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How Hospitality Businesses Stand Out Online [Case Study]

Enabling Your Customers to Tell Their Stories Through Your Brand

Hospitality businesses and social media are a natural mix. People who are on vacation, enjoying leisure time away from work, on a business trip, or just in town visiting family, are engaged in new and different experiences that they will likely share with their friends and followers on social media.

The key to engaging your fans and bringing your unique physical experience to an online campaign, is to learn from your customers. By listening to their feedback, monitoring how they interact with your facility and staff, and tapping into a core thread that runs throughout their time there, you begin to put together ideas that can grow into a cohesive story, which can then be integrated into multimedia content across all of your channels. Enable your fans to tell their underlying story, while boosting word-of-mouth and online buzz around your brand.

Keep in mind …

  • A recent study found that 52% of all travelers changed their original travel plans after using social media. (TourismLink)
  • 65% of consumers say online reviews are the 2nd most trusted form of advertising (Webbed Feet).
  • Customer testimonials are the most effective form of content marketing. (SocialTimes)
  • 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. (iMedia Connection)
  • 33% of consumers cite social networks as a way they discover new brands, products or services. (Social Media Today)

How It Works

Just because you don’t have a big budget doesn’t mean you can’t use big brands’ strategies in developing your marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at two campaigns that looked to their guests for inspiration, tapping into customer desires, and letting them run with it, creating easily shareable collateral that translated well across traditional and digital media.

Hilton Worldwide – Travel is Calling You

In August 2013, Hilton Worldwide chose a campaign that, contrary to previous “Great Getaway” offers, did not include a discount.

The premise of the campaign lay in “spontaneity”; interrupting regular people’s busy days to allow them the opportunity to take a spontaneous vacation.

Consumers were made aware of the promotion through a variety of traditional media outlets, however the campaign took off once it hit social media. Through a series of hidden camera events, a public phone contacted people and made the offer.

Hilton then captured magical moments with the winners throughout the vacations and shared updates on various social media channels, helping boost engagement around the campaign and build its popularity.


  • 23,800 entries, including 16,462 social media clicks
  • 1,179,000 Facebook impressions
  • 10,474 video views

By integrating the brand into customers’ daily lifestyle, Hilton’s “Travel Is Calling You” was a big hit. Building from the knowledge that a high percentage of the public would take a free vacation on a whim, they simply enabled their fans with a fun, viral way to make it happen.

Kimpton Hotels – Yoga Mat

In April 2013 Kimpton Hotels launched a campaign to give guests a convenient new way to feel comfortable on the road. Tapping into Kimpton’s focus on wellness, it partnered with Gaiam to create custom mats, stocking them in every guest room.

In addition to providing the mats, the hotel introduced the program by providing coordinated yoga activities during the campaign and running a Facebook contest, “Strike a Pose,” to encourage guests to participate.

Guests submitted photos of their favorite yoga position, and those voted the best, won a variety of prizes, including a getaway to a Kimpton location.

The staff helped push the program on-site, while a successful YouTube campaign, “Meet Mat,” drove the online engagement and social media buzz.


  • 180,000 YouTube video views
  • 30,000 new website visitors
  • 16,000 social media engagements
  • More than 500,000 Twitter impressions

By targeting one of its key missions, wellness, and pairing it with an empathetic insight into many guests’ mindsets, Kimpton developed a campaign that was unique enough to stand out, enabling guests an easy way to share on social media, while building positive word-of-mouth buzz about the brand.

Interested in working with the Dream Local Digital team to develop strategy for your social media marketing? Contact us today to get started.

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