With huge competition, hotels are innately bestowed the difficult task of continuously coming up with unique packages to entice travelers. However, by using social media, there are various ways to tie travel experiences to distinct online campaigns. This adds a layer of intimacy due to the social interaction, and also allows properties to virtually “sell without selling” their packages.
Appeal to Emotion
Carmel Valley Ranch just debuted a “Love Your Honey” Pinterest contest. Based on the hotel offer of the same name, entrants are asked to think about what love means to them in exchange for the opportunity for the couple to enjoy a two-night stay at Camel hotel along with a personal photo shoot.
The romantic package includes daily breakfast for two along with a $100 dinner credit and two 60-minute herbal hot rock massages. Through June 6, users should pin an image conveying what love means to them. Is it long walks on the beach? Romantic candle lit dinners? Attending music or sporting events?
By pinning an appropriate image with the hashtag #LoveYourHoney, individuals will then be invited to join Carmel Valley Ranch’s collaborative pinboard where they can share their image there as well. As Pinterest continues to be a platform where women share creative ideas for the weddings and the like, this is definitely a suitable place for a contest like this to be housed. Appealing to emotion (who doesn’t love a good romantic story?) is a great way to encourage passion for the campaign and spread awareness for the package it is subtly promoting.
Utilizing current trends as basis for contests can also be fruitful. “Selfies” have become so engrained in the current tech and social landscape that the term (rather unfortunately) was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary at the end of last year. A “selfie” is a photo one takes of themselves, and La Concha Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico decided to create a package around this phenomenon.
The “Take a Selfie Adventure” package is available through August and includes discounts at the Bacardi Distillery, Tropical Rain Forest Tour, and kite flying at the historical forts, during which travelers are expected to be taking selfie after selfie.
Once an individual has selected the photo they like best and subsequently applied the most attractive filters, they’re encouraged to upload the selfie to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, while tagging the La Concha Resort and using the hashtag #belaconcha.
In doing so, participants are automatically entered into the resort’s contest wherein the best selfie (as determined by the resort) will win a free three-day/two-night stay. Winners will be announced at the end of each month from May to August so there are numerous opportunities to win.
While users may likely have been taking selfies anyway, this is an interesting way to tie them into the whole experience and create something totally different. It’s likely those who book this package will be talking about it offline in addition to the photos they share online.
Use Timely Events
Mother’s Day just passed, and, for the second year in a row, Hilton Anaheim hosted their “Queen for a Day” Mother’s Day champagne brunch. The British-themed Mother’s Day brunch is the brainchild of the hotel’s General Manager, Shaun Robinson, who hails from Liverpool in the U.K.
This majestic experience began with mothers being heralded by trumpeters as they entered. The centerpiece was a custom-built royal throne fit for a queen that was placed in the lobby where it served as a regal stage for moms and their families to enjoy a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity. Once seated on her throne, each mom donned a bejeweled crown and held a scepter to complete the sovereign setting.
To stimulate excitement around the brunch, the Anaheim hotel also held its second annual Facebook contest surrounding the holiday. The contest asked users to share in 1,000 characters or less why their mom or wife deserves to “Queen for a Day.” The winner received a weekend getaway at the hotel for Mother’s Day along with a spa treatment for her and bunch for the immediate family. Additionally, all entrants received a coupon for the hotel’s Mix Restaurant.
Similar to the emotional aspect of Carmel’s contest, this one also tugged on heart strings and served both as a Facebook campaign as well as a subtle promoter of the hotel’s capstone event.
Have you seen any other hotels use social media contests to leverage on-property packages or events?