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Hospitality and Meetings: Finding Ourselves in the Social Media Picture

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It’s a research finding that Mark Twain, the irrepressible American author and humourist, might have described as “interesting if true, and interesting anyway.”

But it still caught our eye when Netprospex Social Business Report published its annual review of social media use by U.S. businesses. Working from a database of 12 million companies, Netprospex cross-referenced its contacts’ presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and came up with an index based on two criteria:
  • Their social presence, based on the number of online profiles registered to a business address
  • Their social connectedness, based on the number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and LinkedIn connections they’ve accumulated.
We can start by acknowledging the limits to the analysis. It’s a beginner’s mistake to assume that social media connectedness is all about quantity, when it’s really a matter of bringing together the quality contacts who can benefit from your product or service and help you advance your business.
Still, hit counts do matter, since your online voice disappears if you have no visibility or presence. So it’s useful to look at how our two favorite and related industries rated against others: hospitality & tourism and meetings & events.
  • Event-related jobs were tied with product management as the fourth-most social job, ahead of advertising, communications and public relations, marketing, and sales. That actually struck us as being a bit high, but it may finally signal that meeting & event planners have adopted social as part of their event marketing mix.
  • Hospitality and tourism fared quite badly in the survey. The industry’s top-rated social company, in a tie with Best Buy for 11th place, was The Walt Disney Company.  The next hospitality company was Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 66th place, well behind brands such as Campbell’s Soup, Hasbro and Clorox Corp.
  • Overall, hospitality ranked as the 42nd most-social industry.  If we consider “tourism” in terms of travel-related companies or destinations, it didn’t even make the top 50.
Whether this is good news or bad depends on what you’re trying to achieve online. If you think hospitality and tourism should strive to reach the widest possible population with an undifferentiated message, we have a long way to go.
If you’re more interested in targeted outreach to a set of clearly-defined audiences, the numbers might tell a different story. One thing is clear though, if event planners are the fourth most social group out there, maybe it’s time hospitality and tourism organizations focus their social media efforts to this highly influential group.

Ready for a conversation about your inbound marketing and social media efforts?  We're ready to help you navigate the waters.