Not too long ago, the best way to document a trip was by making a scrapbook or a physical photo album. While glued Polaroids, taped airline tickets, and picture books held memories of travel and vacations, that process has in part been taken over by documentation over social media. Now, we upload a picture of us on the beach, we share a video of an adventure during a trip, or we check-in at a hotel in a status update. Suffice it to say, people have turned to the internet to document and share their travel experiences.
This is an important shift that can’t be underestimated by travel marketers. As more people post about their travel experiences online — including the brands they interact with, the airline they travel by, the cruise line they take, or the hotel they stay at — the more people are going to know about your services. By understanding who’s interacting with your travel brand on social and by encouraging that interaction to happen, companies stand to gain a huge advantage in brand awareness. Especially when it comes to choosing where and how to travel, friends trust the suggestions that come from their friends. And word-of-mouth as a channel is arguably still the most valuable form of marketing.
To test how hotel groups fared in one aspect of the social travel experience, we took a look at how many check-ins each one received on Facebook over 2015.
It turns out that Hilton Hotels & Resorts received the most check-ins over the year. Here are the top 10 hotel groups ranked by Facebook check-ins over 2015:
Each hotel has a different social strategy to entice customers and prospective customers. What each should make sure to include in their strategy, though, is some form of encouragement for customers to share their travel experiences in a genuine way. Some hotels may encourage their customers to check in online by offering some incentive if they do, like a discount. Some hotels may do the best they possibly can to make sure guests have a great stay so that they’ll be more likely to recommend the hotel and share their travel experience with others. Find out whatever method works best for your company and your guests, and implement that into your social strategy.
There is much to be done in the social geo-intelligence field, and I am a true believer that no company is properly leveraging the insights from social media for building a better customer strategy.