Leading customer intelligence platform for the hospitality and tourism sectors, Local Measure, has found that venues engaging with guests digitally are three times more likely to see them return.
The data analysed was specifically related to hotel visits. However Local Measure says the lessons learned are also applicable to theme parks and attractions.
Both sectors need to develop digital marketing strategies that build loyalty and reach a wider audience organically.
The company studied social media posts by 8 million hotels guests at more than 100 hotels over a 30-month period.
Digital engagement with guests while they’re on property
What became clear was that guests who are engaged by a hotel on social media during their stay on property, post 2.5 times more than other guests.
Furthermore, the engaged guests have more than twice the number of followers as other guests. This is an average reach of 52,000 followers.
Based on the average follower reach, standard Instagram conversion metrics, and a $200 Average Daily Rate (ADR) over a two-night stay, the data suggests that a hotel stands to gain more than $2,000 in revenue per engaged guest. Specifically, venues need to build that positive relationship on-site, before online reviews ever appear.
Loyalty up to 19 times greater if venues respond to posts within 30 minutes
Additionally, guest advocacy and loyalty were seen to increase 12x-19x when the hotel engages with the guest within 30 minutes of a post being published.
“There has long been a hypothesis about the power of real-time social media engagement to produce concrete ROI for hoteliers. Now there is data to support it,” says Sara Axelrod, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Local Measure.
“We were happy to share the results of our research with thought leaders at Cornell’s Hospitality Research Summit. We are pleased to discuss it widely with decision-makers across the industry.”
The research suggests that by offering guests a high level of personalisation through online engagement, theme parks can create the ‘unforgettable’ and meaningful experiences to drive greater brand connection.
Prompt responses on social media
Prompt responses on social media, while a guest is still on-site, have the power to recover potentially negative experiences. The research showed that guests who were engaged, were 2.5 times more likely to re-post about the brand. Thus, the hotels effectively reached a total audience that was more than 5.3x larger, with their subsequent re-posts.
“Local Measure merges local content, social media and mobile technology to help hotels reach their guests as they have never been reached before. This is done both directly and during their stay. It allows more a personalised service and generates concrete benefits from engaging with them in person as well as online.
“Our research shows just how concrete those benefits can be,” says Axelford.