Social media competition boosts hotel bookings: case study

Guest post by Dimitris Zotos. Dimitris is an editor & SEO Professional at

Social Campaigns should be designed according to the organisation’s objectives. In this article we will share with you the actions and the goals of a real life example that can help you understand how social media can be used in order to promote your brand. The subject of this case study is the social media campaign of a luxury hotel.

The hotel’s marketing department had both communication and commercial objectives: the campaign’s main goal was to boost the online reputation of the hotel and the two main objectives were to:

  • Increase brand awareness by focusing on the internet users
  • Build an email database for future for email campaigns.

Secondary objectives were to increase:

  • Online bookings
  • twitter followers
  • Facebook fans 
  • Youtube views

Due to the limited time available, we were forced to plan a short campaign that lasted for just a few days. Generally, even if it is not advised to plan such a short-term campaign, this case study clearly shows that even under these circumstances a social media campaign can be successful if it is well planned and well executed.

The hotel and campaign concept

The client was a luxury 5-start hotel in Mykonos, a Greek island and a top tourist destination, renowned for its cosmopolitan character and intense nightlife, so a young and lively audience meant social media was a great tool to use. 

we organised a photo contest where the participants could win free nights at the hotel during summer. To win, entrants had to ‘fan’  the hotel’s Facebook page, upload a specific themed photo and then promote it in order to get as many 'likes' as possible before the end of the contest.

Crowd sourcing is fun and effective

Crowd sourcing describes the practice in which the objective is to motivate people in order to proceed on actions that finally serve promotional needs.  Even if this is not something new, it is a hot topic mainly due to the increasing number of social media users.

Photo contests and other types of contests in general are less aggressive forms of advertising that can be very effective on social media and that can bring results in a short period of time.

 Launching the campaign

The previous year we had created social media profiles for the particular brand on the most popular plataforms (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). Throughout the subsequent months we made sure that those accounts were active and we regularly posted interesting messages, videos and news for the travellers. By using both ours and client’s online channels, we had the opportunity to promote the contest to a large target audience.

 The first thing we did was to produce the material that was needed for the campaign (texts, messages, images, videos etc) and in the Facebook Fan page we created a special tab that was dedicated to the contest. Then we started to promote the contest though our channels and at the same time we used Facebook and PPC Ads.

 After the launch, people’s response was impressive and the results were remarkable.  The fans of the hotel’s Facebook page were significantly increased and the wall was filled with photos, likes and comments.

The results of the campaign

All these actions along with the long-term SEO campaigns that we launched in the past for the website of the hotel, lead to successful results in terms of generated buzz, visits and bookings. Here are few statistics:

  • Website visits increased by 187%
  • Visits on the booking engine increased by 227%
  • Facebook fans increased by 150%
  • Twitter followers increased by 80%
  • YouTube video views increased by 100%

A big email database was created since lots of people subscribed to the hotel’s newsletter

Additionally the traffic on the website of the hotel and the bookings remained high for a long period after the end of the contest.

The main tasks of a social media campaign

Account setup: The creation of the social media profiles should be done very carefully. Their designs, their texts and their concept should be aligned with the corporate philosophy and they should reflect the image of the organisation.

Community Development: Developing and managing a community within the social media is one of the most important parts of the campaign. The person behind the social media accounts (also called community manager or social media spokesperson) should be a part of the organisation or at least, should be trained to carry the corporate philosophy, ethics, mission, brand claim and all the relative objectives. In practice, the dedicated person is responsible for:

  • Posting messages, news, images or videos on social media
  • Replying to the users
  • Starting discussions
  • Participating in the community
  • Have in mind that all the above should come naturally in order to reach and interact with your audience and not to force it by artificially increasing your members, fans or followers.

Moderating: Some people will use your social media embassies to post comments or messages that are abusive or that can be considered as spam. The moderating task ensures the fair play within your social media places.

Monitoring: The online monitoring focuses on finding what people say about you or your brand. It can be done by using the search tools of the various social media or by using other external services/search engines. For example you can use Facebook search to see what people write about your brand name and Topsy search engine in order to trace what people say about your website on Twitter. Even search engines can be handy tools since they give you the chance to filter the results on social media based on target and time.

Tracking: Tracking the performance of the social media campaign can be done with various tools (web analytics tools, Tweetmeme, Tweetstats, etc) and it is a very important part of the campaign since it allows you to measure your effectiveness. Even if the objectives of each campaign can vary a lot depending on the goals of the client, one of the most common things that we monitor is the traffic that is generated by the social media campaigns and the conversion rates.

Social Media campaigns are a way to promote your business and increase your brand awareness. Nevertheless in order to be successful you need to plan them carefully and invest the time and the resources that are needed. After all, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.


Comments (3)

  1. try glasses at home for free says:

    There is a great role of social media to promote your product brand..Nowadays many small and large organizations are adapting different social networking sites such as Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.

  2. Ian R Clayton says:

    I did not add a weblink – intentional respect 🙂 If you care to have a link it is – we think it is the first application that loads hotel rooms, rate, photos, info etc onto their facebook page and lets fans to book direct with the resort/hotels/tourism activity.

  3. Ian R Clayton says:

    Great study. Social media management takes time but yopu show that is is worth it – 227% increase in visitors to booking – hope the were some bookers and not the normal lookers

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