Now that consumers are traveling again, hotel, motels, and bed and breakfast inns are marketing hard for new business. At the same time, marketing tools that have become available to merchants offering accommodations have changed significantly. Operators say they’re adjusting their strategies to stay current with consumer interests.

TripAdvisor surveyed about 1,000 industry operators and reported that most will bump up their social media marketing investment this year. Hotel operators indicate they have used social media in specific ways to date:

  • Promoting deals and special offers: 54%
  • Interacting with customers who have questions: 48%
  • Promoting events: 40%
  • Sharing industry news: 26%
  • Promoting contests: 18%

Lodging operators say another reason for the move into social media is because they see their competitors using this format. In addition, about  half of these business owners say they are reading industry research which influences them to make changes to their media mix.  About 25% of accommodations providers indicate that advertising by social media professionals is piquing their interest.

Hoteliers also understand the growing importance of mobile marketing. Up until this year, about 27% of these business owners had run mobile campaigns. Another 27% will investigate the mobile format this year.

The typical hotel owner will continue to advertise online in other ways as well.  Over 1 in 5, 22%, expect to increase email marketing and 17% will up their budgets for paid listings, especially on user-generated review sites.

As business increases, it appears these operators will leave nothing to chance as they compete to get consumers to check in.

[Source: Leggatt, Helen. Hoteliers across U.S. set to increase social media spend. TripAdvisor. 28 Jun. 2011. Web. 14 Jul 2011]