Melia Hotels International’s Sol Wave House, located on the perpetually sunny and party-crazed Spanish island of Majorca, stirred up a whirlwind of publicity this week when it claimed to be the world’s first “Twitter experience hotel.” Is it a gimmick? Sure, but an interesting one. While the trend of digital detox sweeps other island retreats, this hotel offers a #SocialWave community where you can “meet, interact, have fun, compete, experience, flirt, tweet, and much, much more.” Book one of the #TwitterPartySuites and you’ll have exclusive access to a Twitter concierge and even the ability to order Twitter-inspired cocktails. Call it a theme hotel for #21stCenturyLife.
Interactive YouTube Channels
DoubleTree launched a first-of-its-kind interactive YouTube community called DTour in May that allows viewers to share videos, tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook posts and general tips. Google helped the Hilton Hotels brand create the aggregation-inspired channel, which puts all major social media in one place. “DTour provides the perfect vehicle to celebrate the little things that make a difference and inspires a whole new way to plan and share travels,” said John Greenleaf, global head of DoubleTree by Hilton. In addition to user-generated content, the site features a section called “DTour Guides,” where DoubleTree team members across the globe share their own travel advice and must-see hotspots from a local perspective.
Several hotels have attractive YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, but Sheraton Hotels and Resorts’ new Social Hour initiative provides a great example of how to integrate them all. The idea kicked off with a 24-hour “Toast Around the World” in May where “a celebratory toast” was passed virtually around the world from the Sheraton Hong Kong and Sheraton Shanghai Pudong to the Sheraton New York Times Square. Sheraton simultaneously launched a social hour mobile platform where guests participating in a wine-tasting “social hour” at one of the 430 hotels where it’s offered can tweet, instagram and share their #socialhour experience with other guests around the world.
Twitter-Targeted TV Commercials
Holiday Inn Express was part of the beta test of a new product called TV ad targeting, which lets marketers continue the story of their television advertising on Twitter. Heather Balsley, senior vice president of Americas Holiday Inn Brand Family, said the Twitter TV ad targeting helped Holiday Inn Express market to consumers who watched TV shows featuring its new #StaySmart television commercials. “By using captivating messaging alongside Direct Response messages, video assets and interesting #StaySmart facts, we’ve been able to garner exceptionally high user engagement for our Promoted Tweets,” she said. “Because engagement rates have been significantly higher, it’s enabled us to continue to drive new followers and create engaging conversation with consumers via @HIExpress.” Twitter just made this service available to all companies in U.S. markets on July 23.
The W New York was one of the first companies to realize that Instagram photos deserve some viewing time, not just on a screen but on a real-life exhibit wall, too. The hotel, in partnership with Instagram NYC, brought together a collection of six prolific Instagram photographers to capture New York and curate a contest open to the public that resulted in one of the world’s first-ever Instagram photo exhibitions at the Living Room at W New York – Times Square last May. The idea took off, and similar exhibitions were held in London, Dublin and Singapore. Similarly, several hotels have run “Instameet” competitions to gather people together and promote their wares.
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...