Facebook surpasses Google in US online traffic, Mark Zuckerberg isTime Magazine’s Person of the Year 2010, and Goldman Sachsinvests in Facebook at a $50bn valuation. Welcome to new Era of Social Media.
As we transition from a search-based to a social media-based online culture, it is increasingly important for hotels and resorts to focus on the business opportunities that come with the creation of social currency and social capital for their brands.
To better understand what type of content generates amplification and engagement. Seventh Art Media, reviewed 2,492 content posts by 75 hotel brands on their respective Facebook fan pages for the last quarter of 2010.
Seventh Art Media whitepaper, presents the results from a comprehensive analysis of basic forms of consumer-generated brand impressions on Facebook relative to (a) content type, (b) community size, and (c) hotel brand status (i.e. chain vs. independent).
Based on the analysis it is noted that content strategies for hospitality brands need to take into account a wide range of factors in order to create a lasting performance on Facebook:
- If you don’t plan out your growth strategy for the long-term you might find you’ve built a community of the wrong target market.
- Building engagement is not Facebook’s strong suit. Creating amplification (impressions) is easier and returns a brand’s bottom-line benefits much more quickly.
- Don’t expect your fan page to increase or to sustain amplification rates as it grows, without maintaining a steady flow of the right type of content.
- Most hotel brands show little discipline in reviewing the performance of their pages by repeatedly posting the same under-performing content types.
- While video is a booming engagement tool for other sectors, hospitality is lagging due to poor quality content, subject matter and execution. This is a huge missed opportunity.
- Too much content being posted is ancillary to a brand or property and does nothing to enhance a guest connection. This results in additional missed opportunities.
With this exploratory research project, not only they were able to answer the primary question about content and interaction, but they could also able to identify a wider range of trends and implications than originally anticipated.
Top findings from the reviews are as follows.
- Not all content performs equally. Are photos or videos, links or status updates the most engaging content type? The answer is that the content that conveys a unique sense of brand / place and makes a personal connection with followers performs the best. In hospitality, this means photos more than any other content type.
- Returns are not linear. As a Facebook page grows the percentage of followers engaging via content cues drops off sharply.
- Amplification scales. Engagement is another story. Comments on content have a ceiling. Once a certain number of comments have been added to a post it appears subsequent followers are less likely to add their own commentary.
- How you build your community will help define how you can use it in the future. In other words, maybe returns can be linear if you change your strategy and goals for building your Facebook following.
- Quality in all aspects counts. Quality content rules. Quality engagement rules. Quality maintenance rules. In other words, quality rules.
- The best content often already exists. Most of the top performing content in terms of engagement and amplification was not manufactured or contrived. Instead, it was generally a highlight of existing activity or content brought forward on Facebook.
- Hotels need to feed content into their Facebook pages. 92% of all follower activity comes in the form of likes and comments on content posted by the brand itself vs. direct posts by fans.
For further details about the study, download the whitepaper from Seventh Art Media.