While word of mouth is still important among high-end goods and services, online conversation, hashed out on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, is steadily becoming a strategy for brands aiming for consumer retention. In Engagement Labs’ first “Total Social” ranking, Ritz-Carlton ranked the highest on social media, but fell when it came to recommendations made by offline word of mouth, presenting an opportunity for the hospitality brand. “Social media is becoming more important, but not at the expense of word of mouth,” said Bryan Segal, CEO of Engagement Labs, Toronto. “There is no substitute for face-to-face conversations, and hotel experiences are an important topic of conversation,” he said. “The most successful marketers should have a twin social strategy that embraces both online and offline. Get the full story at Luxury Daily