How Business Travelers Arrive at Their Destination Decisions in Today’s Social World
Social media seems here to stay, so it’s important for hoteliers to know how real-time review sites and digital deals affect where travelers choose to stay. And since business travelers’ frequent visits can impact a hotel’s bottom line, it’s vital to see how pricing and perks persuade where these travelers book. Fortunately, a series of research studies from SAS offers insight to help hotel brands understand how socially centric content really registers with business travelers to influence their preference and purchase decisions. HotelMarketing.com posted findings from the study to show which social media content brings in business.
To assess the booking behavior of business travelers based on social media exposure, researchers:
- First, showed the business-traveler participants a select group of business-friendly hotels with equal amenities and service.
- Next, the participants were shown a set of three hotels with variable levels of price, guest ratings, TripAdvisor rank, review content, review language, and brand image.
- Then, participants had to repeatedly rank sets of three hotel choices by their booking preference.
- Afterward, the researchers analyzed their selections to see which social media factors mattered most in the business travelers’ booking decisions.
The results revealed these three key findings:
1. Online Reviews Rate Highly – User-generated reviews let business travelers know the kind of experience to expect at a hotel. These reviews are viewed as honest and relevant to their personal needs. And business travelers weren’t content to simply scan the content, but wanted to know the reasons behind the guest’s positive or negative review. This emphasizes why hotels need to manage their online image and address any negative reviews in a prompt, public way. While hotels can’t control a guest’s online comments, they can provide guests with outstanding experiences and deal with any digital discontent in a timely manner to let travelers know they care.
2. Price Can Entice – While business travelers value all types of digital deals, the only one that packs a punch is the lowest price. So newer and lesser-known hotel brands may be able to get an advantage over popular properties and boost their business travel bookings by simply offering the lowest room rates.
3. Loyalty Points are Persuasive Amenities – Business travelers want their frequent trips to pay off, which is why loyalty clubs and points have gained such prominence. As a result, these travelers will tolerate less-than-the-best hotels in order to earn their loyalty points. This means that hotels with a steady stream of business travelers may be able to postpone renovations or offer fewer features than a property that caters to leisure travelers.
It’s clear that social media content reserves an important place in travelers’ decisions, and this is especially true for business travelers, who frequently fill hotels.
As a result, hoteliers must pay attention to social content when developing their hotel marketing and pricing strategies. These online reviews and ratings can offer insight into their image among both consumers and competitors. And this can help them determine how to deal with business travelers.
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MDG, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, is one of Florida’s top hotel marketing companies and branding firms. MDG’s core capabilities include advertising, branding, logo design, creative, infographic development, digital marketing, creative media planning and buying, radio and TV advertising, Web design and development, email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO. To stay on top of the latest trends in hotel marketing and advertising, contact MDG today at 561-338-7797.