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Twitter Tips for Tourism Destinations: The Do’s and Don’t Do’s

Thanks to our twittering clients and to our fantastic team of Chicks’ who have helped me to pull together the following quick tips for Twittering in travel and tourism. Some great resources as well if you are just getting started.

The Twitter Do’s:

1. Use Twitter. Google indexes Twitter Feeds and drives traffic to your website!

2. Strategize. Plan ahead with an editorial schedule to tie in with planned events, promotions, etc.

3. Be consistent with profile information i.e. using brand “http://www.twitter.com/acoupleofchicks” or “http://twitter.com/HfxNovaScotia” as name, URL, descriptor.

4. Use your ‘brand’ as graphic background; see ex: http://twitter.com/BayOfFundy.

5. Use 3&3 rule – three tweets and three re-tweets per day. (but make sure it is authentic)

6. Tweet smart; tweet at different times throughout the day; use ‘pending tweets’ functionality to schedule tweets outside of your work day but in time zones relevant to potential target audiences.

7. Use auto-welcomes i.e. “Thank you for following Tourism Fredericton – your source for things to see and do in Fredericton, the Provincial Capital of New Brunswick. Want to find out even more about what’s happening? Check out our other Twitter feeds….” note: auto follows are not always a “do” but for Destinations a good practice

8. Tweet using your targeted keywords.

9. Use pics and website URL’s (remember to use URL shortener like tinyurl.com).

10. Proper Twitter etiquette is to follow those who follow you – but be cautious of “cleaning” your list of who you follow regularly.

11. Follow your competitors and their followers.

12. Speak and engage with your audience; Differentiate yourselves from being broadcasters (i.e. online newspapers on Twitter) to rich content providers. (this is a key point!)

13. Link to your Twitter feeds (& show them on your site) from all that you do online & offline; see: http://www.travelportland.com/visitors/twitter.html and http://www.halifaxsociable.com

14. Follow other DMO’s or destinations and don’t be afraid of some back and forth conversation – could spark something interesting!

15. Follow partners in your communities; Hotels, attractions etc already on Twitter and reach out and engage with them

16. Have fun! Bring out your inner quirky-self. (the Chicks certainly have!!!) Check out some of our other Chicks on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hrmchick – we are a quirky bunch!

Twitter Don’t Do’s:

PCMag’s Top 13 Don’ts – all of which make sense to us!

1. Don’t live-tweet TV shows. (this chick is guilty of that sometimes I have to admit)
2. Don’t say anything that could get you fired or prevent you from getting a job.
3. Don’t be boring.
4. Don’t forget the Twitter lingo: RT is retweet, and @name is how you respond or give props to someone.
5. Don’t tweet more than ten times a day, or more than five times an hour.
6. Don’t reply to every single tweet.
7. Don’t tweet drunk.
8. Don’t tell us about something cool or life-changing without a link or picture.
9. Don’t retweet something and leave off the original Twitter poster.
10. Don’t ignore people who send you a direct message or a reply.
11. Don’t #hashtag every topic.
12. Don’t whine about people not following you.
13. Don’t tweet your bathroom habits. (haha!)

I felt compelled to add the following other Twitter don’t do’s:

14. don’t respond to everything too quickly (although tempting) think and then tweet.

15. don’t twitter stalk (don’t be offended if you don’t get a response to every tweet you send or RT you offer up).

16.  don’t tweet and drive.

17.  don’t tweet marketing messages unless your audience is ready to receive them from you.

Tourism Tweeters to Follow: check out some of our favorites:

http://twitter.com/HfxNovaScotia
http://twitter.com/visitmaine
http://twitter.com/sydney_holidays
http://twitter.com/BaltimoreMD
http://twitter.com/tourism_burnaby
http://twitter.com/arizonatourism

Chick Recommended Reads:

· Suite 101 – 6 Twitter Tips for Tourism Offices – How Destination Management Organizations Can Maximize Micro-blogging

· Wilhemus – Twitter for Travel and Tourism: Wrapping my head around it – http://www.wilhelmus.ca/2009/01/twitter-for-travel-and-tourism-wrapping-my-head-around-it.html

Chick note: We know William (@Wilhelmus) well and we are quite sure that it did not take him long to wrap his head around Twitter for travel – even with all the hair he has on his head (which is really quite alot!)

· CIO’s – Twitter Etiquette: Five Dos and Don’ts

Happy Tweeting!

signed @acoupleofchicks

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