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Journal of Services Marketing

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Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1108/JSM-08-2020-0361



Much research regarding social media posts and relevancy has resulted in mixed findings. Furthermore, the mediating role of relevancy has not previously been examined. This paper aims to examine the correlating relationship between types of posts made by hotels and the resulting occupancy rates. Then, the mediating role of relevancy is examined and ways that posts can increase/decrease relevancy of the post to potential hotel users.


Within the context of the hotel industry, three studies were conducted – one including hotel occupancy data from a corporate chain – to examine the impact of social media posts on relevancy and intentions to stay at the hotel. Experimental studies were conducted to explain the results of the real-world hotel data.


The findings show that relevancy is an important mediator in linking social media posts to service performance. A locally (vs nationally) themed post can decrease both the relevancy of a post and the viewer’s intentions to stay at a hotel. This relationship, however, can be weakened if a picture is included with the post, as a visual may increase self-identification with a post.


These results have important theoretical and practical implications as social media managers attempt to find the best ways to communicate to their customers and followers. Specifically, there are lower and upper limits to how many times a hotel should be posting to social media. The data also show many hotels post about local events, such as school fundraisers or a job fair, that can be harmful to stay intentions, likely due to the irrelevant nature of local posts to customers who are likely to stay in a hotel. National posts are seen as more relevant and likely to increase stay intentions, and the inclusion of a picture can help local posts seem more relevant.


Accepted version. Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 36, No. 2 (March 2022): 283-296. DOI. © 2022 Emerald Publishing Ltd. Used with permission.

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