What Do We Know About Social Media and Firms' Financial Outcomes So Far?


Social media platforms, Financial performance, Financial performance proxies, Online social networking sites


Purpose This paper aims to understand the emergence, the revolution and the relevant knowledge of academic research concentrating on social media (SM) and hospitality and tourism firms' financial performance. The authors not only identified the gaps and critical issues in research but also re-conceptualized profound directions for the future research in technology and finance in the hospitality and tourism field. Design/methodology/approach This study adopted an in-depth review analysis to investigate and review previous scholarly papers published in hospitality, tourism and hospitality and tourism journals from January 2011 to the present. The authors thoroughly analyzed and reviewed peer-reviewed/refereed, blind-reviewed, full-length published articles and working papers within SM and hospitality firms' financial performance. Editor notes, prefaces, research notes, industry articles, internet publications, conference preceding, books and book chapters were excluded. Findings Having examined the empirical content of 26 peer-reviewed scholarly articles, the authors clearly observed that none of the papers went beyond analyzing the effect of SM on hotels' revenue per available room, revenues, net profit, average daily rate, occupancy rates, net operating income, etc., and all papers ignored the analysis of many critical financial proxies. Research limitations/implications This critique and review paper is limited to the relationship between SM and firms' financial performance within the hospitality and tourism context. Practical implications This review provides a blueprint to guide future research, facilitate knowledge accumulation and create a new understanding and awareness in practice as well as SM and financial performance research. Social implications This paper complements and adds to previous work by demonstrating various aspects, evidences, findings and inferences regarding the association between online SM platforms and firms' financial performance and by proposing rigorous abstract and specific future extensions to both practice and discipline-specific knowledge. Originality/value There is an absence of the most updated review study of published papers on SM and hospitality and tourism firms' financial performance. Although how SM contributes to firms' financial performance is clear to academicians and industry professionals, no solid consensus or theoretical certainty about what the authors know and do not know has been achieved.

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Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology






Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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