The main purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of embedded social media channels and determine whether the embedded social media channels enhance the overall experience of travelers using the hotel Web sites.
A true-experimental, between-group and post-test-only design was used to address the primary research questions. Two privately accessible complete versions of the Web site (one with embedded social media channels and one without them) were designed for the experiment. The uses and gratifications approach was used to test the proposed hypotheses. Data were analyzed using ANOVA.
The results of this study revealed that embedded social media channels on the hotel Web site enhanced travelers’ social gratifications of perceived social interaction. Apart from these benefits for travelers seeking social gratifications, embedded social media channels did not enhance the overall experience (content and process gratifications) of travelers using the Web site.
In the case of embedded social media on hotel Web sites, this study suggests that hotel managers measure return on engagement to examine the effectiveness of embedded social media, instead of return on investment.
The study revealed that the emergence of embedded social media channels and their integration on hotel Web sites will have significant influence on travelers who seek social gratifications.
The findings of this study offer new empirical evidence that embedded social media channels enhance only travelers’ perceived social interaction during their first visit to the hotel Web site.
Aluri, A., Slevitch, L. and Larzelere, R. (2015), "The effectiveness of embedded social media on hotel websites and the importance of social interactions and return on engagement", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 670-689. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2013-0415Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited