Social media is still in its infancy when it comes to making customers aware of what luxury and boutique hotels have to offer.
That's according to the fifth Luxury Hotel Benchmarking report from BluSky Marketing, which found that hotel awareness through social media stands at just 1%.
The report is based on 3,882 real reviews from real guests between October and December 2013 across 15 luxury and boutique hotels.
Although the level of awareness through social media is up from 0% in the same quarter last year (with the best hotel only achieving 2%), the report found that repeat guests created an awareness score of 27%, while word of mouth/recommendation was at 21%, and search at 23%.
"There is a lot of hype and buzz around social media at present in the industry, with a number of hotels starting to put more emphasis and resource behind this new medium. We know from other industries and from various experiences in the hotel sector that social media can not only drive enquiries but generate sales for hotels," said Jeffrey Epstein, Hospitality Business Improvement management consultant.
He added: "In reviewing this fascinating benchmarking report, are guests responding to social media in terms of generic word of mouth/recommendation or identifying it as a separate area which has stimulated their awareness? Alternatively are hotels just not leveraging this new medium correctly?"
BluSky Marketing's luxury hotel clients include: the Arch London, Bovey Castle, the Capital London, Careys Manor & SenSpa, the Devonshire Arms hotel and spa, the Feathers, Feversham Arms & Verbena spa, the Five Arrows, Lords of the Manor, the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa, Poets House, Talbot Hotel Malton, Rockliffe Hall, Sopwell House and Stapleford Park.