The Hotel Social Media Monitor is a survey conducted by Revenue by Design in association with RateGain. The aim of the Hotel Social Media Monitor is to provide a resource for hotels to benchmark their own activities in social media and offer a route to best practice. This is the first in a projected regular series of reports, and features the survey results, supported by information provided in supplemental interviews and case studies. Over time, results from the Social Media Monitor will provide hotels with a tool to evaluate progress, and to identify and address industry-specific challenges.
Over 80% of hotels have experience of working with social media sites; facebook and TripAdvisor are key drivers in stimulating hotels into action/for hotels to engage in social media.
In House or Outsource?
Over 80% of respondents manage social media programmes in house, but use the skills of an agency to set strategy, advise on technology and align in-house teams to enable appropriate responses to social media messages. Actual message development, management and response remain in-house.
Ownership of social media
Ownership of social media sits with the marketing department, which shares out responsibility for responding to activity across multiple roles. For brands this means training properties to set up teams and manage local programmes.
Executive buy in still lacking, hindering social media development at many hotels
2011 sees more resource put behind social media; buy in from senior management is seen as critical to get programmes moving as is identifying team members to draw upon with the specialist skills to respond to activity generated by social media programmes.
Hotels happy to invest with people but not money
Investment levels are low – 65% of respondents seek to invest less than $5000 in 2011 reflecting the mindset of a low cost/no cost channel. Budget increases are implemented tactically, based on success and campaign outcomes.
Balancing brand and property level messages through social media
Brands develop central initiatives and frameworks for creating social media programmes, properties receive centrally generated messages and adjust for local interpretation and implementation.
The metrics and tools used to measure and manage social media
One third of respondents have created a framework of technology and reporting tools to support the management and monitoring of social media activity. The remainder either don’t yet measure, or measure manually.
Brand reputation – lip service or true commitment?
Whilst more than 90% of participating hotels measure brand reputation, only 13% currently invest in a brand reputation reporting platform to track reputation over multiple media sites.
Which interactions rate highest for hotels?
Customer reviews top the list as the most important customer interaction for hotels with over 90% of hotels rating this as a key part of their current strategy.
How do hotels define and measure success?
Success is measured in terms of “soft” stats such as number of comments (positive and negative), followers on Twitter and “likes” on facebook. These metrics reflect the tactical participation in social media with an absence of metrics aligned with key business objectives.
What gains do hotels expect from social media?
The primary aim of 92% of respondents is to raise awareness of the hotel or brand, closely followed by developing word of mouth marketing, and engaging with guests. Current measurement metrics are not tied into wider business goals.
Which technology platforms have hotels developed to engage with guests?
85% have enhanced their web sites to act as a primary channel for directing interest from social media campaigns,
Where is mobile?
Despite the projected huge increase in use of mobile devices to search and book hotels in 2011, industry readiness lags behind. To date there is limited development of mobile web sites (15%) and mobile apps (8%).
The executive summary is available for download, if you want a copy of the full report then please email me