communicate" or "dialog" in their 140 character message, while 11 brands included "offers", "promotions" or "sweepstakes" as part of their Twitter strategy.
The takeaway is there are three primary uses of Twitter, based on responses by these major travel brands - Engagement (listening/communicating/responding); Attracting passionate brand advocates as followers; and Selling at low marketing costs (promotions/deals/sweepstakes/offers).
It's not surprising that these three goals explain why travel brands tweet, my question is, how much does strategy play a role in their success? Are these companies measuring brand lift, increased customer satisfaction or sales through the Twitter channel, as a matter of course? Or, are they now merely getting their feet wet as they experiment with this new channel?
In order to rise to a level where management "gets it" and puts additional resources towards social media in general, you need to show what "good" looks like. Since brands are focused on communication, building a fan base and promoting offers, how is all of this measured and presented to senior management?
After looking at Travel Brands' current use of Twitter yesterday, I wanted to focus on the 35 bloggers, writers, and leading travel industry influencers, including analysts, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. I asked each to DM me on Twitter, @susantravels - in under 140 characters - how and why they tweet. Here are their posts:
1. @TravelEkspert: Having a Twitter/blog combination has fundamentally changed my methodology and timing for delivering my messages.
2. @travelingmamas: We use Twitter to form valuable partnerships with travel publishing companies (Uptake, Fodors, Fairmont Hotels, etc). They find us
3. @tripwolf: I use twitter to meet other great travel bloggers - it's more personal, like sending a text rather than an email.
4. @elliottng: Best use of twitter: "Peripheral vision" on your topic of interest; your own personalized "presidential daily brief"!
5. @gbrockway: Invaluable for finding news related to niche topics, sharing info about my projects, esp TripIt, and sating my Narcissus (yes, I admit it)
6. @rickseaney: We think twitter is a perfect vehicle for timely air travel deal information, potentially better than email
7. @denschaal: I use Twitter 2 break & distribute travel news & analysis, & as vital tool to interact with & learn from industry braniacs.
8. @elliottdotorg: Thanks -- I'm here to help travelers, so that's what most of my twitter activity is about.
9. @karasw: I get the latest travel news/trends; troll for story sources; network with travel PR peeps/writers; learn from live-tweeted conferences.
10. @JohnnyJet: Drive traffic to my site.Create brand awareness.Stay on top of travel trends/news.Gives me a pers/prof connection w/readers in real time.
11. @wendyperrin: I share travel tips & deals, & answer readers' travel questions, in order to promote CNTraveler.com and PerrinPost.com. I watch how travel companies use it as a customer-service tool, & then I use it myself as a journalistic & marketing tool.
12. @awtravelweekly: I use it to learn from a community I might not otherwise hear from, to pass along news and insights and keep up with travel friends.
13. @JEBworks: Sorry to be late-unswiss! Use it as an effective tool to enter the stream, observe and feed the conversation, express my opinions and share.
14. @HappyHotelier: Just show and be myself and sometimes spread the word about Haagsche Suites.
15. @TravelEditor: I use Twitter to get breaking travel news and story ideas, publicize our new articles, and meet and seek insight from other travel pros.
16. @hharteveldt: I use Twitter to share useful information, learn/share relevant industry news, & build Forrester's credibility & influence
17. @TravelSocial: Expand social media knowledge/skills; Share insights/info w/professional peers; Monitor competitors & innovations
18. @pappas: Niche discovery & distribution-relevant info exchange-vet ideas & gauge interest-realtime-Opps from twitter data are ridiculously, wonderful!
19. @barbdelollis: major#twitter fan. use it to convey news & insights from HotelCheck-In & other sources. also use to find ideas, inspiration
20. @JensThraenhart - To share interesting articles, and learn from innovators and influencers in the tourism marketing space, globally and in China
21. @EliteTravelGal Have 2k+ followers after 2 weeks & now they all know what I do. all potential clients. All luv 2 travel/need help
22. @Marilyn_Res: I work at NatGeo & there's a treasure trove of amazing stories & photos on our sites that people don't know abt, so I link 2 them on Twitter
23. @aschonland - Twitter is the network effect in real-time. I share info and get back at least double back. I announce a podcast and see listenership grow from Twitter links and leads. I have also linked with really smart people.
24. @stuartma: twitter provides human connections, dialogue & awareness that's instant, cheap & fun
25. Douglas_Quinby: Learn from industry thought-leaders, share insights from PhoCusWright research, engage with our customers, and have fun!
26. @ValynP : Twitter lets me keep up with interesting people, engage a certain audience, raise awareness of OpenTravel, plus it's fun!
27. @tweet2travel: We r launching a travel related biz in the summer & twitter is going 2 be a major component of how we work with our customers
28. @travelrants: I use twitter to raise awareness of my blog/brand and network with people from all over the world who enjoy discussing travel.
29. @SEKeener: Every staff member at BootsnAll, has a Twit acct. Community used 2b a "walled garden", now, it is everywhere, Twitter being 1 signif place.
30. @scotthyden: Single source for getting and giving industry knowledge/insight. Give custs inside look into how we think aboutour brand.
31. @brucerosard: I use Twitter as a search engine for relevant content, a way to build the PhoCusWright brand and to establish myself and my company as a thought leader
32. @AdamHealey: tx 4 thinking of me. I follow our company, industry visionaries like yourself, "hotel" + "hotels"
33. @HugoBurge twitter satisfies my curiosity for new stuff, people's activities, conversations, following sites I'm involved in & occasional propaganda ;)
34. @laurably: Keeps me on the pulse of travel industry developments; helps build awareness for USA Today travel brand; connects me w/new readers & sources
35. @HHotelConsult: Collaboration, networking, research, & "nownews", w/ topical & impacting conversation relevant to each individual's tastes,needs & interests