Interesting bit of data analysis has found the differences between how people use search engines and social media sites when looking for new products.
Focusing on hotel search, World Independent Hotels Promotion looked at 10,000 bookings on the web to track what path the user had used before seeing or after leaving the hotel's website.
Here is a handy illustration:
As WIHP notes, search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo are clearly doing what they intend to: finding websites.
But it seems, based on the data, social media sites along the lines of TripAdvisor and Facebook alongside blogs and media, are used as a source of discovering new information.
The data poses an interesting conundrum for hotels as they look to reach potential guests: where best to put their advertising spend, through keyword buying and going the enhanced SEO route, or on potentially lower volume sites but with audiences with different motivations for being there.
"Hotel marketers should find ways to advertise on Tripadvisor and social media sites to reach new guests while using tools such as Google’s Remarketing and adwords to reach guests that are still shopping for hotels through search engines."