10 Key Twitter Tips for Travel Agents
Written by: Amanda Bailey on May 24, 2016
Twitter’s lightning-fast pace and 140-character limit make it among the trickier social media platforms to master. Keeping up with the constant flux of trending topics and hashtags can seem like a full-time job, and it takes some time to learn the language of the Twitterverse.
However, if your audience is on Twitter, then it’s a perfect sphere to build brand awareness and participate in conversations with your clients and with other travel brands. Once you get the hang of Tweets and hashtags, it can be a lot of fun!
These tips will help you set a Twitter account for your agency, and guide you in creating Tweets that will engage your followers.
1. Signing up is simple at twitter.com/signup. If your agency already has a presence on Facebook or Instagram, keep your business’s Twitter handle (@khmtravel, for instance) consistent with the rest of your social media profiles.
2. Your Twitter profile photo is what appears next to each of your Tweets, so it’s important it stands out — in a good way. If you have a business logo, use that for your profile picture. Your header photo is similar to your Facebook cover photo: keep it professional but choose something that represents your business, like your favorite destination.
3. Twitter caps tweets at 140 characters. Keep in mind, all URLs (like khmtravel.com) are given 23 characters, even if the URL itself is less than 23 characters. Right now, media attachments like photos and videos add another 24 characters, but Twitter recently announced that soon they will not take up tweet space. As a rule, even without photos and URLs, try to keep your Tweets as short and sweet as possible.
4. Use a maximum of three hashtags per Tweet to give context to your message. Look to see which hashtags are trending with travel suppliers, your fellow agents, and with relevant travel news site like TravelPulse and Travel Weekly. The site hashtagify.me allows you to search and view the popularity of a certain hashtag, and tagboard.com lets you view mentions of a specific hashtag across multiple platforms.
5. On Twitter, the equivalent of tagging someone is to use the “@” symbol and their handle. For instance, if KHM Travel wanted to express our excitement for our 2017 Crystal Awards FAM at Sea, we’d mention @CarnivalCruise (Carnival’s Twitter handle) in our Tweet. Right now, using “@username” in a tweeted reply counts toward the character count, but in the next few months Twitter is changing this as well.
6. Twitter doesn’t play nice with Facebook or Instagram, so auto-posting your posts or pictures from these networks to Twitter won’t look pretty. That doesn’t mean you can’t post photos on Twitter — in fact, you definitely should! Rather than auto-post, use Tweetdeck or HootSuite to schedule your Tweets out ahead of time, if you know your schedule will be hectic for a few days.
7. It can be tempting to retweet every piece of travel news you come across, but stick to the most relevant to your business. If you’re always retweeting others’ content, and never posting any original content of your own, your followers won’t get to know YOUR business.
8. Twitter can also be a fantastic way to network, especially if you participate in Twitter chats. These are periodic discussions, hosted by travel entities, that center around a specific topic in the travel industry. For instance, Travel + Leisure Magazine’s Twitter hosts a Twitter chat each Tuesday on a different subject. Conversations are connected by using the hashtag #TL_Chat.
9. Download the Twitter application on your phone, so you can tweet and retweet while you’re out and about! If you have a personal account, you can easily switch between it and your business account by clicking on the “Switch Accounts” button on your Twitter profile, to the left of the “Edit Profile” button.
10. To discover relevant conversations, just consider the key words surrounding your business. For KHM Travel, searching for hashtags like #travelagents, #traveltips and #smallbiz turn up results of interest to us and our network of agents. Using #khmrocks and #khmlive will always get your host agency’s attention!
The most important thing about your agency’s Twitter account is that it represents who you are as a travel professional.
KHM Travel Group provides our independent travel agents with all the marketing skills and resources needed to be successful. Learn more on how to start a travel agency from home by requesting our free information packet. Just fill out of the form on the right side of the screen or calling 1-888-611-1220.