23 Sept 2011

Hotel owner's Twitter success

A hotel and restaurant owner says the way he does business has been transformed thanks to Twitter.

Anthony Lloyd, who runs the Fallowfields Hotel in Kingston Bagpuize, says he has generated £150,000 worth of business representing 15 per cent of his annual turnover over the past 18 months thanks to enquiries via the social media platform.

And he has also recruited five new staff, found new suppliers and generated daily bookings thanks to his “tweets”.
Mr Lloyd said: “I started by following a few people and exchanging comments and I quickly learned that it would become a really valuable business tool. It’s about engaging with people.”
Mr Lloyd, who now has almost 17,000 followers on Twitter, says he attracts other users’ interest by posting “did you know” facts which he can use to build relationships with people and ultimately generate more business.
And he says using Twitter has allowed him to cut out 80 per cent of the network meetings he was previously attending.
Sometimes you can go to three meetings a week and a lot of the time they are not useful,” he said.
But now when I do go, I can contact people electronically first and have a much more meaningful conversation.
Mr Lloyd is developing a Facebook site for the hotel and building a profile for the LinkedIn business networking site.
He was speaking after a Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce report compiled by IT secuity firm Symantec revealed business leaders say their biggest opportunities for growth in the next year lie with social networking and other cutting-edge information technology.
In the survey, 63 per cent say cloud computing using virtual storage facilities such as Google documents will be the biggest growth driver followed by social networking.
Ross Walker, director of UK small business and distribution at Symantec, said: “It’s encouraging to see small businesses recognise how they can benefit from new technology.
The biggest concern for 59 per cent of businesses was their IT systems being compromised and data being lost or stolen.
Top tips for Twitter: 
  • Be yourself. No pretensions. No gilding the lily. Tell it like it is.
  • Help other tweeters. If you see something good and useful, retweet it.
  • Recognise other people’s expertise and learn from them.
  • Don’t neglect old friends and customers. This leads to earlier rebookings.
  • Encourage people to talk about you to their friends. This snowballs like a chain letter.
  • Engage. Engage. Engage. Really get to know people. Form a community.
  • Contact people before setting up face-to-face meetings. That way you will save time when you finally do meet up.

Is your hotel on Twitter yet? 

Original article: Oxfordmail.co.uk