More from the Twitter trenches. Misuse of hashtags, which we talked about earlier this week, is the thing most likely to offend your followers, and I believe misuse of @ and retweets are what’s most likely to undermine your brand goals. Why? In both cases there is more than one way to use the function, and your choice affects how your tweets display (i.e., who sees them and how they’re displayed). Read on for more Twitter tips for hotels.
@ (Replies & Mentions)
Here’s a nice breakdown of this frequent Twitter mistake, but I’ll also summarize it very quickly here.
@Username used at the beginning of a tweet will send a message directly to someone else. It won’t appear in your timeline. If you really want to start your tweet with @Username, you can put a period at the beginning.
@Username used elsewhere in the tweet (anywhere besides the beginning) notifies the person mentioned and appears in your timeline for all your followers.
From a reputation management perspective, mentions can be an easy way to broadcast guest compliments to your feed, though when overused, it can undermine your efforts. People don’t want every other tweet from you to be a mention or a retweet of a compliment. However, if you have areas of your property where you’re investing extra energy and you want to show those off (let’s say, your service), mentions are an easy way to get some exposure whenever someone has something nice to say (so you could use a mention to reply with a thank you to a guest’s nice tweet about your front desk staff).
RT @Username vs the Retweet Button
There’s a big difference between these two methods of retweeting. Both of the following examples are taken from the Four Seasons Twitter feed. The first includes a retweet using RT. In this case, they have commented to the original author (a mention), followed by a retweet of the message. It always appears to be from Four Seasons, however.
Using the retweet link that appears below messages (in between “reply” and “favorite”), retweets the entire original message, making it appear as if it’s come from the original author in all of your followers’ timelines. Down below the original message is where followers can see that you’ve retweeted it. For a big brand, this can make sense. Four Seasons is promoting their magazine here, and the message is a lot cleaner than a RT would be. However, except in most circumstances a hotel needs that brand real estate and won’t want to rely on the retweet link to share messages.
If you’re new to Twitter and in charge of hotel social media, check out this Anatomy of the Tweet Cheat Sheet.