HOTEL FIRST FOR CELEB TWITTER MARKETING

Marriott Uses Celebrities To Promote Renovations On Twitter

The UK division of Marriott International is promoting the completion of a £120 million refurbishment project across 41 UK hotels with an innovative review campaign via Twitter.

Marriott has invited several well-known Twitter users, including celebrities and journalists, to communicate their experiences at selected properties to followers live on the micro-blogging site.

“We wanted to communicate this news in an original and forward-thinking way that would resonate well with our guests,” says Osama Hirzalla, Marriott’s vice president of brand marketing and e-commerce for Europe.

Because of social media’s immediacy and presumed authenticity, Marriott hopes the strategy conveys a message of confidence in its product.

Participants are personally invited by Marriott to review a refurbished hotel of their choice. Beyond that, however, they will experience the property in the same way any guest would, Hirzalla says. “All we ask in return for their stay is that they tweet regularly about their experiences at the hotel, providing a good overview of the refurbished property and its services.

It’s just like any other review, really, only communicated instantly via Twitter to their followers.”

The campaign is believed to be the first organized Twitter promotion of its kind in the hotel industry. “By using Twitter effectively and by leveraging Facebook, in addition to our more traditional communication channels, we have been able to reach many more thousands of members of the general public with news about our refurbished hotels,” Hirzalla says.

UK celebrities who have participated so far include TV presenter Gail Porter, actor Noel Clarke, actress Kaya Scodelario and E! Entertainment network personality Sam Mann.

Among the hotels reviewed to date are London Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel; Forest of Arden, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Maidstone, Kent; London Marriott County Hall Hotel; and Liverpool Marriott Hotel City Centre.

The campaign launched in January, with initial plans to roll out over the course of three months. “We have received a lot of interest from both celebrities and journalists active on Twitter wanting to review a refurbished Marriott hotel, so it is definitely something we would consider extending and developing into an ongoing campaign in the UK,” Hirzalla says.

Newstory taken from Hotels Magazine

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~ by Carol O Hanlon on April 6, 2010.

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