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BizReport : Social Marketing : December 09, 2015

Does social media work for small hotels and B&Bs? Not really...

A recent report from UK-based booking management app developer eviivo suggests that small hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments may be wasting their time trying to attract website traffic using social media.

by Helen Leggatt

More than half (59%) of the accommodation providers surveyed by eviivo said they use social media, such as Facebook, to encourage bookings. In fact, a quarter cited social media as being "very important" to their business and a third (36%) spend five hours or more on social media each week trying to drum up business. Twenty-two percent even spend on paid advertising on social sites each month.

However, when eviivo looked at the booking data for the 5,600 or so accommodation providers it currently works with, social media was found to be responsible for a very small percentage of web traffic to their websites - just 3.3%.

Furthermore, just 0.75% of bookings were found to originate from social media compared with a whopping 74% of bookings that came via travel websites such as,, Expedia, and others.

"Throughout our research we found that 87% of those B&Bs that have a Facebook page actually have less than 1,000 fans - with the vast majority of those being local people keen to remain in the know about cultural events happening on their doorstep," said Thomas Messett, chief marketing officer for eviivo, adding that just 8% of holidaymakers surveyed had ever booked a hotel or bed-and-breakfast stay because it had a social media profile. Instead, 44% of the 2,000 holidaymakers surveyed said they check review sites first, while another 39% said they use friend's recommendations.

"It's actually quite staggering that over 10% of B&Bs in the UK aren't working with any of the three biggest travel booking websites out there, knowing that these are really cost effective and this is where the vast majority of bookings happen," said Messett. "Those who work with the top three travel booking websites have a year-on-year growth in online bookings of circa 80%, whereas those who don't work with any actually see their year on year bookings declining by nearly 1.5% from one year to the next!"

Tom Gowanlock /

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: accommodation, booking, social media, travel

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