We’re entering a new age in luxury hotel marketing. Top-tier hotels are now using Twitter for concierge services, social geo-locating platforms to unlock free gifts, Facebook for customer service and YouTube to showcase unique properties. They are finding new, large and responsive audiences across the social web. No doubt, luxury travel’s latest destination is online.
Yet who is leading the charge in this recent wave of innovative hotel social media strategies? What are their methods and how are they finding success? In our ongoing series “Luxury Hotels & Social Media,” Pursuitist is interviewing the top luxe hotel leaders (Four Seasons, The Peninsula, Waldorf Astoria and many more) to gain insight into the online strategies of the industry’s elite.
Today’s interview is with Julia Gajcak – VP, Corporate Communications and Global Marketing, The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts.
Q. Why is Social Media important for your company?
A. The Leela is focused on integrating all its marketing platforms and aligning efforts in a strategic fashion. As such, digital and social media must play a key role in our communications endeavors. We realize that we have to facilitate two-way customer communications through their preferred channels. Currently we are in the process of relaunching our website and a key focus is leveraging social strategies. Communicating with social audiences is an effective way of reaching key influencers locally, nationally and globally. Right now we are learning, experimenting and excited to engage as a brand with the social audiences. We all know it’s our customers who share the best brand stories and I have to say at The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts we have some very passionate, involved clients.
Q. How many people manage your social media channels & what types of tools do you use?
We have a high-performing, talented team with lots of fresh ideas. Along with the launch of our new website – we plan to invest more time and resources to leverage this platform. We will be using tools like HootSuite and Revinate to facilitate content on social platforms. Our team working model is collaborative and involves everyone on digital marketing, public relations and marketing communications. But the work is primarily owned by a dedicated social media head who coordinates messaging at the brand and property level.
Q. What has been the most effective content to engage users?
A. The social audience is always looking for exclusive stories. They like to be the first to know about something and participate in a new offering. There’s a whole new world that we have not engaged with yet and there’s a big opportunity ahead for The Leela.
Q. What measurable results or successes have you seen due to Social Media?
A. We do not think that social is about financial results, but rather engagement. Our Facebook fan base is close to 5,000 people now. Once our new website launches, we will be proactive in growing the corporate fan base and augmenting our reach through individual property pages.