Evaluate the Effectiveness of Social Media Marketing on Hotels
Purpose; The internet has forced companies to transform themselves to be more interactive, innovative and efficient as the online consumer is more active, demanding and in control; if unhappy about a service the hotel’s reputation can be damaged as negative information posted online is instant and public; sharing their opinion with hundreds of thousands of potential customers. However, savvy marketers are increasingly using social media to let guests sell their hotels, which is authentic marketing at its best. Marketers need to implement dedication, time and resources in social media marketing to be successful and stay ahead of their competitors; most hotels lack the resources required to effectively implement social marketing strategies.
Methodology; This paper integrates triangulation to ensure all views of social media marketing are portrayed; three hotel marketing managers were questioned, consumers on PollDaddy answered polls and the role of the practitioner research was undertaken to analyse Cedar Court’s Facebook campaign. Secondary research was used to develop recommendations for the effective use of social media marketing.
Findings; This paper presents the results of an exploratory study on the different perspectives of social media marketing. It was found that some hotels have more developed social media marketing strategies than others but all are willing to learn and develop. Consumers had mixed opinions on social media marketing which lead to calls for recommendations to be derived from secondary research for the effective use of social media marketing.
Research Limitations; More time was needed to research and analyse the Facebook campaign and a payable account was needed on PollDaddy to increase the exposure of the polls.
Value; Social media marketing is a fairly new trend; it will be a key factor in the future of marketing; Large hotels like Hilton and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts have fully integrated social media into their marketing strategy, but for most hotels the difficulty is not only where to begin, but who to use and what to do; this paper will significantly impact how hotels market on social media sites.
Keywords; Social Media, Marketing, Hotels, Effective, Participation, Interaction