State Of Social Engagement

Travel and Hospitality Brands Miss the Connection with Travelers

Study Uncovers 98% of Brands Fail to Consistently Respond to Their Followers’ Social Media Posts
Image from State of Social Engagement Infographic
Travel and Hospitality Brands Miss the Connection with Travelers


Lithium Technologies today announced findings from its State of Social Engagement 2016 study for the travel and hospitality industry and revealed that brands fail to engage with travelers effectively on social media channels. The study was designed to determine how Fortune 1000 travel and hospitality brands interact with travelers across social media platforms.

The State of Social Engagement 2016 showed that while travel and hospitality brands do have a social media presence, they are below par when it comes to engagement. Brands fail to respond to consumers’ posts quickly and are solely focused on a single channel to interact—usually Twitter — neglecting travelers across other popular social networks. While many of the brands successfully used beautiful imagery and videos of travel destinations on their social platforms, the majority did not foster interactions with interactive engagement tools such as polls or contests. Additionally, when travelers might need support and assistance, brands often only provided sales information.

“As an avid traveler who’s always on-the-go, it’s a personal mission for me to help travel and hospitality brands hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging with their customers,” said Katy Keim, CMO of Lithium Technologies. “The results of our study show that the brands using the right technology and a fully-integrated digital strategy to connect with customers are the most successful in driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

The travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with almost $7.6 trillion in revenue based on 1.1 billion travelers in 2014[1], more of whom are using social channels to interact with travel and hospitality brands. However, in comparison to other surveyed industries, the travel and hospitality industry ranked middle of the pack (#4) for social engagement. See the full results here with an infographic highlighting the findings here.

Other key findings include:

  • Most travel and hospitality brands surveyed had a social media strategy similar to brands in other industries and focused their content on education and entertainment, when travelers need immediate support and direction. Of the surveyed brands, Airbnb had the most support content.
  • Airbnb, Marriott and Uber had the highest engagement on online communities among the surveyed brands.
  • Airbnb collaborates the most with influencers on online communities along with Marriott and Uber.
  • Most of the brands use beautiful imagery and video, with United excelling on Instagram.


The Travel and Hospitality edition of The State of Social Engagement 2016 rated eight Fortune 1000 brands – United, Expedia, Uber, Airbnb, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and JetBlue – across branded online communities as well as five of the most popular social channels used by consumer brands to engage with customers: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. Altogether, the report examined eight industries: Retail, Telecom, Consumer Products, Travel & Hospitality, FSI, Media, Technology and Pharmaceuticals.


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