Marriott Hotels is one of the best-known brands in the hospitality industry. Founded over a half century ago, the brand now has a presence in 5,700 locations in 110+ countries. It is the largest hotel chain in the world. We tracked Marriott’s main social profile on Twitter over the last quarter of 2016 to understand how this iconic brand reaches its followers on this platform. Important to note here is that Marriott has several Twitter profiles for their various brands. We tracked the profile (@Marriott) where the brand was most actively engaging with their followers.
Here’s what we found.
1. 98% of Marriott’s Tweets Were Direct @replies, While Only 2 % Were Regular Posts
Customer service has been a core value for Marriott since its inception. This is reflected in the brand’s activity on Twitter. Twitter has proven to be an ideal platform for customer service, since it moves in real time and allows two-way communication between brands and their followers, helping build meaningful relationships with the audience.
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However, Twitter also has a huge potential for marketing brands. In Q4 2016, Marriott tweeted less than once a day on average. Regular Tweets could range from promotions, sharing brand stories through videos and quotes, property development news, etc. Posting more marketing content to inform and educate followers will help drive engagement, grow audience base, and ultimately lead to conversions.
2. 11% of Regular Tweets, Excluding Direct @replies, Contribute to 45% of Engagement
Just a handful of Marriott’s Tweets contributed to a majority of its engagement. The most engaging tweet for the brand was a promotion for a sweepstakes, where guests could participate either from Twitter or Instagram.
— Marriott Hotels (@Marriott) October 14, 2016
3 of the 5 top posts were about the launch of Marriott’s M Beta program at the Charlotte City Center Marriott Hotel.
— Marriott Hotels (@Marriott) October 12, 2016
M Beta is an innovation lab that functions as the world’s first hotel in “live beta.” The program allows keyless entry for guests to digital experiences in every corner of the hotel upon arrival, and it supports rapid prototyping. The program invites guests to test and give feedback in real-time, ultimately shaping their future hotel experience.
These are excellent examples of the kind of content Marriott’s audience likes to see. Engagement is one of the basic metrics to measure how the brand’s marketing efforts on Twitter are being received by the audience. Deep-diving into the data to understand what type of posts are creating the most engagement can help inform brand content (what kind of information should be relayed and how) as well as marketing strategy (who the target audience is).
3. Over 50% of Marriott’s Regular Tweets Include a Hashtag, While Less Than 4% Include an Emoji
In the last few years, emojis have become an integral part of social marketing. Apart from making content look more lively and engaging, emojis can also help target ads better on Twitter and improve branding. Marriott is already making great use of the #TravelBrilliantly campaign hashtag on Twitter, using it in over 50% of its regular posts on the platform.
Using branded emojis with the hashtag can help the posts gather more attention and drive higher engagement. The most engaging post in the data period (shown above) included the location pin emoji. The post below was the most engaging post with the #TravelBrilliantly hashtag.
— Marriott Hotels (@Marriott) November 2, 2016
4. 81% of Total Engagement for Marriott on Twitter Is Driven by @mentions
Marriott’s followers utilize Twitter’s strength to reach out to the brand with their questions, complaints, and expressions of gratitude, driving a high number of @mentions for the brand. This provides a unique and huge opportunity for the brand to engage with followers to understand them better, get feedback, and promote their products and services. 19% of engagement for the brand comes from other forms of engagement: @Replies, Likes, Retweets, etc. The post below received the most number of replies in Q4 2016:
@PatelJenn of a Marriott advertisement on a particular website does not indicate the programming represents the views of our company.
— Marriott Hotels (@Marriott) December 12, 2016
Creating content that also helps drive other forms of engagement–other than mentions–can help amplify brand messaging, reaching a wider audience and turning your audience into brand advocates.
5. 75% of Marriott’s Regular Tweets Include a Photo; Less than 7% Include a Video
Over 75% of Marriott’s regular posts included a photo. This is a great strategy, as Tweets that include photos or video links are retweeted at a much higher rate than those with text alone.
Since videos are the second most effective media type, experimenting more with videos can be a great tactic to capture people’s attention and have them stop/look at the content and interact with it.
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People who watch videos are 1.6 times more likely to purchase what they see, versus those who access information about goods and services via non-video content. While the engagement for the media types might vary by industry, because Marriott is a travel/hospitality brand (where imagery is a key), they can experiment with other visual types, including videos, to help identify what drives more engagement, thereby surfacing more opportunities to understand their audience.
Having a good understanding of who engages with your brand on social media and what they engage with can help reshape your brand’s marketing strategy. Reach out to us if you need help identifying any of the metrics we discussed in this post. If you would like to know what else is shaping social media in the coming year, download the Digital Marketing Predictions Guide for 2017 below.