Many business within the hospitality industry have done something extraordinary to make their mark on the growing social media world. I have put together, in no particular order, what I feel is a list of the top ten unique social media efforts in the hospitality industry.
1. The Best Job in the World – http://islandreefjob.com/
Last year the Queensland Tourism board ran a contest for the best job in the world. individuals submitted essays and videos and one person, Ben, was chosen as the Queensland ambassador. In 2010, Ben began his 1 year journey to introduce Queensland to the world. His role is to live and explore and blog about it, not bad if you ask me. This contest generated millions of contest entries and hits for the Queensland Tourism board.
2. The Balsams Blog – http://thebalsams.com/resorter_blog/
Alex and Luke originally started a blog in 2009 detailing their 9 month cross-country road trip. On the trip, they stayed at The Balsams Grand Resort in New Hampshire. The Balsams enjoyed their work so much, they asked them to come and live in the hotel for a year and blog their experiences as the Inn-Bedded Resorters. This blog was a great success and I love this original idea.
3. Tripwow by TripAdvisor – http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/
Trip advisor is becoming more and more interactive and they recently developed Tripwow. This tool allows you to make a free slide show with the highlights of your vacation. All you have to do is tell them where you went and provide your pictures. They then organize all of your memories into slide show that emanates a Travel TV show. To top it off, once it is complete you can download it to a disc and keep it forever, or you can easily share your unique link on any social media website.
4. Red SUCKS – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7Z0MBLHF20
Red mountain resort in Rossland, BC created this amazing Youtube video and put what was a virtually an unknown resort on the map for ski and snowboard enthusiast across the world.
5. Everyone’s an Original – http://www.everyonesanoriginal.com/
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts recently created this campaign that allows guests to posts reviews from their recent stays. Although, the idea is very similar to TripAdvisor it is unique in the fact that it gives Fairmont’s guests the opportunity to share and interact with other Fairmont guests.
6. TripAdvisor Instant Personalization
Trip advisor again, they are just so inventive! If you have a TripAdvisor account, instant personalization, allows you to log in and type in a destination you are planning to travel to. You can then connect with facebook and see which of your friends has travelled there and/or written reviews and use them as a travel resource.
7. YouTube Concierge – http://www.youtube.com/user/sanjuanmarriottlive
What a fantastic idea the Marriott in San Juan came up with, the Concierge
spends time meeting guests throughout the resort and asks them to record a quick 30-second video to send to friends and family as a virtual postcard from the beach. The video clip is then professionally licensed and uploaded to the San Juan Marriott Live YouTube Channel.
8. Best Western TV – http://www.youtube.com/user/bestwesternTV
Best western created a Youtube channel to showcase their hotel. The draw from the idea that every hotel has a story. This indie film series has hit home with a number of people as it details Best Western’s commitment to making sure every guest feel cared for.
9. Aloft (by Starwood) – www.secondlife.com
Aloft is the world’s first hotel brand to place a 3-D computer generated property inside a virtual world. With more than 1 million users, Aloft has generated feedback that has been input in to the design of their hotels. Guests and owners are able to provide feedback that is reflected in real life, including; radios in guest rooms and extra seating in lobbies.
10. KLM Surprise – http://www.aerlines.nl/index.php/2010/klms-social-media-surprise/
KLM began a campaign to utilize social media to reward guests. They would locate guests who had checked in via 4 square or left a message through twitter. Next, they would evaluate their social profiles to come up with an idea for a personalized gift, something small and thoughtful. They would then have a staff member scour the airport location to present guests with their token of appreciation and the results were absolutely heartwarming. Watch the video and see how a little bit of thought and effort can create lasting loyalty.
These days it is important to stay inventive in order to maintain interest and I think that these campaigns do a phenomenal job. In fact, as I wrote this I sat here asking myself “why didn’t I think of that?”