Earlier this summer, in our Social Platforms Intelligence Report, we determined that social media was an ineffective driver of upstream traffic to brand sites. While that report looked at 247 luxury brands’ digital performances across five industries, our newest report, released last week, focused on 48 brands in one sector–Hotels in the Economy to Upscale categories–and not surprisingly, the results were not far off from our previous findings. Similarly, we found that the vast majority of Hotel site clicks come from direct type-ins or paid/organic search, the latter of which represents almost a third (31 percent) of total traffic.
And social media? It’s lower. A lot lower. Just 0.3 percent of total site traffic comes from Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube combined. As was the case with the verticals included in our Social Platforms report–and in our 2013 Department Stores report–this social stall is the result of several contributing factors. First, a lack of coordinated accounts across the properties dramatically reduces the collective impact of these Hotels’ efforts to get potential guests to visit their sites. Though every brand in the Index maintains a presence on Facebook, for example, the footprint of individual properties is less consistent. Just over half of the brands we looked at in this report currently maintain a property-specific presence on Twitter, yet the platform registers the slowest growth and lowest engagement of all those analyzed. Adoption on Instagram is far more limited, particularly at the brand level, yet engagement is 20 times greater than on any other social media network. As for YouTube, one of the most powerful online tools for brands in the Beauty and Fashion sectors, 69 percent of those in the Index do not maintain a branded channel—a huge missed opportunity to provide viewers with engaging and original video content.