Home → Magazine Archive → June 2014 (Vol. 57, No. 6) → The Power of Social Media Analytics → Abstract

The Power of Social Media Analytics

By Weiguo Fan, Michael D. Gordon

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 57 No. 6, Pages 74-81

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With more than 4,100 properties in more than 90 countries, Accor Hospitality was facing pressure from customers, as well as from shareholders, to increase customer satisfaction and quality of service during an economic downturn. It thus turned to Synthesio, a global, multilingual social-media monitoring-and-research company, to examine the more than 5,000 customer opinions posted each month on travel websites worldwide concerning Accor's various brands. Accor saw its main challenge as how to quickly identify customer dissatisfaction and then correct problems at their source. Synthesio created a tool to track the online reputations of 12,000 hotels, including those run by Accor and those run by its competitors. It quickly revealed a number of problems Accor guests were having; for example, room keys were being demagnetized unintentionally by their smartphones. Accor was then able to work with its room-key supplier to address the problem. Accor was also able to set up a rewards-and-training program that encouraged its individual hotels to connect with their guests through online conversations. Within one year of contracting Synthesio, the Novotel brand within the Accor group saw 55% growth in positive feedback in online posts, along with a significant decrease in the number of negative comments.

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Key Insights


Social media analytics "is concerned with developing and evaluating informatics tools and frameworks to collect, monitor, analyze, summarize, and visualize social media data ... to facilit[ate] conversations and interactions ... to extract useful patterns and intelligence..."28 Accor illustrates how social media analytics can help businesses improve their reputations and resulting business performance. Ubiquitous smartphones and other mobile devices, Facebook and YouTube channels devoted to companies and products, and hashtags that make it easy to share experiences instantly combine to create a social media landscape that is quickly becoming part of the fabric of everyday business operations. As the number of users on social media sites continues to grow, so does the need for businesses to monitor and use them to their advantage.


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