Now, according to some Hitwise data released earlier this week, Twitter is gaining some notable traction in the web’s 2.0 world. Year on year, Internet visits to Twitter are up eight fold. In addition, the past three months have seen site visits more than double, while traffic continues to climb - up 60% in the past month.
It’s obvious people are utilizing this tool, which I’m personally still having some difficulty grasping. So, let's set aside my “Twitter Block” and see what people are saying and how travel related organizations are using it. Here are a few takes from industry experts on Twitter:
Steve Rubel, Edelman Digital, Micro Persuasion Blog:
"It's becoming a front line for customer service. At a minimum, every consumer facing company should be monitoring the chatter. Even better, participating can cut problems off at the pass or even better foster evangelists."
"I can’t emphasize enough how valuable Twitter can be when you need a hand – an idea – or, reactions to an idea. Twitter is an instant focus group, on-call 24/7, and comprised of some of the most brilliant and thoughtful people you’d ever want to meet."
Both are very insightful comments. The play I see in Twitter with the travel and tourism industry is the ability to create a buzz, along with reaching additional consumers via another social media distribution outlet.
We all know that journalist’s are combing blogs and websites for new story ideas. What a great way to post some teases and see what gets picked up.
In terms of reach, one current travel supplier who is currently Twittering happens to be Southwest Airlines. They had some very interesting posts, as you can see in the screen shot to the left. I captured it a few weeks ago. Click on the image to enlarge it and look at the third post. You will see it is a promo for Newport Beach. It is part of an ongoing promotion with Southwest that the CVB is participating in.
If you follow the link in the posting, you will end up on the page below. It is a landing page on the Southwest Airlines' site that features flight options, hotels and things to do in Newport Beach. This is part of Southwest’s “Featured Destination” program and another opportunity for consumers to learn more about Newport Beach – this time through Twitter.
Although traffic to Twitter is increasing rapidly, it is still really a very small niche in terms of social media site traffic – it ranked #439 among social networks and forums last week. At this stage, it is worth exploring and learning more about, but I personally wouldn’t begin shuffling resources into Twitter as a marketing tool until it breaks the top 200.
And finally, more than you ever to need to know - Twitter: Why It’s So Great And How To Effectively Use It, courtesy of internet entrepreneur, Tibi Puiu at the Lost Art of Blogging.