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With Vacation Season in Full Flight, Travel and Hospitality Brands Miss the Connection with Travelers

With Vacation Season in Full Flight, Travel and Hospitality Brands Miss the Connection with Travelers 

Study Uncovers 98% of Brands Fail to Consistently Respond to Their Followers’ Social Media Posts

SAN FRANCISCO – July 19, 2016 – Lithium Technologies today announced findings from its State of Social Engagement 2016 study for the travel and hospitality industry and revealed that brands fail to engage with travelers effectively on social media channels. The study was designed to determine how Fortune 1000 travel and hospitality brands interact with travelers across social media platforms.

The State of Social Engagement 2016 showed that while travel and hospitality brands do have a social media presence, they are below par when it comes to engagement. Brands fail to respond to consumers’ posts quickly and are solely focused on a single channel to interact—usually Twitter — neglecting travelers across other popular social networks. While many of the brands successfully used beautiful imagery and videos of travel destinations on their social platforms, the majority did not foster interactions with interactive engagement tools such as polls or contests. Additionally, when travelers might need support and assistance, brands often only provided sales information.

“As an avid traveler who’s always on-the-go, it’s a personal mission for me to help travel and hospitality brands hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging with their customers,” said Katy Keim, CMO of Lithium Technologies. “The results of our study show that the brands using the right technology and a fully-integrated digital strategy to connect with customers are the most successful in driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

The travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with almost $7.6 trillion in revenue based on 1.1 billion travelers in 2014[1], more of whom are using social channels to interact with travel and hospitality brands. However, in comparison to other surveyed industries, the travel and hospitality industry ranked middle of the pack (#4) for social engagement. See the full results here with an infographic highlighting the findings here.

Other key findings include:

  • Most travel and hospitality brands surveyed had a social media strategy similar to brands in other industries and focused their content on education and entertainment, when travelers need immediate support and direction. Of the surveyed brands, Airbnb had the most support content.
  • Airbnb, Marriott and Uber had the highest engagement on online communities among the surveyed brands.
  • Airbnb collaborates the most with influencers on online communities along with Marriott and Uber.
  • Most of the brands use beautiful imagery and video, with United excelling on Instagram.

Methodology

The Travel and Hospitality edition of The State of Social Engagement 2016 rated eight Fortune 1000 brands – United, Expedia, Uber, Airbnb, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and JetBlue – across branded online communities as well as five of the most popular social channels used by consumer brands to engage with customers: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. Altogether, the report examined eight industries: Retail, Telecom, Consumer Products, Travel & Hospitality, FSI, Media, Technology and Pharmaceuticals.

About Lithium: Lithium builds trusted relationships between the world’s best brands and their customers, helping people get answers and share their experiences. Customers in more than 34 countries rely on Lithium to help them connect, engage, and understand their total community. With more than 100 million monthly visits over all Lithium communities and 750 million online profiles scored by Klout, Lithium has one of the largest digital footprints in the world. Using that data and the company’s software, Lithium customers boost sales, reduce service costs, spark innovation, and build long-term brand loyalty and advocacy. To find out how Lithium can transform your business—and to share the experience enjoyed by 300 other leading brands around the world, visit www.lithium.com, join our community at community.lithium.com, or follow us on Twitter @LithiumTech. Lithium is a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco.

The Lithium® logo is a registered Service Mark of Lithium Technologies. All trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.


[1] http://www.statista.com/topics/962/global-tourism/

Lithium Media Contacts
Eddie McGraw, Corporate Headquarters & Global
eddie.mcgraw@lithium.com
+1 (650) 430-1978
Katrina Estrella, Corporate Headquarters & Global