Travelers are savvier than ever. Websites that compare rates between leading air carriers such as Kayak, price monitoring services like Bing Travel and smartphone applications all connect travelers with airlines like never before. Word of mouth is much louder – and travels farther – thanks to the web and social media.
No tool is as useful as lately it seems than Twitter. In short 140 character bursts, airline companies and hotels are able to update guests on exclusive deals or unique events they’re sponsoring. It’s also useful for better customer engagement. Hotel companies are routinely ‘re-tweeting’(or in shorthand, RT) comments by its followers providing an engaging experience with former guests, which in turn demonstrate a willingness to be active encouraging people on the fence to become customers.
These techniques are standard for both airlines and hotels, however when HotelChattter brought it to the attention of their readers, many described what they look for in a hotel’s Twitter feed. Almost all loved the special deals that are associated with a hotel’s tweets while a few wanted simpler messages put out by the chains. Surprisingly, many didn’t appreciate the amount of RT’s done by hotels. Maybe it’s because they weren’t mentioned by the hotels?
Despite commenters not completely sold on the concept of hotel’s re-tweeting messages, the fact is it’s effective and helps hotels reach customers in a way the once never could: individually. The greater promise here is that by reaching the customers directly hotels and airline companies can direct market to those who will potentially spend money on them while those same customers can have a more direct impact with a company’s image. No amount of corporate spin can silence a angry mob of Twitter users who feel your brand isn’t what it claims to be.
It’s nice to find that control is shifting back to consumers thanks to the power of 140 characters