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#EnjoyYourStay: Hotels take hospitality to the next (social) level

When someone has a baby, gets married or receives a promotion, the first place she broadcasts the news usually isn’t over a microphone in a town square — it’s on social media. In response to social media's growing influence, hotels are offering social media services to record notable moments, provide concierge services and create engaged communities. And the benefits are two-fold: not only are these hotels putting the customer first, they're also increasing awareness about their own brands.

Share minute-by-minute details of the special day

While the bride is walking down the aisle and the newlyweds have their first kiss, W Hotels in New York promise to capture every important moment through a “social media wedding concierge service.” The hotel live tweets and documents the ceremony and reception by posting photos and videos on Instagram and Vine on behalf of the couple. A wedding-specific hashtag (such as #joshandsarah) allows attendees to share updates, photos and videos, according to Tnooz.

The $3,000 service, which is available at W Hotels’ four Manhattan locations, extends beyond the ceremony hours to include pre-wedding and post-wedding social support. W Hotels creates Pinterest boards for the couple to post pictures of registry wish list items and potential honeymoon locations. Additionally, a wedding blog aggregates all of the social media posts in one location. After the wedding celebrations are over, the couple receives a Shutterfly book filled with social media posts and a collage of top tweets and Instagram posts.

You may be wondering who would want their entire wedding broadcasted on social networks. But the truth is that people were already updating their Facebook statuses and tweeting about weddings, says Alyssa Kiefer, global social media strategist for W Hotels. That’s why W Hotels created the service. Plus, for family members and friends who can’t make it to the wedding, they can still feel like they’re a part of the celebrations by following along on social media.

“If you want to build a social media footprint on your big day (and this is something people aim to do; we’ve even had people ask us how they can get their wedding to ‘trend’!), that’s where we come in,” Kiefer told CNN.

The social media concierge service not only markets W Hotels as a social media provider, it also brings awareness to the hotel brand's social media accounts, likely resulting in increased engagement on the social networks.

Tie social media to the business model

While W Hotels is the first — and only — hotel to provide social media wedding services, other hotels are integrating social media into how they operate their businesses.

Sol Wave House Hotel in Spain, which calls itself “The world’s first Tweet Experience hotel" on its website, offers a concierge service through tweets. For example, guests can tweet #FillMyFridge to have the staff refill their mini-bar, according to Tnooz — or use the hashtag #TweetPoolParty to receive 20 percent off drinks and access to VIP lounge chairs.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="611"] Image courtesy of Sol Wave[/caption]

Focused on the community aspect of social networks, TRYP by Wyndham Times Square South created its own social network through LobbyFriend, a hotel social network provider, which provides guests with an outlet to communicate with other guests and the hotel staff.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="463"] Image courtesy of LobbyFriend[/caption]

As hotels expand to offer social media services and connect with guests on social networks, they are increasing the visibility of the social media brands — and delivering a new way to boost customer value.

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