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 Lisa (Tully) Lavian, Director of Marketing for the Trump Hotel Collection.
Q. Why is Social Media important for your company?
A. Trump Hotel Collection provides guests with the latest information via social media platforms. With technology rapidly increasing, social media is a major influence when communicating brand messages and leveraging promotions to generate revenue. The Trump Hotel Collection believes that social media is an ideal medium to communicate a brand’s message that both educates the customer as well as creates an open forum for customer relationships. Additionally through our social channels, we are providing our guests with another layer of customer service that allows us to talk to guests in real time. These types of interactions are very important in showing that our brand is always listening and value our customers’ loyalty.
Q. How many people manage your social media channels & what types of tools do you use?
A. Trump Hotel Collection has a designated team that manages all of our social media forums. Each of our seven properties has a Facebook page and Twitter account as does the brand. Additionally, you can access the brand and each hotel’s Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, FourSquare and Gowalla on our Connect With Us portal on our website, here. Our team actively manages all day-to-day social media operations. Each is tasked with producing daily engaging and original content spoken from an identifiable brand voice. These consistencies are important so no matter where a Trump Hotel Collection customer is navigating the across the web, a consistent and identifiable tone is seen throughout. The Trump Hotel Collection’s most powerful social brand presences can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Our Facebook philosophy is to produce a luxury travel publication format focused exclusively on our seven hotel destinations. By regularly publishing content about our unique hotel events, promotional items, local activities and most importantly features and amenities, we work to inspire visits to each of our destinations. The Trump Hotel Collection’s Twitter presence is actively managed as a guest first, promotion second approach. We regularly and consistently interact with guests tweeting about their Trump hotel experiences as we feel strongly it adds another layer of customer support. Along with guest interaction opportunities, the Trump Hotel Collection regularly tweets travel related items so our followers may also value us as a knowledgeable travel resource. Foursquare has become a critical piece of the social sphere as are guests are publicly broadcasting they are at our hotels. From our branded Trump Hotel Collection Foursquare page, we have provided a wide range of Foursquare tips and lists that guide our followers to scenic and noteworthy hotspots around our hotels. During the holiday months, for every Foursquare check-in across all seven hotels, Trump Hotel Collection donated $1 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The campaign totaled over 1,500 check-ins and created a unique awareness initiative from the entire collection.
Q. What has been the most effective content to engage users?
A. Recently, we launched a video celebrating Trump International Hotel & Tower New York’s 15th anniversary, which has been a great success on YouTube. Guests also really engage in Facebook promotions. Currently we have a “Live the Trump Lifestyle” sweepstakes valued at $50,000 and the winner will receive a two-night stay in the glamorous Presidential Suite at Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, dinner for two at Stock Restaurant & Bar and spa treatments from Quartz Crystal Spa. This promotion is in celebration of the recent opening of Trump Toronto and guests are actively participating, which is very exciting. We feel that the most engaging content is the content that allows your social media audience to connect and share their experiences with our brand. Our followers and fans are our biggest advocates and giving them ways to share their experiences at any opportunity is very important to us. Platforms such as Facebook cater well to featuring photo and video assets as this audience can relate to these items especially if they have stayed at a Trump hotel before. These are the interactions that are key as they start conversations between those that have stayed at a Trump hotel and those that have not, which encourages them to experience our brand. A similar philosophy applies to Twitter but here we focus on joining the conversation rather than starting it like Facebook. Our guests and fans are talking about us and we simply let them know we’re listening too.
Q. What measurable results or successes have you seen due to Social Media?
A. We have seen revenue increase – posting promotions on social media forums has resonated with guests and we have also seen a sizable increase in brand awareness. Social media has allowed us to truly connect with our customers in a whole new way. With the combined efforts from Ivanka Trump‘s far-reaching social following of over a million on Facebook and Twitter, increases social efforts at the property level and continues strengthening the brand. Trump Hotel Collection is reaching our current customers as well as potential customers that we may not have had the opportunity to reach otherwise.