How to use Twitter to get to know visitors before they come see you

People can and do say a lot about themselves on social media- including Twitter- and travel companies can use this to their advantage to learn more about their fans, followers, customers and potential customers. Here’s how travel brands can get to know visitors before they embark on a trip, in a way that makes these customers feel even more welcome.

First: Don’t be creepy.

It’s worth repeating: Don’t be creepy. There’s a fine line between being helpful in an almost precognitive manner and coming across as creepy, turning your potential guests off forever. The information travelers provide on their profiles is a privilege for brands to have, not a right, and it should be used to make the guest feel personally welcome at their destination and not like they’ve been spied on.

If you’re not sure where the line is ask yourself: Would you be comfortable receiving the same level of attention from a brand? Would your mom? Which demographic does your guest fit into? Work from there.

Start easy

The more a future or potential guest has approached you already on their own in one way or another, the lower the risk for coming across the wrong way. Start at this surface level, paying attention to anyone who tags you on social saying they’re coming to visit soon (this should be the very top layer of your social listening strategy already). What kind of digital welcome package can you send? Consider including information not only about your services and amenities, but also local highlights, especially what they can expect in all budget ranges in terms of dining, activities and more.

Get permission to send this to them via DM or email, with a tweet like “We see you’re headed our way soon & we’d love to send you a welcome package! Let us know if DM or email is better for you.” Put your own brand voice spin on it and consider adding GIFs or emojis if that’s something you know your audience enjoys and engages with.

Go deeper

Audit your social listening to be sure you’re monitoring things like mentions of your brand (also branded hashtags and any brand nicknames, etc) for anyone using them to say they’d love to visit or travel with you. Is there a way you can communicate with them about that? Building a relationship will make it much more likely they actually make you their next destination or part of their next travel arrangements. Expand this monitoring to include any location based hashtags for appropriate areas and anything else that makes sense.

With the information that you gather from this social listening, you can build customer personas and potential customer personas. What do they have in common? What do you need to overcome to turn the latter into the former?

Finally, you can use these personas to tweak your digital information and welcome packets to make the experience more personalized.

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