How Important Is Social Media in the Hotel Industry?

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Social media is one of the most powerful forces driving the hotel industry today, playing a key role in the consumers travel experience from planning their trip to posting photos, updates and reviews of their vacation. The hotel industry depends heavily on word-of-mouth and the spread of opinions, and social networks provide the ideal platform for this.

81% of travelers said reviews were important when choosing a hotel.
70% of consumers said travel reviews had the biggest impact on their purchasing behavior.
43% of hoteliers believe that social media produces some of the highest ROIs.
40% of travelers post reviews.
38% of US travelers use social networks to share their experiences while traveling.

Social sharing has a huge influence on travel bookings. Of those who used sites like Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Google+ and LinkedIn to research travel plans:

52% changed their original plans.
33% changed their hotel.
10% changed their resort.
7% changed their destination.

TripAdvisor for Business

83% of respondents usually consult TripAdvisor reviews before booking a hotel.
70% of senior hospitality professionals say TripAdvisor is the # 1 site that influences customers.

Facebook

51% of Facebook fans are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.
52% of Facebook users said their friends' photos inspired their holiday choice and travel plans.

Twitter

79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a follower.
67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy brands they follow or are a fan of.

Pinterest

81% of US online consumers say they trust information and advice on Pinterest.
20% of total social referrals to commerce sites come from Pinterest.

With all of the information available the real question is, "can your hotel afford not to maximize your social media presence?"

Here are 7 tips to get your hotel social campaign started:

1. Create social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+. Keep in mind that Google+ likes are the # 1 way to boost search engine optimization.
2. Use your property logo for your profile picture.
3. Make sure you have an appealing, visually attractive header image that shows off your property.
4. Make sure your contact information and website address are listed on the page.
5. On Facebook be sure to utilize the "book now" button feature.
6. Post across all social media platforms daily.
7. Only 1 in 5 posts should be self promoting.

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