Social media has become a huge driver and part of business for the hotel and accommodation industry. It provides a great way to attract potential clientele, showcase a hotel’s atmosphere visually, and update guests on any news. Most of the largest hotel groups worldwide already know this. In fact, they’ve been just as diligent about growing their digital presences around the globe as they have been about growing their physical presences.
Companies in the industry — especially large hotel groups — are in a special situation, because while they originate from one main brand (e.g. Hilton Hotels & Resorts), the nature of their business means they have many unique locations in cities around the world. Many local hotels that are part of larger chains have — very smartly — created their own individual social profiles. Our data show that local Pages can really drive social success as they attract more engagement than global pages. Plus, there’s an obvious benefit to this when it comes to promoting things like local deals or vacations specific to one particular destination.
We tracked the hotel chains with the largest social media presences as measured by those with the most social profiles across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest. According to our data compiled at the end of 2014, the hotel groups with the largest presence on social media are:
1. Hilton Worldwide, with over 1,850 profiles
2. InterContinental Hotels Group, with over 1,550 profiles
3. Marriott International, with nearly 1,300 profiles
4. Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, with over 1,250 profiles
5. Wyndham Hotel Group, with nearly 1,250 profiles
6. Accor, with over 1,200 profiles
7. Best Western International, with around 1,000 profiles
It’s no surprise that these hotel groups are all recognized globally — their hotels are everywhere. But, when we dig deeper into the data, we can find some strong takeaways about their social presence.
Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social platform for these large hotel groups. On average, about 50% of each hotel group’s social profiles are Facebook Pages. Meanwhile, Twitter makes up anywhere from 20-40%. Along with Accor, Starwood Hotels are the least Facebook-focused and have a greater spread on other social networks. They both also have the largest Instagram presence.
Meanwhile, the hotel groups are also using the smaller and more niche social networks. Though most of the groups appear to shy away from Pinterest, Best Western International and Accor do have a number of Pinterest profiles. Starwood and Accor also have a considerable number of LinkedIn profiles and lead the rest of the pack on that network.
Hilton Worldwide has a wide reach on social. The hotel group, with the largest number of social profiles overall, is mainly focused on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and has a smaller distribution across other networks than the other hotel groups compared. In terms of Facebook, Hilton has the highest number of profiles in North America, followed by Marriott. When it comes to the number of Facebook check-ins and location tags in North America, the situation is the opposite: as of mid-December 2014, Marriott had received more check-ins and location tags from fans than Hilton had. It’s notable to look at Hilton’s presence in Europe as well; while Hilton doesn’t rank among the top 5 hotel groups in terms of the size of their social presence in Europe, it leads as the chain with by far the most number of fan check-ins and tags.
It’s clear that these hotel groups have a diverse social presence, and I recommend that they continue to encourage all their hotels to think locally. It’s extremely important for each hotel to cater to the individual characteristics of their location, and social media is a great way to capitalize on this. When it comes to choosing hotels in the modern world, customers are doing more research than ever. The hotel that provides the most value to the consumer will be the one that wins out.