Social media analysis: Understanding what guests want

Drilling down

Diving deeper into the content of social media posts about a property can yield better insights about a hotel’s positioning, said Kristin Muhlner, CEO of online reputation management and social intelligence firm newBrandAnalytics.

“Where the analysis gets more sophisticated, and where we’re starting to do some work, is to go much deeper into the geographical differences, chain-scale differences, or even particular content differences between hotels,” Muhlner said.

Drilling down into review content can allow hotel executives to pull out relevant trends.


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Drilling down into review content can allow hotel executives to pull out relevant trends.


Analyzing content allows hotels to better understand what about a hotel experience is most important to guests, specifically factors where improvement could lead to more pricing power, Muhlner said. “When looking at incremental service offerings, like a better concierge, better amenities or a better guestroom experience, for example, what are those things that have the highest leverage?” Muhlner said. “I think that’s where some of the more nuanced analysis can be helpful.”

newBrandAnalytics has developed a model that takes guest insights and codes them in a 300-point category model specific to the hotel industry. Each insight is then scored for sentiment on a one to five basis and aggregated into an overall report.

“So, for example, when nine out of 10 guests who recommend a hotel or express an intention to return talk about the food and beverage experience, property owners know to double down on that,” Muhlner said. “Operators can make informed decisions about where to make investments based on which components of the experience are the biggest predictors of future demand.”

Along with traditional factors like local events, weather and a city’s competitive landscape, social sentiment has taken its place as a clear signal for demand, Muhlner said. “Guests are approaching the decision process with a price range they’re comfortable with, but it’s a range, not a set number,” Muhlner said. “Where they fall in that range is going to be heavily influenced by their perception of what the value of that experience is, and that’s where price maximization can occur.”