February 15, 2012

Mixed results for travel sites on Facebook

Trying to go beyond the limitations of the “Like” as a standard metric for social media, a new Compete study combines a variety of measures to assess the success of online travel brands on Facebook.

Compete argues that the number of Likes a brand collects via Facebook is a common but potentially misleading measure because it’s cumulative rather than current. Using a weather analogy, it compares the obsession with Likes to looking at how much snow has fallen in total over the past 10 years versus how much is falling now or this winter.

Perhaps not surprisingly for a Web measurement firm, it points to unique visitors as a better indicator of current engagement. In that regard, Orbitz in December 2011 led the travel segment with 16,100 visits to its Facebook page. But Expedia led the group of four travel sites Compete studied, also including Priceline and Travelocity, with 1.5 million Likes. Looking at the ratio of Facebook visitors to Likes is one way to show the current “productivity” of all those likes, according to the study.

By that combined measure, Priceline easily had the highest social “productivity” rate, with 98, 631 Likes and 10,334 monthly unique visitors. Orbitz was second, at 5.2%, followed by Travelocity at 3.8% and Expedia at 1.1%.

Get the full story at MediaPost, and Compete