One Quarter of Hotels Not Using Social Media to Help Increase Occupancy and Revenue
Over the past five years, social media has revolutionized the global economy and become one of the most attractive and cost effective platforms to promote brands and stay competitive in the market. Yet according to a recent poll conducted by TravelClick (www.travelclick.com), the leading provider of revenue generating solutions for hoteliers across the globe, almost a quarter of hotels are not utilizing social media to increase occupancy and revenue per available room (RevPAR).
Only 20 percent of the poll’s respondents cited using Twitter, ten percent cited using Groupon or other forms of online couponing, and a miniscule eight percent utilize FourSquare promotions. Facebook was by far the most preferred social media channel for hoteliers, with 65 percent of respondents using it to increase bookings and revenue.
“Instead of running cost-efficient promotions on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, hotels are electing to increase their advertising spend through online advertisements (57 percent) and paid search advertising (20 percent),” said Jonathan Cherins, chief marketing officer of TravelClick, “It’s important that hotels don’t rely solely on advertising to increase bookings. Hoteliers should be incorporating a mix of online marketing, GDS media as well as social media in order touch their key audiences.”
The poll, which was conducted during the TravelClick webinar titled: “2011 First Quarter Hotel Industry Update: Adapting to the Changing Revenue Management and Marketing Landscape,” also showed that despite the improving economy, hotels are still seeing rate driven guests. Two-thirds (66 percent) of the webinar attendees, which includes hoteliers from around the globe, agreed that although they are seeing less price sensitivity from their guests, rate is still a key factor in bookings. Only four percent believe rate is no longer the driving issue for hotel guests.
“The data from this poll shows that while rate is often a key factor in consumer booking rates, ultimately smart hoteliers need to have better data in order to optimize channel mix, set competitive prices and forecast revenue,” said Mr. Cherins.
Another way hotels are looking to boost occupancy is through added room amenities. When asked what amenity their hotels are adding, two-thirds of hoteliers cited “free WiFi” as the number one amenity change. Hotels are also introducing better televisions (42 percent) and iPod docking stations (20 percent) to help stay ahead of competitors.
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