Research Reveals Ways to Dramatically

Improve Hotel Social Media Effectiveness

Social media marketing can be incredibly valuable as a customer engagement marketing tool. Unlike printed content creation, social media is numerical, measurable and trackable. We can see – what we assume to be – its benefits when impressions and likes shoot up.

  • But are these metrics always indicative of a genuinely successful post?
  • Do more likes always mean more engagement?
  • Are we, in fact, being deluded by the data?

Why is User Engagement an Important Measure?

At Sparks4Growth, we pride ourselves on our expert knowledge of hotel marketing, and crucial to this is understanding social media strategy to its core. Our most recent study aimed to show social media effectivity and investigate the types of posts which yield the most – and, more importantly, the best – types of engagement. The key attribution measures towards customer purchasing.

There are different types of audience engagement to measure on social media:

  • Commenting
  • Sharing
  • Following
  • Liking

The latter is low user investment, requiring minimal engagement with your carefully crafted post. As our recent article detailed, social media analysis can be deceptively fickle; followers may ‘like’ a post – and we may like the numerical figures we see – but this DOES NOT always mean that users are alert to your content. Remember, they can ‘like’ without looking.

Research and Findings

With this essential truth in mind, our investigation into Facebook and Instagram post engagement took a sample of 87 hotels, 90% of which were UK based, from over 20 different brands. The hotels were split as follows:

  • Independent Hotels = 14
  • Boutique Hotels        = 10
  • Group Hotels             = 18
  • Corporate Hotels      = 45

The high proportion of Corporate owned hotels was unintentional and due to the random nature of the selection.

“There is NOT a positive correlation between having

More Page Likes/Followers and Higher Engagement Success”

The methodology behind posts reaping high numbers of likes, follows or shares should of course be used to direct future social media strategies but, at the same time, we should take a ‘like’ as a sign only that followers are clicking a button – little emotional engagement or active investment required.

As well as this essential fact, the study also revealed important truths about channel, hotel and post types. The data clearly indicated that Instagram is becoming the major social media platform, but not yet to the extent that Facebook should be dismissed. Nothing new here: when Buffer analysed Facebook in mid-2018, they found its page engagement has dropped by 50%.

Our study, likewise, discovered that Instagram posts prompt more comments than those on Facebook (58% vs. 42% respectively).

We also concluded that Boutique and Independent hotels are falling short where Instagram is concerned and are failing to adopt this ever more popular channel with sufficient speed. For Corporates and Groups the opposite is true; they are missing Facebook’s profitable opportunities.

Despite their Instagram shortcomings, it is the Independents that are securing the most comments (the most involved engagement). In contrast to the boutique hotels, whose posts score as little as 0.31% engagement, and the Corporates, who pick up only 0.27%, Independent establishments secure a 1.2% engagement ratio.

Personality and individuality are important to investment-obtaining posts, and Independents naturally lend themselves to this style of material, invested as they often are in the idiosyncrasies of their local area.

Recipe to Increase Your Hotels Social Media Engagement

Carina, our social media manager goes on to explain what underlies the difference between volume of followers or likes and more customer interaction:

“Why is there no positive correlations between having more page likes/followers and higher engagement as the key research finding showed? Because if you’re not creating engaging and insightful content, your audience doesn’t care to interact with it.”

Alongside a unique sense of charm and individuality, our study pinpointed several other features which will help to win genuine engagement:

  1. Well-written and hashtag-rich posts with high video quality do well
  2. As will content about current events, staff members or competitions
  3. It is also important to engage with your followers through question-led posting that directly seeks feedback and replies.

Post types to be avoided are:

  1. Those taken from the cookie-cutter, pumping out only more generic clutter onto your followers’ feeds.
  2. Social media marketing also demands constant vigilance, so repeating content, posting intermittently and failing to respond to comments should always be avoided.
  3. Don’t use social media like an exercise bike, endlessly plugging in content that gets you nowhere. Be a mountain biker, taking note of each twist in the landscape and every other cyclist in the race.

It is incredibly important to note that user engagement changes depending on the social media platform you are active on. A wonderful way to build engagement across all platforms is to respond to comments, engage with reviews and answer questions. Every business and brand wants to be heard, your social media audience is no different. Assure your audience that they are being listened to.

Because this is the route to an investment-achieving strategy for your hotels social media.

Research by : Mark Elliott – MD of Sparks4Growth

Article Author: Ellie Loxton – Intern at Sparks4Growth

Social Media Planning and Advice

And please do not hesitate to Contact one of our team if you would like more advice or help with your Campaigns. Social Media Campaign Help