Hotels get social to gain competitive edge


Abi Mandelbaum, CEO and cofounder of YouVisit, specialists in creating virtual tours and virtual reality experiences, looks at how three hotels are using Social Media to interact with their guests

There’s no denying that social media plays a major role in the way the hospitality industry connects with today’s travellers. We’re not just talking about Millennials either —hotels know that savvy business travellers are on social networks and take them seriously as well.
From enticing guests to book a trip by sharing captivating content with their followers, to encouraging guests to make reservations through social media, hotels that are embracing this medium are reaping the benefits.
Below are three examples of hotels successfully engaging their guests through social media.

1888 Hotel: Australia
Last December, Instagram reported that it had more than 300m users. The founders of the 1888 Hotel in Australia recognised this opportunity and made the innovative decision to make its guests’ Instagram use a key component of their stay.
The hotel features screens in its lobby that display Instagram images their guests have uploaded to the platform. The hotel also advertises a designated selfie area, and what it calls ‘Insta-Walks’ — maps that provide guests with directions to nearby sites worthy of snapping some breathtaking photos.
Visitors with over 10,000 followers, or who take a great Instagram shot of the hotel, can also win a free night’s stay.

Sol Wave House Hotel: Spain

The Sol Wave House Hotel in Majorca, calls itself the world’s first Twitter hotel.
Using a dedicated hashtag, guests can tweet members of the hotel’s staff, and request room service, or pool-side drinks. This hotel takes its Twitter presence one step further on the weekends, by hosting ‘Twitter Pool Parties’ every Friday, and advertises them using the hashtag #TwitterPoolParty. Guests at the hotel can even order taxis via Twitter by sending a tweet using the hashtag #WaveTaxi.

The Ritz-Carlton

Ritz-Carlton has a reputation for catering to the more affluent traveller. The desire to connect with one’s peers, however, transcends socio-economic status. The Ritz-Carlton has identified this and incorporated a social media aspect into its existing native app.
Using the app, guests can access the Sharable Experiences feature which allows guests to transform their travel photos into vintage-inspired posters using digital stamps, titles, and filters that are unique to a particular property and location.
Guests are encouraged to share their modified images on their social media channels.
Social media has dramatically revolutionised the way people communicate with one another, and can dramatically revolutionise how businesses communicate with consumers.
For hotels that haven’t embraced it, it is important to remember that it is a valuable marketing tool they should adopt sooner rather than later.

CEO and cofounder of YouVisit, specialists in creating virtual tours and virtual reality experiences

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