Experts say that as more and more consumers begin to use social media apps on mobile phones as their primary access points to the internet, having a massive social media following such as Marriott International’s will increasingly be key to success in the hotel and travel industries. According to New York City-based marketing company eMarketer, by 2017 spending on social media promotions will soar to nearly $36 billion, which will make up 16 percent of all ad spending on the Internet across the globe. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor and others have already the top means for companies, including global hotel chains, to manage their reputations and engage directly with consumers. Reports also show that social media reviews have also risen to rank among the top 3 factors that guests consider while deciding which hotels to stay in. Arne M. Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, has said that social media use, particularly when it comes to promoting crucial hotel loyalty programs online, is “more relevant than ever. It’s the place we can use technology to compete with new technology programs.” Get the full story at Tophotelprojects