Linda Haden, reporting from EyeforTravel's Travel Distribution Summit Asia, Singapore, May 10, 2012
THE ABILITY of social media to translate into profits is overhyped, said Scoot's head of commercial, Steven Greenway, during a panel discussion at EyeforTravel's Travel Distribution Summit Asia.
"Not a single airline has been able to co-relate how engaging consumers through social media adds to the bottom line," said Greenway.
In addition, social media could potentially wipe out the intangible benefits it brings. “Scoot's Facebook page, for instance, has also become a platform for customers to air their angst and complaints, which can be erroneous and highly damaging," he said.
Grand Hyatt Singapore's director of revenue management, Fiona Lau also pointed out that social media works better for leisure-oriented hotels rather than properties with a multi-market mix. Unlike leisure travellers who can make decisions based on recommendations, corporate travellers are “constrained by corporate travel policy that dictates where they can stay”, she added.
Greenway emphasised the relevance of social media in brand management, but concluded that it was hard to justify its use for revenue generation. "At the end of the day, someone has to pay the (advertising) bills,” he said.