The Bed and Breakfast (B&B) enterprises generally lack sufficient human resources and time to conduct research on important social media marketing factors for visitors’ satisfaction and visitors’ intentions. Therefore, this study aims to provide crucial social media marketing and factors and service quality elements for improving customer satisfaction and customer loyalty in B&B sectors. This study also provides some recommendations for attracting more visitors and increasing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty through social media.
First, social media marketing factors and service quality elements were identified through the systematic literature review. Then these identified factors and elements were used to design a survey questionnaire for collecting data. The research data included responses of 64 B&B enterprises and 625 customers. The collected data was analyzed by feature selection approaches including Decision Tree algorithm and Information Gain to identify the key factors for improving customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
The findings of this study determined that featured choice is an important social media marketing factor, and assurance is the common service quality element for both B&B enterprises and their customers in terms of satisfaction and loyalty.
This study adds a value to the growing literature on customer satisfaction and loyalty in B&B sectors by exploring key social media marketing factors and service quality elements. The study reveals several implications for theories and practices. The findings hopefully help B&B enterprises better social media marketing with less workforce and budget.
In recent decades, tourism is one of the global major service industries and has made significant contributions to the worldwide economy (Parvin, Tavakolinia, Mosammam, & Razavian, 2022). For this reason, many governments in general, and Taiwanese in particular, are actively promoting the growth of this so-called “chimney-free industry” (Chen, Lin, & Kuo, 2013). However, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the growth of the tourism sector (Parvin et al., 2022) because people preferred staying in congested areas such as towns and metropolitan cities for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, when the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled, tourism has returned to normal (Biju & Kumar, 2022), and Bed (i.e. sleeping for a night) and Breakfast (i.e. a meal in the morning) (B&B) services, provided by guest houses and hotels (Zhang, Li, Huang, & Hua, 2022a, Zhang, Williams, Li, & Liu, 2022b), are becoming popular.
In addition, the rapid development of social networking websites has become popular social media on the internet. Social networking websites, such as Facebook, TripAdvisor and Twitter, have become the main platforms for communicating, discussing and exchanging information among social site members (Dehghani & Tumer, 2015). On these websites, online users transmit information and interact with each other through available characteristics of media. Consequently, these social networking websites could be called “social media” (Adeola, Hinson, & Evans, 2020). Community websites have become an important source of information for many people. Tourists can share their travelling experiences with others and respond to related comments. This many-to-many interaction spread through the internet can be called electronic word of mouth (e-WOM) (Chen, Shang, & Li, 2014). The forms of e-WOM include one-to-one emails, one-to-many distributed emails, instant messages, Web pages, blogs, discussion forums, chat rooms and online communities (Sigauke & Erdis, 2018).
The present study’s main objective is to identify factors of social media marketing and SQEs in the B&B sector. We used two feature selection methods, IG and DT, to recognize the key factors for increasing satisfaction and building loyalty, respectively. This study provided the set of social media factors and SQEs to the B&B enterprises and customers. In addition, the findings are useful for both enterprises to improve customer satisfaction and customers when they will choose B&B services. The contributions of this study to social media marketing research are, first, the traditional conceptualization of customer loyalty was successfully applied in the social media marketing context; second, our methodology contributing to theory, could be applied in different sectors or on issues to generate different dimensions in a single study; and third, this is the first study to determine the key social media factors and SQEs in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty based on the customers and B&B enterprises opinions in the B&B sector.