Social media has quickly become a dominant tool for businesses across all sectors due to its two-way communication capabilities. Previous research has suggested that companies, particularly the hospitality and travel industry, should be engaging in authentic dialogue with its audience members, be using vibrant imagery and be monitoring and promoting user-generated content and electronic-word-of-mouth. These elements were observed for six luxury hotels and resorts in the Southwestern United States over the course of a month on Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor. In addition, three two-part electronic-questionnaires were administered to three of the six luxury hotels and resorts to determine industry perspectives on these subjects and to serve as a comparison of social media tactics in this sector. There were social media differences and similarities based on the location and size of the hotel. Facebook was comprised of 42 percent advertising and used large amounts of imagery to promote the properties. There was very little user-generated content and word-of-mouth. Twitter was comprised of 31 percent dialogue and 22 percent user-generated content. Five of the six properties responded to reviews on TripAdvisor. Three crisis responses via social media were also observed. Later research may choose to include more analytic-based research and examine other social media platforms.
- Electronic-Word-of-Mouth: A Content Analysis of Social Media Channels For Southwestern United States Luxury Hotels and Resorts