Wen, W, M. Clark, B. Kang, & M. Fine (2016)
Tourism Culture & Communication

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Social media is a valuable marketing tool in the hospitality and tourism industry for its immense potential to generate business value and customer satisfaction. This is especially true in the luxury segment. Specifically, microblogging sites such as Twitter in the United States and Sina Weibo (pronounced as way-bo) in China have al-lowed hospitality and tourism customers to discuss brands online with other custom-ers globally. Microblogging allows users to interact with other users as well as brand representatives in a timely and relevant format that encourages conversation. Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms and is also a crucial component of the marketing communications strategy for the hotel industry. In the case of international hotels that operate in China, the companies must also incorporate Sina Weibo, the mandarin and Cantonese variation of Twitter, for China. Using both sites allows these hotels to expand their target market. Hospitality and tourism marketers could use some guidance about how to best utilize both microblogging platforms concurrently. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to examine the usage of social media by comparing Twitter in the United States and Sina Weibo in China. Specifically, the focus will be on how information is acquired and disseminated on these social media platforms in international luxury hotel segments. The authors will draw on Biel’s brand image and communication theory to explore how international luxury hotels employ different marketing communication strategies on these two microblogging platforms in the United States and China. Data from both sites was collected and analyzed using content analysis and logistic regression analysis. The results suggest that luxury hotels should continue building brand image through Twitter and Sina Weibo, and provide more promotion activities on Sina Weibo to attract Chinese customers.


Sina Weibo; Twitter; international luxury hotels; communication; brand image; social media strategy; microblogging.