There are plenty of ways to get guests talking about your hotel, but what about starting conversations between guests on the premises? That’s the goal of Spain’s Meliá Hotels International’s #SocialWave Twitter program at their Sol Wave House property. With this innovative hotel experience, guests are invited to join a private hashtag designed to get them talking, flirting, and sharing photos — all under the guidance of two well seasoned Twitter Concierges.
Why the Move for Social Media Marketing?
“Travel” is among the top ten categories used on Pinterest (coming in at No. 9), and studies of Facebook habits suggest people post more about vacations than they do any other topic, making social media marketing a valuable tool for any hotel.
Want to see some more inspiring ways hotels are using social media to enhance guests’ experiences (not to mention creating a good deal of consumer generated media)? Take a look at these five examples.
1. Instagram Photo Sharing at Toronto’s ALT Hotel
The ALT Hotel took advantage of the fact that Instagram’s 100 million monthly users love getting artsy with their pictures (posting 40 million photos every day) by initiating an interactive photo competition. Partnering with Josh Johnson, the hotel created an Instagram mural in their lobby made entirely from guests’ photos, selecting 28 winning shots and awarding the photographer with a free night’s stay. After the project, ALT Hotel had 3,185 followers on Instagram.
2. Nickelodeon Suites Resort Uses Flip.to to Reach Guests
The average hotel guest has 130 Facebook friends, 300 Twitter followers, and 60 connections on LinkedIn. Naturally, having guests post about your hotel has huge marketing potential, generating up to 22 percent more bookings than a traditional marketing campaign.
Flip.to takes advantage of this by integrating social media right into a hotel’s booking website, turning guests into “trusted advocates” who post links to the hotel. According to Flip.to statistics, a Flip.to marketing campaign generally results in 20 percent of guests becoming “trusted advocates.”
This past June, after a month of using Flip.to to boost brand awareness, Nickelodeon Suites Resort saw 27 percent of guests posting as “trusted advocates”—posts that were seen by over 90,000 viewers, generating more than 2,700 unique visits to the hotel’s website.
3. High-Tech Snail Mail Via Postagram At Hyatt House
This past June, Hyatt House partnered with Postagram—the brilliant lovechild of social media photo sharing and traditional postage—to offer guests two free customized postcards. By logging onto the company’s website, guests could use Postagram to create and send customized postcards (yes, the kind that’s delivered by mail) featuring a photo taken on their smartphones and a 180 character message.
4. Getting Guests Active With Ritz Carlton Mobile App
The Ritz Carlton mobile app is a force to be reckoned with, acting as an expert concierge in the palm of guests’ hands. The app relies heavily on QR codes, encouraging guests to explore the hotel they are staying at by offering site-specific data and promotions.
For example, guests having a drink at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park who want the recipe for the hotel’s ten year anniversary cocktail need only use the app to scan the QR code on their napkin. Guests at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua can use QR codes to take a tour of the hotel’s art collection, while guests at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong use QR codes to learn about wine pairings. Kids at the Ritz Carlton Berlin can go on a digital scavenger hunt using the app.
The app also includes Foursquare recommendations, a bookings feature, and hotel-specific events calendars. The hotel chain even used the app to keep followers updated on this year’s Arabian Travel Market convention.
5. Mood Music at Marriott Hotels and Resorts
Guests are talking about the Marriott Hotels and Resorts’ Mood Reader channel on Spotify, a digital social music platform. Using the app, Marriott guests create mood-based playlists (plus enter to win prizes) to listen to while on vacation. In the first month after launching the app late last year, more than 30,000 playlists were created (a 70 percent engagement rate), making the Marriott Mood Reader the most successful Spotify campaign to date.