Twitter is a popular social media tool but it is not in Sri Lanka. Like Facebook it is difficult for the Sri Lankan organizations to target their end customers using Twitter. Because the percentage of Sri Lankan in Twitter is less than 0.49% compared to overall Twitter population. It is not suitable for FMCG companies like Nestle, Unilever, Abans Singer and ODEL are not suitable but in my point Twitter is a perfect tool for the hospitality industry Sri Lanka. Specially organizations involved in marketing targeting UK and US customers. I suggest that Sri Lankan hotels can use Twitter as an effective online marketing tool. Now let us see how these organizations can start off with Twitter
Step one – Try to determine to whom you are going to connect with?
It is important to know about your target audience. If a hotel in Sri Lanka is getting larger US visitors then it is ideal to have a research on Twitter about the target audience charactierics and behavior. Study the customers in Twitter first.
Step Two – Think about your goal. The firm should have a clear picture on the outcome they are willing to get. It is important rather than considering just followers you should be able to get retweets and web site visits. That is the major outcome you have to consider. It is not only about how many connections you have, but also it is all about the spread of your marketing message, tweets, traffic and the network effect.
Step Three – Then you have to think where does the Twitter fits in the overall online marketing strategy? Is it important to understand in the organizational context, whether to use it as a customer service tool (http://twitter.com/DellOutlet) , Brand monitoring tool, sales tool and promotional tool or else to use it as a communication tool.
Simply organization can connect with customers , prospects , media , employees and other stakeholders. If a Sri Lankan company wish to do so, I think connecting with employees, media is not possible but they can connect with customers if they are located in US or UK. Twitter is a perfect engagement tool too. http://mashable.com/2009/01/21/best-twitter-brands/
Step Four – It is very important to undergo with first three steps before start using the tactics.
– Firstly the Twitter page should be designed and optimized. A theme needs to be added according to the business and the target audience. The best example is http://twitter.com/MarriottIntl In Sri Lanka http://twitter.com/AitkenHotels This is the Aitkenspence Hotels Twitter page, but I see this can be further modified with description and design. The below are some tactics can be used
– Determine a target profile in mind, research and follow them. Eg- If a Sri Lankan hotel wants to attract US tourists then it is important to search for them in Twitter and follow.
– Connect the Twitter account in all other social media networks such as YouTube, Facebook fan page and Blog.
– Write top content on your blog and then tweet it in your twitter profile.
– Run up polls ask questions and find ways to engage with the followers.
– The business should actually place their twitter grip all over their web site address is posted.
– Produce a Twitter list of a sector of the target audience. Each segment should contain one list.
– Use #FollowFridays or #FF to recognize people that retweet the brand’s Twitter content the most.
Step Five – It is very important to measure what you do. The following are some of the KPI you can use to monitor your Twitter performance.
- Number of Tweets.
- Total number of retweets and the potential network effect.
- New targeted Twitter users that are followed.
- New Followers
- Direct web traffic from the URL mentioned in the Twitter page.
- Mention in the others tweets about the brand.
- How many lists the brand Twitter account is included in
- Twitter users add your brand to their list.
- Active discussion about your brand.
- Connections (follow, retweet, @message, DM) with targeted Twitter users
Use the following tools to measure and get insights for your analysis:
- SM2, Radian6
- Web analytics
- cotweet.com, hootsuite.com, tweetdeck.com
But keep in mind if you are using Twitter as a perfect online marketing tool. you should do it properly. Small mistake might backfire you. Careful when doing it, allocate separate and well trained resources. But if you do this properly it will definitely bring a greater outcome for your organization. Lets tweet and get the business up..