May 19 For #HashtagHotel, Twitter Account Goes Private, Trends Nationally in 15 Minutes
Many marketers have begun to realize that increasing the size of social communities doesn’t always translate to increased positive brand perception, engagement, or revenue. As a result, our focus for some time has been to develop quality content and programs that drive engagement and help develop true brand advocates, which brings us to #HashtagHotel.
Last week, we launched a 24-hour Twitter party for Club CarlsonSM, the global hotel rewards program from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. #HashtagHotel was an exclusive event in appreciation of loyal members and followers, only allowing those following the brand to participate once the party began.
Prior to launching this program, we discussed in detail the concept of making Club Carlson’s Twitter account private. While we are quite proud of our highly engaged 17k+ community, we didn’t necessarily want to turn down new followers during the event. However, because we wanted to reward and show value to the people who mattered most to Club Carlson (their engaged Twitter community and members), we decided to give people time leading up to the event to follow the brand, and then take the more risky approach: locking the handle down once it began.
The 24-hour private Twitter party consisted of AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) with travel influencers, real-time two-way conversations between Club Carlson and the community, and hourly prizes awarded to those followers engaging with the party.
Observing live from our 24-hour “war room,” we witnessed the program immediately capture the attention of the Twitter community with #HashtagHotelPromo trending nationwide within the first 15 minutes of program launch. We then worked with Club Carlson team members around the clock engaging with Club Carlson followers, giving away Club Carlson Silver Elite status and a total of 240,000 Gold Points®.
Since Club Carlson is a global program, content was also shared to engage with members worldwide and to target specific time zones. Club Carlson worked with properties across the globe to participate in the party and share specific content about their properties, locations and what really makes Carlson-Rezidor properties special, their people.
Surprisingly, even though locking down a Twitter handle seems counter-intuitive to growing followers, the angle of exclusivity drove more than 7k followers prior to launch. Also, counter-intuitive was that the relatively small base of 17k followers were able to generate over 14 million estimated maximum reach and caused the brand to trend on Twitter for 8 of the 24 hours.
What We Learned from #HashtagHotel
Exclusivity can help not hinder. Identifying and engaging with true brand advocates delivers far more value than how large a brand’s social community is.
Brand advocates are special and should be treated as such. The days of developing the broadest content making one size fit all are over. Today, a brand’s most important customers, fans and followers require personalized content and attention.
Prove your value and prove it often. To quote Janet Jackson, “What have you done for me lately?” Brands need to consistently show the value they bring to their social communities.
Lead with the brand. Club Carlson has been designed and built to make their members feel special. #HashtagHotel was developed to mirror the benefits of the Club Carlson rewards program. We were overjoyed when we started seeing tweet after tweet using words like “special,” “proud,” and “exclusive.”
At the end of the 24 hours, a lot of us were tired, but we sent an email to our client saying we had such a great time we were ready to do this again the very next day. They thought we were kidding, but we weren’t.
P.S. How great is the bird bouncer? Isn’t it basically the greatest thing ever?