Social media has greatly impacted many industries, and hospitality is one of the most greatly affected. The hospitality industry has been drastically changed by social media since fellow travelers can have such a large influence over one another. Here are some of the ways the hospitality industry has changed since the popularization of social media. 

Research Methods

The ways that people plan and research a trip have changed. Travelers very seldom use search engines to find hotels in a particular city. Instead, they rely on sources that include social media outlets. Trip advisor, hostelworld, and other online booking and review sites have become extremely popular.

One of the biggest factors that influences travelers to choose a particular hotel is the rating, based on reviews of others who have stayed there in the past. Getting opinions from other travelers allows tourists to learn about a hotel, both the good points and bad points. Good reviews give a hotel a huge boost in credibility. Since social media platforms are a great way to get reviews from fellow travelers, sites that include sharing and review features have taken off in the past years.

Sharing Information

Social media has also changed the way people share information about their trip. In the past, people may have shared this information through word of mouth or through postings that were available only to close friends. Social media makes it possible to share more information with a wider range of people. The amount of information currently available about hotel options has exploded. For this reason, there is more competition among hotels to get their credentials noticed.

Fellow Travelers as the Experts

In the past, hotels could gain credibility through presenting themselves well and being affiliated with other trusted services. Accreditation and hotel club memberships were taken into account, and website layout and marketing materials were very important. As social media options expand, the fellow traveler is now the most valuable source of information about a hotel. The experience of past guests is now more transparent than ever, so hotels must pay the most attention to good service over marketing presentation.

Learning About Social Media

To stay ahead of the game, individuals in the hospitality industry must be sure to keep up with new social media outlets. Many free marketing opportunities exist for hotels who create profiles on the major social media sites. When a hotel is not present on one of these sites, it misses out on many potential customers. Since most travelers rely heavily on at least one social media site to make their bookings, it is important that hotel managers be sure that their hotel is represented on every possible venue.

Most study programs are aware of the increasing importance of social media in the hospitality industry. Coursework teaches students how best to take advantage of the opportunities that social media offer and the traps that media can present for hotels. Those who have completed their study already may benefit from completing additional coursework that can teach them these techniques.

The hospitality industry is one that is always changing. As the tourism sector grows, hotels face more competition against one another and must create larger networks in order to attract guests. A good education will ensure that individuals in the hospitality industry can remain competitive in hospitality social media.