Twitter Tips for Hotels, Part I: Hashtags

Engaging in dialogue with your guests is the key to hotel social media, but in order to do that, you’ve got to be very clear on how to use the tools and play by the rules. Of all social media, I think Twitter is the most complicated. Twitter has its own special conventions for everything—retweets, replies, mentions, hashtags—so it’s easy to screw it up and undermine all your work. Most mistakes are easy to avoid, so here are some quick Twitter tips for hotels.

Hashtags

The hashtag, what an impressively useful—and woefully misused—concept. #Oops, #did #everyone #forget #what #hashtags #are #for. Hashtags are a smart way for people to flag a topic so that others can find it. They work to everyone’s benefit. Those who are using hashtags appropriately are able to engage in more conversations (and get more followers), and those who are looking for specific kinds of information are able to find other people who are talking about it. Think about the role hashtags have played in the aftermath of natural disasters (#hurricanesandy) and in mobilizing political action (#gezipark).

When choosing how to use your hashtags, think about how you can be useful to your constituents. I think of a hashtag just like keyword tags on a website, and I think of Twitter as the search tool. Use hashtags to tag your main concept, generally a noun. #munichhotel #hotelpackages, #romanticgetaway, etc.

As always, there are ways to take it up a notch. Four Seasons has branded their own hashtags. Check out #FSSpa. Guests are regularly tagging their spa experiences with it.

Here’s an idea: create/join a hashtag conversation. For instance, a popular hashtag is #summerbooks, so you could jump on into the conversation with different staff picks for summer vacation books.

Whatever you do, use hashtags responsibly. Humor in hashtags doesn’t work out that often, so reserve it for rare, truly funny occasions, and only tag words that really matter. Easy peasy.

Stay tuned for Part II on replies and retweets later this week.

Tony Ciccarone

Tony Ciccarone is a web developer who is experienced in making high-quality professional websites, writing clean & reusable code, and creating data-driven web applications.

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