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Trends The 6-month stretch when hotel social media adoption increased 10x.

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photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Technology has turned marketing on its head, creating new marketing channels and quickly as they’re marginalized. But how quickly can these media change? Or, rather, how quickly did they change? So today’s question is how quickly hotels jumped on the social media bandwagon. Turns out there’s a 6-month stretch that revealed a pretty incredible adoption rate. Take a look.

The Goods
Twitter publishes each account’s creation date, so to find our answer we looked at over 4,000 hotel Twitter accounts and grouped them by the month they signed up. To also highlight any trends specific to hotel types, we’ve also broken down the results by star rating and included these behind the aggregate for all hotels.

Each point on the lines below represents the percentage of all hotels that joined during that month.


On January 1, 2009 just 99 hotels (2.1%) in our sample had joined Twitter. By July 1, 2009 that number was 1,103 (23.5%). Interestingly, the adoption was highest for 5-star hotels (47% of total by July 1) and dropped steadily after that for 4-star (33%), 3-star (26%), and 2-star (14%). Looking closer at the chart above we see that 20% of all the 5-star hotels in our sample joined Twitter within a single calendar month (March 2009).

What This Means
This is a fascinating illustration of what happens when a technology reaches critical mass, but it’s also a clear reminder of how quickly things can change.

On January 1, 2009 hotels likely didn’t foresee that within just a few months time they’d be rushing into a brand-new channel with the rest of their industry. As we near yet another January 1 on the calendar, it’s only fair to ask: what’s around the corner that we simply can’t see coming?

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