Twitter Twitter - But who is listening? a review of the current and potential use of Twittering as a tourism marketing tool
Hay, B. (2010) Twitter Twitter - But who is listening? a review of the current and potential use of Twittering as a tourism marketing tool, Edinburgh.
This paper investigates the use of twittering as a tourism marketing, tool from the perspectives of destination marketing organisations (DMO), hotels and the consumer. Twittering is a social networking tool and, as with all such tools - especially one that has existed only since 2006 - its use is still evolving. This study had initially two objectives: to review the current use of twitter by DMOs and by hotels, but during the course of the research sufficient information was obtained from both these organisations to add a third objective, the perceived use of twittering by tourists. Using twitter as the survey instrument, in mid 2009 over 400 hotels and DMOs were contacted about their use of twitter as a marketing tool, both now and in the future. The results suggest that because twitter is the new kid on the social networking block and as its development is still evolving, both organisations and consumers are struggling to understand its full potential. Although it remains open as to twitter's effectiveness as marketing tool, two questions still remain - can a organisation be real friend, and the much bigger question - who is actually listening? The paper concludes that twittering provides a voice for the consumer to learn and to share common experiences, and outlines some issues that require further research.