The Site International Foundation has released the results of the Site Index: Focus on Technology and Social Media. The study examines the ever-changing role of technology in the incentive travel and motivational events industry and concentrates on the use of social media in designing, promoting and delivering programs and events. Since the previous Site Index Technology study was conducted in 2010, this latest study clearly shows that new technology and social media are playing a vital role in the industry. Almost across the board, survey respondents say their use of these tools has increased dramatically in the past two years, with almost a two-fold increase in the percentage of respondents using social media to do business.
“Our Site Index study on Technology and Social Media is just another reason that you need to 'stay tuned' to the Site Index and the valuable information that the Site International Foundation provides for your benefit,” stated Stephen D. Powell, Foundation President and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, InterContinental Hotels Group. “We know that our dependency on technology is rapidly ever changing, and when comparing this Index report to the 2010 Index it is clear how the tools of our industry can change in a relatively short period of time. My takeaway from this report is businesses are missing important motivational and revenue opportunities if they are not actively using social media in the promotion, on-site communication and networking of programs. And, the best use of social media is when everyone on the management staff is utilizing and engaging social media for the program's success. Just think about it; how long have we wanted effective communication to drive the momentum of motivational programs? Well, now we not only know that social media is an excellent opportunity, but the Index provides compelling documentation for your business case."
- A large majority (81%) of the respondents report that their companies are connected to clients through social media platforms with 76% of these companies maintaining corporate profiles on two or more platforms. Facebook is the leading social media platform at 70%, with LinkedIn closely following at 65% and Twitter at 28%. A little over one-third of the respondents have developed an App for their company.
- Companies are using more technology for sales and marketing purposes. For those respondents that reported using social media in their daily business, 46% use it for marketing promotions and communications and/or their incentive program operations. Forty-one percent (41%) reported that the means of communication is determined by the generational make-up of the program participants. Twitter is used by 30% of respondents during an event to motivate non-participants to aspire to attend future programs.
- Respondents shared various means for measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) from social media with the most common measurement being increased hits to their website. Other reported ROI metrics include increases in the number of comments such as “likes,” “shares” or “Tweets,” or number of connections such as “friends” or registered participants. Sixty-three per cent (63%) of respondents employ a dedicated staff member to manage their social media.
Mark Bondy, Chair of the Site International Foundation Research Committee and Partner/President, Viktor Incentives & Meetings, commented, “The results of this survey on technology and social media reflect opportunity. In recent years, social media has transcended individual use to become a key marketing tool for the business world; yet, the opportunity has eluded many as they get their arms wrapped around new concepts and the technological options. This study will help you improve your business. Seize the opportunity! Employ new strategies identified through our foundation’s research and then, contribute your own views and insights by signing up and participating in future Site International Foundation surveys and studies.”
Data for the Site Index are derived from the collective experiences and perspectives of a global group of highly qualified incentive travel and motivational event users and providers. For this survey, responses were received from 106 people in 16 countries with 91% identifying themselves as Incentive Providers/Planners. The survey was supervised by Scott A. Jeffrey, Ph.D., Monmouth University, and Marion Joppe, Ph.D., University of Guelph, and was sponsored by the Intercontinental Hotel Group. Download a full copy of the Executive Summary of the Site Index Focus on Technology and Social Media.
There is an opportunity through participation on the Site Index Panel for users or providers of motivational events to promote the industry and have access to information that will increase their proficiency. All data – including the list of participants – are maintained on a strictly confidential basis by the researchers and are never available to the Site International Foundation, Site Global or any other third party. To become a part of the Site Index Panel go to http://siteindex.monmouth.edu.