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2015 | Book

Social Media Marketing in Tourism and Hospitality


About this book

This book describes ongoing developments in social media within the tourism and hospitality sector, highlighting impacts on both the demand and the supply side. It offers a combination of theory and practice, with discussion of real-life business experiences.

The book is divided into three parts, the first of which provides an overview of recent trends in social media and user-generated content, clarifies concepts that are often used in an overlapping way and examines the “digitization of word of mouth” via online networks. The second part analyzes the impacts that social media can have on traveler behavior for each step in the travel process and also on suppliers, highlighting opportunities, threats and strategies. In the third part of the book, future potential trends deriving from the mobile marketing technologies are explored and possible methods for social monitoring by means of key performance indicators are examined. It is considered how engaging customers and prospects by means of social media might increase customer loyalty, foster electronic word-of-mouth communication, and consequently have important effects on corporate sales and revenues. The discussion encompasses methods to measure company performance on each of the social media in order to understand the optimal mix that will support and improve business strategies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Tourism: Concepts and Developments
Advancements of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have generated deep changes in the tourism sector affecting customers as well as suppliers. Travelers are more demanding and look for differentiated and personalized services. ICTs, and especially Web 2.0, offer new opportunities and resources to improve tourism organizations and destinations, competitiveness, and profitability. The first chapter discusses the evolution from Web 1.0 to Web 3.0 through the analysis of main concepts and definitions about the topic. Moreover, on the basis of literature review, a classification of social media is proposed. The main features of each type of media are examined offering specific examples of applications in the tourism industry. Finally, main trends and streams of research about social media in tourism are discussed.
Roberta Minazzi
Chapter 2. The Digitization of Word-of-Mouth
From the first article published on the topic of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) research has rapidly increased, underlining the importance of this phenomenon in various business contexts. Customers’ purchasing behavior has increasingly changed with the development of Information and Communication Technologies and social media. Therefore, what had traditionally been defined as word-of-mouth (WOM) needs to be reconsidered and studied in light of recent trends. This chapter will analyze the evolution of the concept from WOM to eWOM and main dimensions for an analysis of WOM. Specific attention will be paid to credibility and possible biased information.
Roberta Minazzi
Chapter 3. Social Media Impacts on Travelers
This chapter examines the impact social media can have on travelers’ behavior, through the integration of decision-making studies and travel planning theories. Influences of social media are analyzed for each step of the travel planning process: before leaving (pre-trip), during the stay (during-trip), and after having come back home (post-trip). The second part of the chapter focuses on travel experience sharing activity. In particular, reasons for sharing, dimensions of co-creation, and main mediators of travel experience are examined. Finally, demographics and various roles of social media users (lurkers, posters, and shoppers) are discussed.
Roberta Minazzi
Chapter 4. Social Media Impacts on Travel Suppliers: Social Media Marketing
In the light of social media impacts on travelers’ behavior earlier analyzed in Chap. 3, this section highlights the effects on travel suppliers. In particular, traditional ways to create customer relationships need to be integrated with new eCRM practices and communication policies. Travel companies able to engage customers and prospects by means of social media can increase word-of-mouth, enhance their web reputation, and eventually influence purchase behaviors. Some examples are provided and discussed.
Roberta Minazzi
Chapter 5. Mobile Social Media Marketing in Tourism
The combination of social media and mobile technologies has changed the way people communicate and influence all the steps of travel planning behavior. In particular, the convergence of social media, virtual reality, and physical space determines the development of a new perspective toward Mobile Social Media (MSM). This chapter will examine MSM concept and classifications, as well as possible applications in the tourism business. The last part of the chapter will discuss the actions travel organizations might undertake to exploit these mobile marketing applications.
Roberta Minazzi
Chapter 6. Social Media Metrics and Analysis
Information Technology progress and Social media spread, as well as Mobile Social Media development, examined in previous Chapters, contribute to the increasing availability of a large amount of multimedia structured and unstructured content about customers and prospects (called “Big data”). Travel organizations able to gather, analyze, and interpret this information have the opportunity to enhance customers’ knowledge, and consequently, to improve service differentiation and personalization. The synchronization with various target markets allows creating a competitive advantage and increasing financial and operational performance. Therefore, a key issue turns out to be the definition of the most appropriate social media metrics able to evaluate social media performance and, if combined with other measures, to support and improve business strategies.
Roberta Minazzi
Social Media Marketing in Tourism and Hospitality
Roberta Minazzi
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