Social media play a crucial role in the tourism industry. Tourists engage with social networking sites to make informed decisions about their travels and share their experiences of accommodation brands with friends. This research explores causal configurations of factors that enable accommodation brands to succeed in online social networks. In this study, the ranking of 20 accommodation brands on a social network (Facebook) was employed as an outcome of social mentions, which comprised four elements: strength, sentiment, passion, and reach. This paper thus presents a cross-country comparison of relationships between social mentions and the ranking of the top accommodation brands in Romania and Tunisia in terms of number of Facebook fans. The data were gathered from Socialbakers and Social Mention, two important tools in social media marketing analytics that use sophisticated tracking instruments to deliver statistics related to the top 10 accommodation brands in Romania and Tunisia. The study provides keen insight into the causal configurations that link social mention variables to the ranking of accommodation brands on Facebook. Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) confirmed that social mention variables (strength, sentiment, passion, and reach) are key factors for achieving a higher ranking on Facebook in terms of the ability to attract fans. The study contributes by showing that social mentions have a significant positive effect on accommodation brands' ranking, especially in terms of online branding strategies.
Journal of Business Research – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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