We’ve written many times about how social media can help hotels engage their communities through Facebook or Twitter. One of the best ways to utilize such networks is to hold a contest that allows potential guests to express their creativity to win a complimentary hotel stay. Hotels can see significant traffic to their website and social media pages through such innovative contests. I’ll describe how some hotels are using the hottest social networks to spice up their competitions below.
The Clanard Court Hotel in Athy, Co. Kildare, Ireland decided to hold a highly targeted Facebook campaign to stand out against its competitors. The Irish hotel partnered with WeddingsOnline.ie to create the Facebook competition “Love Match.” This contest would reward a couple with the wedding of their dreams at the hotel, as decided by their Facebook friend community. Couples were asked to enter the competition via an exclusive app on the hotel’s Facebook fan page and create their appeal with pictures and videos. Four of the couples that entered were selected to move forward to the second stage of the competition. Each pair was invited to the hotel for an interview describing their partner’s passions and plans for the big day. These interviews were incorporated into a game within the hotel’s Facebook page that asks Facebook users to match couples based on their answers. Facebook users were further enticed to play for the chance to win an overnight B&B with an evening meal at the Clanard Court. The winning couple was decided by the couple that received the most amount of correct matches.
The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, California, opened in October of 2011 with a particular Twitter contest. Up until the hotel’s opening, exclusive insider information in the form of tweets and photos appeared on their Twitter account @ShoreHotelSM daily. Twitter followers who retweeted the information were entered into a drawing. The winner was randomly selected on the opening day of the hotel. The hotel also used blogger outreach to spread the word about the contest. For Valentine’s Day, guests were also invited to tweet their best love poems to win a one-night stay that following February.
Hotel Arista in Naperville, Illinois just announced a competition called “My Effortless Wedding at Hotel Arista” a few days ago. Whether you’re engaged, married, or single, you can create a board of a minimum of 10 pictures representing your dream wedding. At least one photo must be pinned from Hotel Arista’s Pinterest page. The winner can receive a “Mini-Moon” that includes a two-night stay at Hotel Arista, a couples’ massage, brunch and dinner at SugarToad, chocolates, and flowers. The winner can be announced on Hotel Arista’s Wedding Insiders blog at a later date.
All three of these competitions use a social network’s features to entice guests to participate creatively. Do you have any creative ideas on how to engage hotel guests in a contest using social media? Feel free to share on Facebook.