Search visibility and online social presence for bed and breakfasts

Malcolm, Narda
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University of Delaware
Online visibility and social media presence of a business have become very influential in the way people conduct business. Hospitality businesses are gravitating toward things like social media, in an effort to reach a larger customer base on a more socially interactive level, infused with technology, as a means to boost business. This study examined the extent to which the Bed and Breakfasts (B&B) sector of the industry uses social media tools (particularly Facebook and Twitter) and whether or not using them had any effect on how Bed and Breakfast websites appeared on the three major search engines. The study also aimed to find the difference in how Bed and Breakfasts ranked across the three major search engines (Bing, Google and Yahoo). The study revealed that although social media has become extremely popular in marketing efforts for many hospitality businesses, there was no direct relationship between Bed and Breakfasts using social media in marketing efforts and how the Bed and Breakfasts ranked on search engines. It was shown however that having a strong online presence and using social media can help Bed and Breakfasts boost their marketing efforts, and business. Keywords: Online Presence, Social media marketing, web 2.0, web marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Bed and Breakfast marketing.