The Hilton chain is a standout on social media, but for all the wrong reasons, says a six-month study of Twitter posts by Boston-based Crimson Hexagon
, which specializes in analyzing social data. Hilton was at the bottom of the list with a 17 percent negative rating. The top posts mentioning the company centered on charging for Wi-Fi connection, slow connection speeds, poor customer service and billing problems. There were five runner ups for second place - Crowne Plaza, DoubleTree by Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton and Westin - who all scored a 14 percent negative rating.
So, who got the most positive feedback? Two brands were standouts. Radisson, with a 62 percent favorable rating, and Best Western with 57 percent. Even more interesting, Radisson had the lowest negative sentiment, just 4 percent. According to John Donnelly, senior vice president of global sales and marketing at Crimson Hexagon, you can chalk that up to loyalty. Then again, it did get a lot of happy tweets for its two-nights free sweepstakes, which the chain rolled out on social media platforms.
"In the hotel industry, customer loyalty is paramount," Donnelly told Fortune. "Social media gives hotel brands the opportunity to deepen engagement with their customers, build an emotional connection and amplify loyalty initiatives to new platforms." For example, there were more than 1,000 tweets about DoubleTree by Hilton's free chocolate chip cookies upon check in. "Insights like these can help hotel brands make smarter decisions about their loyalty programs and customer experience initiatives."
Still, when it comes to customer service and social media, hotels are charmed compared to the airlines. Three airlines - American, Delta and United - had negative ratings that exceeded 50 percent. And the most popular carrier, Southwest Airlines, had a negative ring of 38 percent. That's more than double Hilton's negative rating.