4 hotel brands delivering 5-star social strategies
This post was published today on Social Media in Travel and Hospitality thought leadership site, TRO-SMITH.
It’s no secret that social media has become a tool of expert hotel marketers. Whether you’re a luxury hotel, boutique hotel, large chain, economical motel or even a hostel, social media marketing can help you generate highly targeted traffic and brand awareness, while giving you the tools to communicate information and engage your guests.
These days, hotels are finding more and more creative ways to engage their guests and entice new visitors, in turn creating a sharp distinction between the forward-thinking, social media-active hotels and those who are not.
Here are four hyper-social hotels that are taking social engagement to another level.
A Full Social Media Experience – The Sol Wave House
The Sol Wave House on Magaluf Beach in Spain is the world’s first “Twitter hotel”. The hotel uses social media to enhance their guest’s experiences and create a sense of community. Once guests connect to an app available through the hotel’s WiFi, they can communicate with the check-in desk and hotel staff using the #SocialWave hashtag., or see who’s close by and tweet and share photos with each other.
Guests can even flirt with each other by sending virtual “kisses” and inviting to meet them at events like #twitterpoolparty and #twitterpartysuites.
Thought Leadership – The Roger Smith Hotel
The Roger Smith Hotel is an independent boutique hotel located on Lexington Ave in Manhattan, that has achieved rock star status in the social media world. The RSH takes social media engagement to a new level, providing discounted rates through Twitter and Facebook, freebies for checking into their bar on foursquare, and consistently posting compelling and original content on their blog.
The RSH social media team is frequently asked to speak at industry events and they even host many of their own events at the hotel, all the while documenting and sharing everything with their online community, through blog posts, YouTube videos, Instagram and Vimeo.
Social Recruiting – Marriott International
Marriott’s social media recruiting strategy may very well be one of the best examples of the effectiveness of social media recruiting worldwide.
Marriott’s Facebook recruitment page (with over 1 million Likes) not only lists open positions; but actively encourages engagement, while providing a snapshot of what it’s like to actually work at a Marriott hotel, through videos and photos. They also occasionally hold question and answer sessions online, moderated by a human resources executive providing insight into the job search.
As part of their recruitment strategy, Marriott actually created a Facebook game that enables users to manage different elements of a Marriott hotel. ‘MyMarriottHotel’ allows players to virtually run their own hotel, from hiring and firing employees to cleaning rooms and delivering room service. The player receives points by making guests happy with top notch service.
The game, available in Spanish, Arabic, French and Chinese, successfully helped Marriott actively connect with employees in global markets where they were struggling to fill open positions.
Engaging on International Social Networks – Four Seasons
With virtual wine tastings on Twitter, encouraging and generating active participation on Foursquare, and publishing compelling curated content, Four Seasons clearly ‘gets’ social media engagement.
Not only are they actively engaged with their community and highly unique in their social marketing campaigns, but Four Season’s also understands the importance of branching out of our social channels here in the West, and tapping into international sites to connect with their global community. The international hotel chain has extended their active social presence to China’s most popular social network, Sina Weibo – with over 26,000 fans and counting.
The bigger picture
These hotel brands have harnessed what their customers want out of a social media experience. The ‘want’ can range from various types of customers but essentially, creating a way to satisfy the ‘want’ is a part of successful social media. The techniques outlined by these hotel brands are also a fabulous example of the ways in which to stay ahead of the ever-changing trends in social media. Using interactive techniques will create an entirely new experience for guests and a new way to gain social media exposure.