Radisson Blu gets more 'social' with guests

Major hotel chains are jumping into social media, including new initiatives to reward guests for social media activity that helps promote their brands. They are all trying to win market share among Millennials, who represent a growing proportion of business and tourist travel, reports Media Post.

This week Radisson Blu announced a contest called “Social Eyes,” which will reward travelers who share inside travel tips on the Radisson Blu blog about destinations where Radisson Blu hotels are located. Each week the traveler with the best tip will earn a free room night at any Radisson Blu hotel worldwide.

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, whose new “Kimpton Karma Rewards” program will give guests perks and freebies for a variety of activities, including mentioning a Kimpton hotel or restaurant on social media. Back in May Marriott launched a new “PlusPoints” loyalty program, which awards redeemable points for social media activity including retweeting posts from the Marriott Rewards Twitter account, following hotels’ Twitter and Instagram accounts, checking in on Facebook, or posting photos of a fabulous Marriott stay on Instagram with an enthusiastic caption, among others. Currently over 360 Marriott hotels are participating in the social rewards program.

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The new Radisson Blu blog has been designed to look and feel like a travel magazine – filled with inspirational and useful tips gathered about the areas that surround Radisson Blu hotels worldwide – and the Social Eyes contest is aimed at building an even larger cache of travel secrets, reports the Herald Online. By encouraging participants to share the best things they’ve found from their personal travels that go beyond the usual “must see” lists, the brand seeks to uncover information like how to locate the best viewpoint, discover a hidden café, enjoy a secret garden, or interesting ways to experience a city.

“There’s a real art to traveling well and even the most seasoned voyager looks to local people for tips to make a trip something special,” said Rose Anderson, vice president, Branding, Radisson Blu. “We want our new blog to become a trusted source for travel insights. We recognize that knowledge is a powerful currency and as such want to be able to reward the sharing of the top insights with a free night at one of our hotels.”

Meanwhile new services are launching to help hospitality businesses of all sizes keep track of their guests’ social media activity, Media Post reports.  One such startup, Voyat, tracks mobile (and laptop) social activity via Wifi and stores this information alongside transaction data to create detailed customer profiles. Hotel managers can then use these profiles to craft personalized marketing messages and customized loyalty rewards, which in turn should lead to return visits by customers who feel a more personal connection to the hotel.

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