The travel and hospitality industry is failing to engage with travellers effectively on social media channels, according to a new study.
The report, 'State of Social Engagement 2016', suggested that the travel brands which are the most successful in engaging customers on social media are those that are using technology to keep track of their digital marketing efforts.
The US-based research, conducted by Lithium Technologies, revealed that 98% of travel brands fail to consistently respond to social media posts.
Which travel brands were rated?
While the research comprised only a small pool of travel brands, they were firms lifted from the Fortune 1000 – the 1000 largest American companies, ranked by revenues.
Just eight travel and hospitality brands were assessed in the report: United, Expedia, Uber, Airbnb, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and JetBlue. They were rated across branded online communities as well as five of the most popular social channels used by consumer brands to engage with customers: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.
What does the report tell us about social media marketing?
The report suggested that having a strong social media presence – operating across a number of different channels – can be detrimental when it comes to trying to respond to consumers' posts quickly.
This results in brands focussing on a single channel to interact – typically Twitter – thus neglecting travellers across other popular social networks.
Where are travel firms going wrong?
However, it is possible to be active across a handful of social media channels while still replying to consumers' posts swiftly and effectively, according to Katy Keim, CMO of Lithium Technologies.
"As an avid traveler who's always on-the-go, it's a personal mission for me to help travel and hospitality brands hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging with their customers," she said.
"The results of our study show that the brands using the right technology and a fully-integrated digital strategy to connect with customers are the most successful in driving customer satisfaction and loyalty."
What else did the study reveal?
There were a number of other interesting findings thrown up by the study, namely that most travel and hospitality brands focus their content on education and entertainment, when travellers want immediate support and direction. For a good example of support content, check out Airbnb's social feeds.
The report also found that while travel brands are good at using beautiful imagery and videos of travel destinations on their social platforms, they can be guilty of neglecting interactive engagement tools such as polls or contests.
The study underlines why the right technological solutions are so vital for travel firms; they have the power to make your life easier while improving consumers' online experience with your brand.
With the power of the technology available today, there's no excuses for 'not having enough hands' – software can do most of the legwork, leaving you and your staff to concentrate on executing your digital strategy.
Our advanced digital solutions and high spec technology can help make your business the number one choice for travel buyers. contact us for further details today.