Social media: the psychology of success

90% US hotels have a social media presence and rest of the globe is following suit; and why wouldn’t you make use of this powerful, far reaching and cost effective tool? On the other hand, it’s a noisy and constantly evolving sphere. Triptease takes a look at how to keep your voice from being lost in the crowd, by honing in on the psychology of online activity and how you can make your content share-worthy.

The Snow-White-Mirror Effect

In a world in which countless articles are devoted to the creation of the perfect selfie, it is unsurprising that, albeit usually unconsciously, social media bees are keen to project themselves in the best possible light. Who is the fairest of them all? Every like and share approves the image they paint.

So what to tell the world about their stay with you? Guests will select the stories they think will impress followers. Sophisticated? Adventurous? Cultured? Quirky? If your hotel offers extra benefits and opens doors into local cultures, you’ll feature in the image of their holiday they present. As ever, it’s a case of knowing your guest and providing the experiences that they’ll share with (like-minded) friends.

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts are delivering true Snow-White reflections in the Facebook campaign that saw users complete a short quiz to determine their ‘travel type’, with luxury prizes on offer for lucky entrants. This encourages social media users to project an idealised form of themselves as the traveller they would like to be.

Tantalise the TPJ

A joy shared is a joy doubled, as the saying goes. Three-quarters of respondents in social media studies are motivated by the desire to stay in touch and connect with those who share their interests. Further to this, 2013 UCLA study highlighted the importance of the Temporoparietal Junction (TPJ) for facilitating the spread of ideas. Increased activity was found to take place in the TPJ, an area typically associated with feelings of empathy, in participants who were being shown content that they would later successfully recommend to others. Peple share ideas and make recommendations when they empathise with a cause or pain point and believe they can help. Sharing can therefore also be altruistic, so offering interesting, practical and useful content, perhaps relating to your region – or where the best deals are to be found - will appeal.

This process is no a mere after-thought for guests, but instead active even as they explore what your hotel has to offer. At any stage in the booking funnel, experience and follow up contact, your guests is willing to share interesting content. Think back to the Fairmont example: if friends who would be interested in the quiz and the prizes on offer, the campaign gets shared.

Instant Impression

Something humorous or unusual in the hotel room or lobby can not only elicit a smile or a comment at the time, but brings out our inner photographer; shared online in a moment. Take the glorious British family holiday resort, Butlins. Towels are folded into animals, complete with eyes, on the beds each morning. Children’s smiles are matched by picture shares.


Keep it simple, stupid. We’ve all heard it, but no-where is it more applicable than in a world of 140 character limits and scrolling thumbs. Actually it’s partly also ‘Keep it simple for our short-attention-span’. Short, sweet hashtags, sharable images and shortlinks are the way to go.


These principles can be applied in a whole variety of ways and apply for all kinds of hotels and social media platforms.  From quick snaps to positive guest responses to organised campaigns, keep engaged with both guests and their online communities by engaging with the creation and spread of fantastic experiences.


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About The Author

The Triptease Platform is built to help hotels take back control of their distribution and increase their direct revenue.

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