A number of hospitality and leisure operators generate up to half of their sales through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

That”s according to new research from Barclays, reported by freshbusinessthinking.com, which also suggests nearly a third claim social media directly attributes up to 25 per cent of all their sales. Around 13 per cent believe it attributes up to half of their sales.

In addition, 68 per cent currently using social media claim they have had a ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ experience with the medium – which includes attracting new customers and receiving positive recommendations.

However, 44 per cent admitted that while they have a presence on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, they rarely use it. By utilising social media marketing, for example, the sector may find social media becomes better value as followers become engaged and switched-on to a brand.

Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays, told thisismoney.co.uk believes that having a presence on social media is not enough – there needs to be “a strategy driving it”.

He commented on the figures: “The industry is missing a trick.

“Social media has blurred the line between personal and corporate communities – something that has been encouraged by consumers who now expect to be able to interact in an immediate and very personal way, not just with friends, but with their favourite – and not so favoured – brands,” he added.