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Within the hospitality sector, both small boutique hotels and mega-hotel chains (think Hilton and Marriott) have embraced social media as a way to improve the overall guest experience as well as to attract new visitors. Here are a few different examples showing how hotels are going all-in on social media.
Taking photos to a different level
For hotels, posting beautiful photos of the property is just the beginning. To stand out from the pack, hotels are constantly looking for ways to take their photography to the next level, and that means tapping into the power of Instagram. Take, for example, Hamilton Hotel in Australia, which hosted an “Instameet” for 25 of the world’s top photographers on Instagram to come together in Australia for a series of exclusive events (and, of course, post gorgeous photos of the hotel on Instagram).
Enhancing the overall guest experience
It’s one thing to have a Twitter presence, but it’s quite another to maintain a real-time Twitter presence that actively shapes the overall guest experience. The classic example here is Sol Wave House in Mallorca, Spain, which has been called “the world’s first Twitter hotel.” Literally every aspect of the guest experience has been improved using Twitter, and the entire property sports a blue and white Twitter-like theme. Guests relaxing on the pool terrace can have a drink brought to them just by tweeting out #poolbarorder and their pool location. Guests can also check into their rooms via Twitter.
Taking marketing campaigns to the next level
It’s a no-brainer to wrap social media into a comprehensive marketing strategy, but some hotels really stand out for their ability to give social media a central and starring role. Perhaps the best known marketing campaign designed for social media was Marriott’s #TravelBrilliantly campaign, which asked guests for the best tips and advice on how to change the travel experience. The winner? A suggestion to include vending machines with healthy eating option. And, of course, Marriott soon implemented the idea, showing that the hotel really took the suggestions seriously.
Making social media part of the loyalty program
How do you make your hotel’s loyalty program stand out? One idea is to make social media an integral part of the campaign. In other words, some hotels don’t just reward guests for frequent stays – they also reward them for liking, tweeting, posting and checking in via social media. And Hilton uses the hashtag #HiltonStory to reward free hotel stays to guests who share the best stories of their experience at a Hilton hotel.
Turning a chain into a boutique
For the largest hotel brands, one strategy that seems to be working is creating a localized presence for specific hotels in the chain, rather than just one major brand presence. That’s important in making a chain hotel – especially one courting the upscale business traveler – feel more like a boutique hotel experience.
Obviously, hotels have realized the value of social media in helping them create unique guest experiences. Within the hospitality space, fierce competition for new customers has always forced brands to find new ways to stand out. And now social media has emerged as one of the most effective ways to do so.