Seeking to enhance its social media stature, Marriott Rewards launches a PlusPoints program that rewards loyalty program members 250 points for each Facebook “like” or Twitter “follow,” as well as 25 points for each Facebook share or retweet about Marriott—up to a maximum of 2,000 points every 30 days.
"Our members have been supporting and talking about Marriott Rewards and our hotels on social media for years and we think PlusPoints will be a fun and innovative way to say thanks and to keep the conversation going," said Rich Toohey, vice president, Marriott Rewards. "It is another bold step in making Marriott Rewards an active participant beyond the travel experience and engaging our members as they connect with their social networks."
Geotagged Instagram photos about Marriott properties and foursquare check-ins are also worth 25 points each. Rewards members can then redeem their points for things such as $10 Best Buy Gift gift cards (5,000 points), and $15 iTunes gift cards (7,500 points). It would take a ton of points to redeem a hotel stay; members can also redeem points for cruises, car rental and frequent flyer miles, Colloquy reports.
Skift reports that critics may view the program as taking the authenticity out of social media: How legitimate is a “like” if the user is getting compensated for it?
Does Facebook permit compensating consumers for “likes?” Apparently so.
A portion of Facebook’s platform policy for developers describes the parameters of proper use: “Only incentivize a person to log into your app, like your app’s Page, enter a promotion on your app’s Page, or check-in at a place. Don’t incentivize other actions.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that Facebook requires PlusPoints members to provide access to their Friends/Followers’ list in order for Marriott to give out points “for following participating brands and properties,” Marriott states. “Marriott will never share or use this information.”