The Impact of Social Media Marketing on Hospitality Industry

Prof. Ritwik Dutta, Lecturer, IQ City United World School of Business, Kolkata     
Social media has evidently turned out to be an extremely prominent advertising medium for the entire business world everywhere and it has also affected the hospitality industry in general. As the mobile phones have become increasingly affordable and accessible and with the rapid spread of computer literacy and internet, social media has become a household phenomenon nowadays. The emergence of social media has facilitated a much better and effective link between the businesses and their end customers. Social media has literally revolutionized the branding, advertising and marketing strategies of the organizations or businesses across the globe. Over time, communication technology and social media marketing have massively transformed the hospitality industry and customer relationship within it. As hospitality industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the world over last few decades, social media marketing has profoundly altered the various elements of booking, communications, and payment methods. The following are the main points that will demonstrate the relationship between social media and the hospitality industry:
Advertising is absolutely indispensable for any business. Advertising is unavoidable If a business intends to ensure the maximum possible exposure for its product or service. Nowadays, well-known and reputed hotels are increasingly using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for reaching their target audience. These sites are tremendously influential in shaping customer perception about any hotel or restaurant. Even for a small restaurant, consumers consult with social media these days. So making an advertisement for a hotel on social media is inevitable and it is not very expensive either. A hotel can run its own Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account quite easily. Advertisements can be put there without expenditure and can be tagged to previous or would-be consumers and consumer’s friends without toiling hard efforts. Making advertisements on social media is more beneficial than print and electronic media because it will remain there forever. It is not time bound as with print and electronic media. Moreover, hotels will not get feedback if people have read or watched the advertisement there but on social media it is possible.
Marketing is the backbone of selling your product and generating revenue. Social media plays a considerable role in forming the marketing strategy in the hotel industry as a growing number of people depend on the social network to get valuable information. They also love to read about promotional pages and ideas. Hotels can encourage people to like its page by offering them some rewards in form of discounts and can make their own promotions. With media marketing, you can target specific people for your online marketing campaigns. You can advertise to people based on their interests, age, geographic location, and more. Therefore, mostly hotels have their own websites or they use other web links for marketing and selling their business.
Unless your name becomes a brand your business will not be counted in the successful category. Your hotel will be a brand name only when people are talking good; appreciating your quality services & spreading, sharing information. When people recommend your hotel to their relatives, friends, gradually your name will become a brand. Before the world of social media, you have to work hard for decades but with the arrival of social media, the hotel can be a brand in a few months also. Social media can boost the branding of a hotel. Hotels can target specific markets and advertise on their customers’ mobile phones. Hotels can also invest in a mobile app and build a lasting relationship with their customers. Social media provides the perfect platform for hotels to boost their brand to their customers.