Social Media: How Small Businesses Are Spending Infograpic

Social Media:
How are Small to Medium-Sized Businesses Spending?
By Flowtown

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Mobile Phone Usage for Lodging Websites

Looking at Google Analytics Mobile reporting and aggregating the data for 70 lodging properties, here is how the mobile phone usage broke down, by device for the month of January, 2011:

The surprising number here may be the iPad usage at 42%.  It defies the definition of mobile… it is kind of big and typically renders a website more like a laptop than a phone.

iPad usage certainly skews the results if we are strictly defining mobile.  Another surprise is the small “other” slice.  This may also be skewing the results, it is likely that some users are using “dumb” phones that don’t trigger the Google Analytics javascripts.

The number of visits for those 70 lodging websites averaged 1,581 visits per website in January 2010… up from 363 in January 2009.  In terms of percentages, that is a move from 1.48% to 5.76%… seasonally adjusted in one year.

Whatever the case, and whatever the experts say, a lot of people are interacting with your hotel’s website through a cell phone.  Make sure your website looks and works OK in an iPhone and iPad are probably the lowest hanging fruit… this typically entails NOT using Flash and making your website de-cluttered and easier to operate on a smaller screen.

Email Marketing Statistics and Research

Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist, shares real research data that will improve your email marketing performance in his statistics webinar:   The Science of Email Marketing!

This webinar includes:

  • The best (and worst) times to send email
  • The best (and worst) words to use in subject lines
  • Real data about sending frequency
  • Actual proof about the importance of subscriber freshness

Here are some sample stats that are not industry specific:

  • Weekends get higher click through rates
  • Thursday is best (lowest) day for unsubscribes and Tuesday is the highest
  • Click through rate (CTR) is highest for emails sent between 6-7am and lowest for emails sent at 4pm.   The opposite is true:
    • Emails sent at 4pm have the lowest unsubscribe rate and the highest is at 6am.
    • 80.8% of people read email on their mobile phones
    • Your Click-Through-Rate is higher if you have more links in your email
    • More links also lower the unsubscribe rate
    • The unsubscribe link doesn’t stand out as much if it’s not the only link in the email!

Leisure Travel Statistics

The State of the American Traveler (July 2010) by Destination Analysts is a beautiful 4 page pdf full of stats about the mindset, travel plans, favorite activities and more for the leisure traveller

They devote an entire page to some interesting online marketing stats.  Here is an overview of some of teh most relevant.

  • 42.9% used user-generated content.
    • 27% used hotel reviews
    • 21.4% used destination reviews
    • 19.8% used restaurant or activity reviews
  • 26.2% used social media for travel planning.
    • 8.2% became a fan of a city or destination
    • 7.8% used social photo sharing website
  • 28% used a mobile phone/PDA to access travel info
  • 15% used a travel-related e-mail newsletter
  • 31.2% used a DMO website
  • 16.6% used online video

Here is a screen on respondents answers to the question “Which of the following did you specifically do using your mobile device” (select all that apply, asked only of those using mobile phones/PDA to access travel information)

Proof Email Marketing is Dead: Open Rate for Emails

In Email Marketing is Dead the Statistics and Social Proof Clint Mayer confronts us with an argument that marketers should ditch their email marketing in exchange for a social media strategy.

He says:

According to a July 2010 Edition of the Email Marketing Benchmark Report  released by, the average open rate of emails in the USA dropped from 14% in half 2 of 2007 to a humble 11.2% in half 2 of 2009.

The decline in email open rates has been attributed to factors like image blocking, increased use of email hand held devices and list fatigue, but the biggest reason is being grossly neglected. It is what we are calling the era of social advocacy – Social Media.

101 Marketing Charts and Graphs

Here is a a great slideshow with lots of charts and graphs.

100+ Marketing Charts and Graphs

Highlights from the Marketing Charts:

  • Inbound marketing focused companies generate leads at a 60% lower cost than companies who focus on outbound marketing
  • Out of companies who blog, 46% have attracted revenue through their blog
  • Out of companies who blog regularly, 90% of companies attracted customers through their blog if they post daily, but only 38% attracted for those who blog monthly
  • Blogging increases your Twitter reach by 75%
  • Websites with blogs get 55% more visitors
  • Facebook pages for US companies have 4,300 Facebook fans on average
  • 63% of businesses say blogging and social media generate leads at a lower cost of other marketing activities
Read more at the HobSpotBlog and view more presentations from HubSpot Internet Marketing.

The Rise of Social Network Ad Spending

TripAdvisor Releases Second Annual Vacation Rentals Survey Research

TripAdvisor Unlocks the Results of its Second Annual Vacation Rentals Survey Research

Survey Shows Increased Interest in Vacation Rentals, With 40 Percent of Travelers Researched Planning a Rental Stay in 2011

NEWTON, Mass., Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the results of its second annual vacation rentals survey of more than 1,400 U.S. travelers. Forty percent of respondents said they are planning a vacation rental stay in 2011, indicating that rental homes are poised for a busy year ahead. Thirty-three percent of travelers said they stayed in a vacation rental in 2010.

“With an increased interest in vacation rentals on TripAdvisor and a similar trend shown in our survey, it’s shaping up to be another strong year of growth for rentals,” said Hank Hudepohl, director of vacation rentals at TripAdvisor. “For travelers staying with larger groups in 2011, a vacation rental is a great option to consider for its home-like amenities and affordable pricing compared to hotels.”

Know Before You Go

When deciding between different rental properties, the key influences cited by respondents are:

  • Photos of the home (42 percent)
  • Traveler reviews (27 percent)
  • Cost of staying at the properties (13 percent)

Over the Internet and Through the Grapevine

Most travelers find out about vacation rental properties on the Web, both on vacation rental property websites (70 percent) and online travel websites (55 percent). In addition, 25 percent of respondents find out about particular homes by word of mouth from friends and family. [Read more…]

2010 Social Media Stats, Reports, Data and Charts

View the slides from this social media webinar for dozens of statistical datapoints, charts and graphs about social media.

by Debra Aho Williamson of eMarketer
View more presentations from eMarketer.

Overview of Content:

Trend #1: By 2012, 88% of Marketers will use Social Media

  • Four in five companies will use social media tools in 2011; even more 2012
  • Changing consumer usage patters make social media a must:

o   Facebook is still growing

o   Worldwide Usage is rising.  Six out of 10 frequent internet users worldwide have a social network profile

o   Brand Interactions are increasing.  Coupons, deals and discounts are encouraging consumers to engage with marketers

  • There is still room for growth (Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter)
  • However, not every industry has adopted social media at the same rate—and some never will (Manufacturing, Government and Energy/utilities are late adopters)

Trend #2: Social Media gets its share of Marketing Dollars

  • More than 8 in 10 companies plan spending increases this year

Trend #3: Social Media will be integrated into Marketing Planning [Read more…]

Vacation Rental Online Conversions in Online Travel Sites

According to Dennis Schaal at Tnooz’s Leisurelink Data Vacation Rental Lookers Converting to Bookers:

LeisureLink, which tracks queries for vacation rentals, timeshare resorts and boutique hotels from online travel agencies, including Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia; the GDSs; and LeisureLink’s own released booking conversion trends:

The conversion rate in vacation lodging sales in December 2010 increased 31% over the prior month, November 2010, and 16% over December 2009.