Investigating Social Media Marketing in the Hospitality Industry: Facebook and European Hotels.

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Investigating Social Media Marketing in the Hospitality Industry: Facebook and European Hotels.

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  • We all use social media con be in touch with friends (fb), with colleagues (Linkedin) to share pictures showing our boards (Pinterest) or sharing a video (you tube). We all use these media in our life also to interact with companies. We like pages of companies maybe because we are loyal customers or maybe because we would like maybe to become loyal customer in the future. Or simply to get information, instructions or to complain. But are the companies listening to us? Are they really interacting with us.
    Social media are widely adopted by travellers to gather information, travel planning, decide where to stay and share experiences (Cox et al., 2009; O’Connor, 2008; Xiang and Gretzel, 2010).
  • At first we developed the items of analysis by means of interview with hotel managers and social media experts
    Than, according to the items we analysed the FB page of European hotel companies
  • Starting from the ranking of the top ten European hotel groups (MKG Hospitality, 2012, Table 1), and analysing the website of each single hotel group, we made at first an inventory of the existing hotel brands for each group. This first selection was then compared with the world ranking of the top 50 hotel brands (Hotels Magazine, 2012). Only the ones which were present in this ranking were included in the third step of selection that excluded also other companies, considering the following features:
    hotel brands which have a Facebook page but only connected to a single event (i.e.: Mercure);
    hotel brands which are not present in the European countries (Country Inn & Suites);
    hotel brands that mainly offer an extended-stay service (i.e. Embassy Suites, Homewood Suited by Hilton, etc.);
  • ACCESSIBILITY: Is it easy to find the Facebook page? Is there a connection to the website of the hotel?
    INFORMATION: about the hotel brand included in the Facebook page
    CALL TO ACTION: possibility to check availability and rates directly on the Facebook page
    CONNECTIONS: with other social media (Tripadvisor, Twitter, You tube, etc.) and to the Mobile Application
  • Connections:
    They are generally brands that present a low level of interaction with customers on the FB pages (low number of people “talking about this”). In the case of Holiday Inn Express this could be due to the recent opening of the Facebook page in 2012 respect to other brands
    (the most common used are Twitter (53%) and You Tube (46,7%).
    Hilton, Double Tree and Riu Hotels use the highest number of social media
    They realize the potentiality of mobile technologies but only a few proceed with an integration of the social media strategy
    Results of connections tell us that probably that an important part of the hotel brands analysed are in the first stages of developing an integrated social media strategy that so far is mainly focesed on FB
  • In fact the top five hotel brands are very different considering the size, quality level, hotel group, geographical origin of the company and even brand strategies used.
    In fact hotel brands presenting the highest number of posts publiched on their FB page often do not excel in other counting metrics
    Example: NH more that 600 posts in 2012 (more than all the other brands) but it is last position of the ranking. On the contrary Hilton that is in the first position for Like and TAT published in 2012 less than 200 posts.
  • 60,4% of the posts include a link to another website (that of the company or of other companes): this could interrupt the interaction with the FB user who generally goes on FB to remain there
    55% of posts contain pictures
    48% are promotion related that means that promote hotel of the group (29%) and he destination (28%)
    14% factual information about dates and locations of events
    Only 5% provide opinions or reviews about something: where to go, the best places in the destination, etc.
    The area of interaction is very poor: very few posts respond to someone or to something and interact asking people to collaborate to something
    The behaviour of companies is more similar to traditional marketing than to social media marketing and does not exploit the opportunities provided by social networks.
  • High propensity to use posts to promote the hotels or the destinations where they are located and a low concentration on potentiality offered by interactions with users (posts reply, asking for customer collaboration, etc.).
  • Investigating Social Media Marketing in the Hospitality Industry: Facebook and European Hotels.

    1. 1. Investigating Social Media Marketing in the Hospitality Industry: Facebook and European Hotels. Roberta Minazzi Stefan Lagrosen University of Insubria, Como, Italy Linnaeus University, Växjö and Kalmar, Sweden ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 1
    2. 2. Agenda @ Introduction @ Objective and Research questions @ Research methodology @ Results @ Conclusions and Practical Implications ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 2
    3. 3. Introduction @ Nearly 70% of customers hear experiences of other consumers before purchasing a product (Nielsen, 2012). @ Social media are widely adopted by travellers (Cox et al., 2009; O’Connor, 2008; Xiang and Gretzel, 2010; Leung et al 2013) . @ Engaging customers by means of social media could increase customer loyalty, electronic word-of-mouth and consequently corporate sales and revenues (Dellarocas, 2003; Chevalier and Mayzlin, 2006; Dellarocas and Zhang, 2009). ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 3
    4. 4. Objective and research questions The study seeks to understand how widespread the use of social media in the hotel business is, concentrating on:  How top European Hotels brands strategically use social media?  Which are the factors that influence the use of social media in European hotels?  Which is the level of integration among social media, the website and other social media?  How many posts are published by the hotel brand and which is mainly the content? ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 4
    5. 5. Research methodology @ First step: items of analysis @Second step: hotel brands Facebook pages analysis and posts content analysis @ Period of research: March-April 2013 ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 5
    6. 6. Hotel brands selection: steps STEP 1 @Ranking of the top ten European hotel groups (MKG Hospitality, 2012) @Inventory of the existing hotel brands for each hotel group STEP 2 @Exclusion of brands not included in the World ranking of the top 50 hotel brands (Hotels Magazine, 2012) @ Other exclusions ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 6
    7. 7. Hotel brands selected ACCOR HOTEL GROUP BEST WESTERN CARLSON REZIDOR HOTEL GROUP INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP HILTON WORLDWIDE MELIA INTERNATIONAL NH HOTELS TUI HOTELS & RESORTS WHITEBREAD HOTELS & RESTAURANTS IBIS HOTELS NOVOTEL RADISSON INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL & RESORTS CROWNE PLAZA HOLIDAY INN HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HILTON HOTELS & RESORTS DOUBLE TREE HAMPTON MELIA HOTELS & RESORTS RIU HOTELS & RESORTS PREMIERE INN ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 7
    8. 8. Items of analysis @ ACCESSIBILITY @ INFORMATION @ CALL TO ACTION @ CONNECTIONS @ PERFORMANCE ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 8
    9. 9. Findings: facebook page features ACCESSIBILITY @All the FB pages can be easily found @FB page  the hotel brand website. INFORMATION @hotel brand (86,6%), the mission (60%) and the brand history (86,6%) CALL TO ACTION @80% offer the function “book now” CONNECTIONS @67% with other social media @86% have a Mobile application but only 20% of them promote it on FB or on the website ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 9
    10. 10. Findings: performance @ Gap:«like» and «people talking about this» BRAND like NH Hotels 1,010,608 11,817 34,662 Hilton Hotels & Resorts talking about this 247 @Counting metrics seem unconnected with quality/size/brand strategy of hotel brands @Number of posts not connected with metrics. ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 10
    11. 11. Posts Content ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 11
    12. 12. Conclusions and practical implications @Moderate effort in interacting with users and engagement (posts reply, asking for customer collaboration, etc.). @Moderate level of connection with other social media and Mobile applications Focus on engagement Develop an integrated social media marketing strategy …..an integrated communication strategy ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 12
    13. 13. Thanks for your attention! For further information: Roberta Minazzi, roberta.minazzi@uninsubria.it Stefan Lagrosen, stefan.lagrosen@lnu.se ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 13
    14. 14. Top five hotel brands Rank/ quality* N. room 2012 Best Western 1/M 311,894 Hampton 6/M 181,087 Hilton Hotels & Resorts 5/U 196,151 Riu Hotels & Resorts 44/U 39,823 Double Tree 27/U 70,793 BRAND * U=upscale; M=Mid-range; E=economy ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 14
    15. 15. Findings: counting metrics World rank quality level N. room 2012 FB member since like talking about this were here n. posts activity index BEST WESTERN 1 M 311,894 2009 687.308 25.837 59.294 565 3,76% HOLIDAY INN 2 M 225,328 2008 452.395 5.092 na 354 1,13% HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS 4 E 196,666 2012 23.238 536 na 23 2,31% HILTON HOTELS & RESORTS 5 U 196,151 2009 1.010.608 11.817 4.621.541 182 1,17% HAMPTON 6 M 181,087 2009 312.754 13.107 na 484 4,19% IBIS HOTELS 15 E 113,077 2011 103.308 1.235 176.024 152 1,20% CROWNE PLAZA 16 U 105,104 2011 80.440 936 na 249 1,16% RADISSON 20 M 94,436 2011 77.159 545 na 371 0,71% NOVOTEL 24 M 74,117 2012 38.010 489 236.298 104 1,29% DOUBLE TREE 27 U 70,793 2009 203.655 5.320 686.754 336 2,61% 32 U 57,598 2008 38.654 493 na 69 1,28% NH HOTELS 35 M 51,898 2010 34.662 247 1.697 623 0,71% PREMIERE INN 38 M 48,725 2010 67.602 650 na 136 0,96% RIU HOTELS & RESORTS 44 U 39,823 2009 271.445 6.139 na 199 2,26% MELIA HOTELS & RESORTS 47 U 34,324 2010 227.261 1.623 52.213 134 0,71% BRAND INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL & RESORTS ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 15
    16. 16. Frequency of posts ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 16
    17. 17. Posts and metrics like Hilton Hotels & Resorts NH Hotels Posts in 2012 1,010,608 11,817 182 34,662 BRAND talking about this 247 623 ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 17

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