Australian hospitality and tourism brands are potentially missing out on growing audiences tenfold by not engaging consumers on social media, according to Hootsuite research.
Engaging consumers on social media is ever important now that an Australian hotel, bar or restaurant is tagged on Instagram every 28 seconds, and 71% of consumers make their purchasing decisions based on what they discover on social.
“With more access to real-time information than ever before, the customer journey has evolved, and organisations need to think ‘digital first’ to meet and capitalise upon the expectations of the connected consumer,” says Ben Mulligan, regional marketing leader, Australia and New Zealand, Hootsuite.
More than half of hospitality and tourism brands are missing out on this potential growth, with only 20% publishing daily content on Instagram and 45% of those accounts not engaging with their audience.
“Social enables brands to maintain constant conversation, in real time - offering competitive insight on the industry as a whole,” says Darren Wright, CMO, Flight Centre Australia.
Brands that engage their audience on Instagram every 24 to 48 hours are perceived 20% more positively, driving customer retention. Publishing social content every 24 to 48 hours also drove a 5% uplift in TripAdvisor rankings and reviews.
Without meaningful engagement, brands are losing out on growing audiences, as 56% of consumers prefer to engage with businesses online, and 35% prefer to ask questions on social media.
Social influencers also play a role in growing audiences, as minor influencers, users with 1,000 to 10,000 followers, drive 87% of post volumes for hospitality brands. Major influencers boosted the volume of users talking about brands by 61%.
However, employees might be the true advocates for brands, as employees that share content could reach new audiences and increase engagement. A recent global study by Edelman showed that 72% of the general public trust social media shared by friends and family, making a case for including employees as part of social strategy.