Twitter, a free social networking Web site where users share short messages or "tweets," is becoming the latest venue for Grand Strand businesses to lure tourists without paying for expensive print ads. And tonight, a local hotel chain is using the site for a prize giveaway -- and hoping to drum up business in a lagging economy.

The chain, Myrtle Beach Hotels, is not the only one to go online. The recent downturn has many local resorts aiming to save cash on print by finding new ways to market on the Web -- whether it's beefing up their own Web sites or creating pages on other social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace.

"Facebook and Twitter gained kind of critical mass here suddenly," said Lyn Mettler, the president of Step Ahead, a public relations and media strategy firm hosting tonight's Twitter event for Myrtle Beach Hotels. "It's becoming vital if you want to compete in today's business world."

Get the full story at Hotel Online