Social media ad spending continues to steadily rise. By 2020, social networks are expected to command $37 billion in advertising revenue.
It’s no surprise, then, that hotel social media accounts have staked their claim as an important resource for many of the global affluent, especially younger individuals. Social media represents another avenue to attract attention for a travel brand and to communicate with affluent travelers.
These hotel social media accounts are not the top choice of information for individuals choosing a destination, but their importance among affluent travelers has been steady for the past two years.
Affluent Gen Z and Millennial consumers are more likely to rely on social media accounts to gain information relevant to hotel booking. But, by and large, Gen X and Boomer audiences haven’t adopted the practice in the same way.
No aspect of social media dominates: An equal proportion of affluent travelers say they get their hotel information from posts by Hotels or Destinations (9%), posts from friends or family (9%), or social media advertising (7%).
Breaking out by generation, affluent Millennials consider all three types of post equally, while the affluent Gen Z show an affinity toward posts from hotels and destinations, and are less interested in posts from family & friends.
In terms of platform, Facebook dominates the landscape for affluent travelers who use social media to choose a hotel or destination. More than 50% of all affluent travelers reports using the platform at some point to determine a destination. After that it’s YouTube with 38% and Instagram with 32%, followed by Twitter (28%) and WhatsApp (19%).
The breakdown by platform holds across generational groups, except for Gen Z, which uses YouTube more often when it comes to gathering information about potential hotel destinations. Instagram is also more important to this group.
But reliance on social media comes with a note of caution because 20% of the affluent have stopped using a social media site in the past year—a stark reminder that picking the right channel is never easy.