Thursday, June 25, 2009

Website / Blog Verses Twitter

I recently read a great quote, unfortunately I've misplaced the source but here goes:

"Make your blog/website your home base and Twitter your outpost"

That strikes me as great advice for those wondering if they should twitter or not. Twitter for kids is all about the status updates, but Twitter for business is about something else... It's about engaging customers with your product, and driving traffic to your website or to your physical store.

Your website is your archive. Twitter feeds are not archived. Facebook events are archived but in a hidden sort of fashion. So if you Tweet that your tourism operation is now serving lobster chowder, if you do not also include that on your website, only the few fellow Tweeters who read that initial Tweet will know about your new product offering.

For tourism operations, archives or history of success is important. It relates stability to new buyers. People do have (rational) fears of airlines going under, hotels closing, and travel agents closing. You must show that you are going to be operating the whole season and they will not be losing their deposit.

Websites and blogs are showcases of true passion and commitment to your operation. If there is one thing I know about tourism operators is that they are passionate. You need to express that to all who visit your site. And if your passion is waning, find someone who's passion is exploding to write the blog for you. A summer student, another employee...

I know you're busy, I know you're stretched thin, and I know you think it's going to take a lot of time. Frankly sometimes it does. Sometimes I sit for a while before I know what to blog. Sometimes it comes quite easily.

If your website and blog are functioning properly then that should lead to less repetitive emails and phone calls that require your time and energy. If your website and blog are functioning properly then your increased sales will justify hiring another part time worker and again leave you with more time and energy to put forth. It's a cycle. You just need to get started.

Twitter is like social sticky notes (another great quote that I can't take credit for). It's snack size content, a nibble to wet your appetite. Your website is the full meal deal. And it should satisfy their hunger.

So first build a great website (actually first take the Tourism Technology website mentoring session to learn how to build a great website)

Then start to Twitter

And know when to draw the Twitter line

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