London Hotels failing to capitalise on social media trends, Research shows

Many top London hotels are not using basic social media capabilities and functionalities, according to our new research. Here are our key findings:

  • Not so Social: Over a third of top London hotels do not use social media advertising

  • Not embracing Video yet: Only 15% of hotels used a video in their Facebook banner and less than 5% used video in their ads

  • Not using Stories yet: Between 18% and 30% of hotels use the Story format on Instagram but just 1% have used Facebook Stories

We examined the social media use of 103 luxury hotels* in the UK capital city, finding that only 34% were running social advertising campaigns. This is despite the burgeoning online travel industry - $42.4 billion was spent via online travel booking sites in the UK in 2018, up 7.7% year-on-year**.

From the hotels who did run campaigns, only 5% used video in their social advertising, even though it is proven to be the most effective format, generating 1200% more shares than text and images combined!***.

We also examined the hotels’ use of both free and paid-for social media formats, including Facebook video banners (15% used), Instagram Stories (18%-30% used), Facebook Stories (1% used) and the interactive Facebook Canvas format (no users). Only a quarter of hotels examined use Facebook Messenger’s pop up dialog box to communicate with visitors who landed on their page.

Social media is constantly evolving and it can be hard to keep up with what’s on offer for businesses. But in the travel industry in particular, when sales are increasingly directly funnelled from digital and social activity, it’s worth hoteliers dedicating some time and effort to getting their head around it.

Our research shows that while most luxury hotels in London do have a social media presence, few are making the most of either the paid-for or free functionalities that platforms now offer. Organic reach is dead on Facebook and falling on Instagram, so businesses now need to be more strategic with how they use social channels if they want to have any impact beyond their already-engaged followers.

For example, while most luxury hotels in London have invested in creating video assets of their hotel, very few actually use them on their social media channels - despite the astronomical growth in views on features like Instagram and Facebook Stories. Likewise, using Messenger box can help customers with straightforward questions in their decision making process - and the opportunity to start a relationship with them. Messenger has an incredible 80% open rate and 13% click-through rate, compared with email open rate at 21.8%**** on average.

London hotels have not truly adopted social media as part of their marketing efforts. Although they do the basics, they are not putting in the extra effort or investment that will help to reach, connect and convert international audiences.


**Digital in 2019, UK *** SmallBizTrends **** Hubspot

jerome courtial