Of all the Twitter users in the TCI (see the full list below), we (@ConchDev) are the dominant force on Twitter with 10,381 followers – more than twice that of the nearest other TCI Tweeter (@LyndaLippin) and three times that of the next contender (@Turks_and_caics) who have rather bizarrely only made 8 tweets. Our secondary account (@CaribbeanLand) is also the 5th Most Followed Twitter account in the TCI with 1,596 followers and collectively – between our two accounts – we have almost 12,000 followers; almost triple that of our nearest TCI Twitter ‘rival’ (although we’re all part of the TCI family so we’re not really rivals are we?). Congratulations to @WestBayClub who are the top Hotel/Resort tweeter in the TCI.
Overall, it’s great news for the TCI as there are a total of 36,098* people on Twitter who are now following Turks & Caicos based Twitterer’s (and there may also be a very small handful of Twitter users with a small following who we have been unable to find – please contact us on Twitter if we’ve missed you and we will update). As many of our TCI Twitter friends will know; Conch Developments helps promote several resorts and tourism in general in the Turks & Caicos Islands every day to our large audience with strategic posts and retweets and we will continue to do so. We have listed some proposals for how we could ALL better work together on Twitter to continue to promote the TCI and each other at the end of this blog post.
*These are not necessarily unique users since a number of the followers are tracking multiple TCI Twitter accounts. We estimate that there are approximately 18,000 -22,500 unique users in this figure.
Dylan Pemberton, CEO of Conch Developments, commented:
“We ourselves have already generated around $500k of direct business on Twitter since we started using it seriously about 4 months ago and we’re now firm believers in it as a channel. We also know that many of our very active friends on Twitter generate a considerable amount of business and brand equity on Twitter too so for a luxury island destination like the TCI that is dependent on global travel and tourism; it has certainly become one of the essential ways of connecting with customers. Very few channels allow you to engage so intimately and personally with your audience.
Currently, I only spend about 20 – 30 minutes a day using Twitter although the rest of the team do make contributions too but given the ROI, we will definitely be investing more time over the coming period as we aim to surpass 20,000 followers in the next month or so and build further from there. Our Twitter base is not just random either – it’s a highly targeted list of people who are specifically interested in the TCI, in luxury, in travel, in cruises, in diving, in real estate, in investment and in many other areas critical to our business.
We’re going through a very large buyout at the moment (which is why we have warehoused the main consumer website until we rebrand in October) and one of the things that our new investors were delighted with was our efforts on Twitter – both in terms of the quality traffic it has delivered to our website and most importantly – with the profit it has delivered to us via a channel where the only dollar cost is time and vision.”
As of 17th September 2010, the definitive list of Turks & Caicos based Twitter users along with their number of followers was:
We’ve broken this down into pie charts for the key areas / classifications (if you click on any of the pie charts they should open in a new window as a larger image):
Nice to see our good friend Simon Padgett above Coldwell Bankers – again! If ever there was a man about town with a lot to tweet about – it’s Simon…
Moving forward, we have a number of proposals on how we can all better work together on Twitter to achieve our mutual goals of more business, more TCI tourism and more education about brand TCI to prospective visitors:
All of us in the TCI should be following ALL of the TCI Twitter users on this list. You can copy the list below to start following them on Twitter if you are not already doing so:
@ConchDev @TheSomerset @GraceBayClub @CaribbeanLand @TuscanyResort @beverlytci @WhereWhenHow @GracesCottage @AlexandraResort @TCIConchFest @GansevoortTC @ParrotCayResort @TurksCaicosClub @TurksCaicosRez @PointGraceTCI @ProvoGolfClub @tropicalimaging @WestBayClub @ClassyConcierge @RegentGrand @TCWeeklyNews @motherspizza @TurksJournal @OceanClubWest @TCIairporthotel @bagatelletc @LeVeleTCI @suntci @tcimall @TCILuxury @realturkscaicos @EricEdmeades @TurksCaicosVIP @turkscaicoshome @TciTourism @ospreybeach @WindsongResort @SunsetPointV @missturks @Turks_and_caics @Islandbikeblond @DiscoverTCI @CBTurksCaicos @VillRenaissance, @Dellis_Cay , @TeonaSpa, @QualityProvo, @becrandom, @lyndalippin, @tcijournal, @NautiqueSports, @TOPMODELTCI, @sabbrokerage, @ExperienceTCI, @ProvoChef, @villadelmartci, @tciyouth, @maimoore
Also, while we can fully understand why one resort would not wish to directly promote the accommodation offers of a competitor, we should all be ‘retweeting’ our fellow TCI Tweeters posts wherever possible if the post has a common benefit. For example, several TCI Twitterer’s have retweeted posts we have made recently on JetBlue connecting to Provo. This helps all of us. Every day, we retweet TCI Tweeters posts and many of you do so too; we all just need to do so more.
I think it would also be good if we could agree some unique TCI #hashtags and start to include them in every single one of our collective posts. This can help all of us by starting to get key themes trending on Twitter. For example, if we all ended every one of our posts with #TCI, that would benefit all of us.
We have noticed a few things about some Twitter users from the TCI. Although it does not affect us, it does negatively affect those particular users:
(a) A number of TCI Tweeters seem to not check their direct messages. We have sent requests for quotes via Twitter to certain resorts who have not even responded. Kudos though to the resorts like The Somerset, Point Grace and the Turks & Caicos Club who ALWAYS respond and do so quickly! Do some of you not want business from Twitter? Check your messages! Tools like TweetDeck (download here) make checking messages, mentions, new followers etc. much easier and it’s very user friendly. It also auto shortens URL’s and makes adding an image attachment to your Tweets very easy. It’s great for people on the go too since it can easily be used from your mobile phone.
(b) Quite a few TCI tweeters don’t bother to follow people back who have followed them or even worse – who have taken the time to retweet their posts or give them FF mentions etc. This is not just the other TCI tweeters who they neglect to show the courtesy of re-following but also other ‘hot’ users. We know this because we regularly carry out market research and mystery shopping exercises with a variety of staged Twitter accounts. Also, if you don’t follow someone then they can’t send you direct messages. We have been unable to send accommodation enquiries via Twitter to certain TCI Tweeters simply because they aren’t following us. The business thus went elsewhere…
(c) Judging by the (small) number of followers that some users have or the date since they last tweeted; it is clear that a number of Twitter users either don’t believe in the channel (and have more or less given up on it) and/or they need help to consolidate their Twitter presence. Again, we can help you in this area, just ask! Don’t despair though because big is not always better as sometimes it is good to engage more intimately with a smaller audience – quality not quantity. It is possible to do both by using lists and other Twitter tools but for some users; it makes sense to not go after big follower numbers.
(d) Why have so few of you got blogs or active blogs? There are so many benefits to blogs and none more so than to island resorts! Speak to us and we will give you 10 solid business reasons why you should be blogging AND tweeting.
We have a lot of Twitter tips, tricks, tools and ideas we can share with you all so as to help you each become more successful on Twitter (and become even more successful ourselves). The way we see it at Conch is that if more people follow you and do business with you on Twitter then the net result is that the profile of the islands increases for everyone. In turn, we all profit from that.
There are a couple of ideas we have that could help you in the short term. Firstly, we are back in Providenciales early in October and Dylan Pemberton, our CEO, would be happy to meet with any of you during his stay to discuss ideas and establish ways of partnering with each other on Twitter. Feel free to contact Dylan on his mobile email: firstname.lastname@example.org Furthermore, we are very much looking for TCI resort partners at the moment to take direct travel business from us (since we will be paying for a lot of our clients to visit and stay in the Turks & Caicos moving forward).
Secondly, given our large and rapidly expanding Twitter audience (which to be frank dwarfs that of virtually everyone else in the TCI), we are happy to discuss ways of us specifically / exclusively promoting you in return for deals / contra’s on services from you. Please contact us directly to discuss this in more detail. Even a single mention from us on Twitter can be worth quite a few new followers and we are very tactical in how we use Twitter to generate business… we’re happy to tell you how!
Congratulations to all Turks & Caicos Islands Twitterer’s for embracing the channel. Together, we are reaching a large global audience and connecting with them in a very personal way. That can only be good for Turks & Caicos tourism.