The hotel industry has seen rapid growth in the adoption of social media over the past year with it now being ubiquitous across the major chains, along with the majority of boutique properties.

Hotels and resorts have a phenomenal opportunity with social media, as it allows them to transport past and future guests to their property on a daily basis. This makes a particularly strong impact with guests who see photos posted, such as their favourite sunsets or poolside views from their last vacation spot. It conjurs up strong positive emotions and transports them away from their current, sometimes more stressful environment. It is for this reason, we at TentSocial, love managing social media for this industry. The opportunities are extremely rich and we are really only seeing the tip of the iceberg of what is possible!

So who is leading the pack with social media in the hotel and resort industry? When it comes to Facebook, the biggest platform in social media, Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Best Western have been neck and neck from a purely fan count point of view. Don’t be fooled though, Likes should not be the core indicator of a successful Facebook community. Social media communities need to be measured, based on reach, engagement and ultimately conversion towards business goals. While I can’t speak to the business results being driven by the following properties, I can take a look at their overall reach (fan base) along with general levels of engagement in the community.

For simplicity sake, the following list breaks down the top 5 in order according to total likes. Note: This list compares the hotel & resort industry broadly rather than comparing luxury, mid-range and budget versus others in the same class.

1. Marriott Hotels & Resorts

Marriott has thousands of people engaging on each post as they feature beautiful photos of their hotels and resorts from around the world. If you are looking for content ideas for your hotel page, drop into this page.

2. Best Western

While Best Western may have hundreds of thousands of fans, its content and engagement doesn’t even compare to that of Marriott. Best Western has not embraced the new visual nature of social media, with the majority of posts being about trivia and promotions.

3. Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Hilton takes advantage of strong visual content while it takes its fans on a journey around the globe to its many diverse properties. Hilton receives very strong engagement with the majority of its posts, often garnering thousands of likes and hundreds of shares for a single post!

4. Aria Resort & Casino

Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas is the only single property brand in the top 5, which is really an outstanding achievement when comparing to chains with 100s of locations around the globe. Aria focuses its content on experiences in the hotel and casino, including shows and cuisine.

5. Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn rounds out the top 5, with some great visual content along with everything from beautiful lobbies to suites and poolside mojitos. Engagement in the community is moderate though, when compared with Marriott and Hilton.

2013 is sure to be a very exciting year as it relates to social media and the hotel industry as properties from around the globe take off the training wheels and really ramp up their activity to connect more deeply with their audience.

Do you work with a hotel or resort and are looking for a little help? Click here to contact us for a free specialized social media consultation for hotels & resorts.