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The travel and hospitality industry is going social with a vengeance to engage and network with travellers. According to a study, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the most popular and effective social media platforms for marketing within the tourism and hospitality industry.
The industry uses these networks to review brands, locations and read user experiences, whilst also responding actively to queries and comments.
According to a research conducted by Mindshift Interactive, the top five hospitality players in the Indian market that are actively involved in the social media space are Club Mahindra, ITC, Taj Hotels, Oberoi Group and Pride Hotels.
Club Mahindra with 51 per cent had the maximum number of conversations, followed by ITC with 21 per cent and Taj Hotels at 17 per cent. Oberoi Group (8 per cent) and Pride Hotels (3 per cent) ranked at the bottom with respect to its presence on Social Media.
The increased dependency on social media by travellers is growing faster than the travel industry itself. India’s travel category garnered the second largest share (42 per cent) of total Internet visitors in Asia, with 17.8 million average monthly unique visitors in the first quarter of 2011. With the digital media ecosystem in India evolving rapidly, the number of Internet users is expected to cross 546 million users by 2016, a report by KPMG said. Continued growth in internet penetration and mobile device access is expected to drive consumption and bring about a 360 degree approach for marketing.
“Brands today are spending almost 20 to 30 per cent of their marketing budgets on digital and these figures are expected to grow with years to come. Hotels present on the social media platforms are beginning to understand their consumer’s better,” said Mr Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive.
With over 63,467 fans and an engagement ratio of 14 per cent, Club Mahindra leads the presence on Facebook. Club Mahindra leads the Twitter presence with 7,159 followers and effective engagement.
Oberoi Hotels has over 10, 879 fans on Facebook with an engagement ratio of 3.5 per cent. ITC has over 15,402 fans with an engagement ratio of 2 per cent. Taj Hotels has integrated their campaigns such as “Mélange – Vote for Art” and “Marathon For A Cause” with social media. The Twitter presence of Taj Hotels is as @TajMahalMumbai with 2,444 followers.