How hotels capitalise on social media following
Social media is an uber buzzword. I'm sure everywhere you go, you hear a million tips on how to build your following and drive engagement. It's more tricky to know what to do with it. And how to measure the ROI to make sure it's not just a vanity project.
This is a story of what happens when all pieces of the puzzle fit together and a masterclass in making all the hard work pay. It's also the story of Hotel Treats origin.
In the beginning, there were three luxury Marriott properties in Palma de Mallorca. Each of them with their own distinct personality: there's the very glamorous seaside St. Regis, the golf-obsessed Sheraton, and the historical Castillo Hotel Son Vida, overlooking the Palma City and Bay.
Each very distinct, but all very well-loved by local residents. And all managed by the same marketing team.
With a stroke of genius, the then Marketing Manager decided to invest in creating one common website and Facebook page for the whole cluster, to engage with local residents and businesses. The site was available in Spanish only and used to promote experiences offered at all three hotels, working across the brand divide.
Soon, the sites' following grew to substantial numbers. Having the perfect tool to communicate with followers, the hotels started organising events and promotions dedicated specifically to local residents. Such as hugely popular series of open-air concerts which take place annually on the spectacular terrace of Castillo Son Vida and which became something of a highlight of the social calendar in Palma.
With engagement growing and the community buzzing came several challenges.
Namely, how do you sell 1800 tickets to a hugely popular event held in peak season? Logistically, it was impossible to sell the tickets on the day of the concert. It was also very impractical to get customers to buy tickets in person prior to the event. Having a queue of non-guests at Reception for a few weeks at the hight of the season is sub-optimal, to say the least. Not to mention the trouble customers would have to go through to drive out of the city to the hotel.
That's how Hotel Treats came to be - we were initially engaged by the Marketing Manager to create an easy way to sell tickets to these events. The schedule was tight - with concerts just a few weeks away both us and the Marriott marketing team scrambled to get ready for when the floodgates opened. And open they did. That first season, all tickets to the inaugural concert sold out within 36 hours. With no need for customers to come to the hotel, and no drama. (Well, there was a bit of drama at our office. But not visible from the outside. Think of a serene swan on a calm lake, frantically paddling its feet underwater... Happy to tell you more about it offline).
From this point onward we've been working together, introducing new features and ultimately creating Hotel Treats as it is now - a fully fledged experience and gift voucher platform. Since then, we've added features further linking the online shop to social media and supporting sales through Facebook, Instagram and any other channel.
We still help Marriott sell concert tickets. But now, they are just a drop in the ocean.