17 - 18 October, 2019
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Here’s How Hotels.com is Using AI and Big Data to Reveal Social Media’s Top #TravelBrags
Recent research from Hotels.com has identified a new millennial trend – “travel bragging” – on social media, and the brand is now using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to drive engagement and create mobile marketing opportunities.
Anyone who uses social media regularly will be more than familiar with so-called “bragging” or “boast posts”. These posts play into the very heart of social media’s appeal – giving regular people a platform on which they can show off how amazing their lives are (or at least how amazing they want them to appear to be). Whether it’s boasting about fitness achievements (miles run, kilograms lifted, etc.), singing the praises of children, or showcasing fun with friends – it seems almost every aspect of life is ripe for social media bragging.
Travel, of course, is another one. Travel broadens the mind, so they say – and what’s the point of broadening one’s mind if you don’t tell everyone about it.
It’s this curious phenomenon of social media bragging which has led digital hotel booking platform Hotels.com to carry out the world’s first artificial intelligence-driven data analysis of the #TravelBrag hashtag, and make the results available online.
“You know the type – from the cheeky #hotdoglegs to the smug #nofilter beach snaps, we all love to share those ‘travel bragging’ posts on social,” writes Hotels.com in a blog post. “We’ve got all scientific and analysed over five million brags using social media posts with innovative AI technology.”
Analysing data from multiple sources – including tweets with links to Instagram posts – the tool identified and grouped different types of travel brags based on keywords and mentions of specific destinations to give an overview of what people show off about on social media while travelling.
“Turns out us travellers are a cultured bunch,” continues the Hotel.com blog post, “with museums topping the list, along with old-town charm and a spot of sunshine, appearing in the top ten.” Modern art, opera, cathedral, galleries, and ballet were also amongst the most common travel brags.
Food is also a regular feature of travel brags. Steaks and pizza make up regular posts from New York City, while visitors to Toronto love posting about Indian food. Posts referencing enchiladas outperformed ones about modern art in Mexico City, and ice cream makes up ten percent of San Francisco-based travel brags.
Visitors to Paris post more brags about shopping in the Rue Vieille du Temple than they do about visiting Le Louvre. Other high performing shopping locations include Cecile Copenhagen, Harbour City Mall in Hong Kong, Miami’s Bal Harbour, and the vintage boutiques of Melbourne, Australia.
With the prices they charge for a night, it’s no surprise that those who wish to present the impression of an affluent lifestyle love to brag about checking into luxury hotels. From the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco to Singapore’s Four Seasons, five-star accommodation is a big draw for the social media travel bragger.
A Serious Point
While the data analysis of social media brags provides an interesting and somewhat entertaining read for people interested in learning more about travel habits, there is a serious point to be made about the way brands can use social media data as a tool for marketing.
Hotels.com is continuing to use social media data analysis to publish blog posts designed to help the brand promote its services and give website visitors a reason to keep coming back time and time again. More recently, Hotel.com has published an article entitles Top Seven Most Instagrammable Hotels, and it will be interesting to see whether the trend continues.
Social media is a great source of data which can be used to glean all manner of insights and give brands a better picture of their audience so that they can craft bespoke ads and offers, or develop a brilliant content marketing strategy. Data is at the core of every worthwhile modern marketing campaign, and using it in original ways like Hotel.com is will likely yield significant engagement opportunities.
You can hear Hotel.com’s Head of Marketing Analytics, Kevin Roche, speak at Data Leaders Summit Europe 2018 this October at the NH Collection Tower, Barcelona. Download the agenda today for more information and insights.