Effects of Social Media Network Sites on Service Delivery in Hotels in Nakuru Town
Yator, Faith J.
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The importance of social media in enhancing positive relationships between customers and business cannot be gainsaid. This is because they offer new and innovative ways to communicate and network via the internet. There are various platforms provided by the social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Skype, mysite, whatzup and Twitter in the strategic marketing of products and services for the hotel industry. As such, social media networking has become an effective form of marketing which has raised the brand awareness, brand loyalty, customer services and has led to increase in sales. As such it has opened tremendous opportunities for companies to market their products and services using social media. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of social networking in service delivery in the hotel industry in Kenya. It sought to establish how hotels are utilizing social media in marketing so as to boost awareness amongst its customers. The theoretical background was based on theories of social media. In order to explore, identify and suggest workable policies and strategies in the management of the use of social networking, stratified proportionate sampling procedure has been used to pick the hotels, the study used questionnaires to collect data. Collected data was analyzed using statistical package of social sciences (SPSS) version 22 and presented in tables, figures and charts form. A sample size of 190 employees was used with the end result expected to give the effects of social networking in the hotel industry and how this strategic change can be managed to increase productivity in the industry. The research findings of the study is useful to hotel industry in using social media as a part of its marketing strategy. The study showed that a huge percentage of 94.1% used social media. This was attributed to the high usage of internet enable smartphones. There was also a noted higher usage of the social media among the younger age groups compared to their old counterparts. Facebook and twitter usage topped the list of the highly used social media networks in the hotel industry that mirrored their usage in the social lives. There is different prevalence of the usage of diverse social media networks for different purposes such as marketing, sales, customer service and giving of information. In the context of marketing, 82.2% of the respondents utilized social media for marketing purposes of which the face book and Google plus topped the usage. The social media was used for marketing to give out new product introduction, product features elaboration and networking with potential customers. In the context of branding, the social media platforms were used by hotels to elaborate certain aspects of their service and standards. The face book and twitter formed the highest used platforms for branding. The hotels used the social media platforms to a higher degree to elaborate on their location, available facilities, technical expertise of workers, and hotel menu amongst other factors.