The last two years have been a time of significant change for many Irish hotels. Like every other business they face a massive challenge to stand apart from their competitors. One thing that is distinctive about the hotel industry is that they came to the online world early. Online bookings, online reviews and travel websites have played a significant role in the industry for over a decade now.
It is therefore not surprising that hotels are also at the forefront of the social media revolution and are setting the groundwork where other industries will no doubt follow.
The hotel decided to create a Facebook competition called ‘Love Match’ which would reward one couple with the wedding of their dreams at the hotel and also allow their Facebook community to be involved in selecting the winners.
The competition consists of three stages:
- First couples were asked to enter via a specially designed app on the hotel’s Facebook page , by entering and uploading photos of themselves.
- Of the couples that entered four were selected to move forward to the second stage of the competition. Each couple was filmed at the hotel, being interviewed and describing their other half’s likes and their plans for their big day.
- The couple that gets the most correct matches will win a wedding at the Clanard Court Hotel, while each person that attempts to figure out the ‘Love Match’ also gets entered into a weekly draw for one night B&B and dinner at the hotel.
What celebrity does your partner look most like?
The girls were asked questions like ‘What celebrity does your partner look most like?’ while the guys were challenged with questions like what colour their bride to be had chosen for their bridesmaid dresses.
Be a matchmaker
These videos and the app are now available on the Facebook page for everyone to view and match up the couples. The competition runs until November 17th and has already resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of entries and visitors to the Facebook page.
The success of the competition has not been due to the unique interface that was designed for the Facebook page that allows users to drag and drop the videos to match up the couples, although this is impressive and demonstrates a new level of sophistication in Facebook competition apps. What has really helped is the unique way that it has allowed the Clanard Court to connect with people.
Everything about the competition is dependent on the hotels Facebook community, from the couples who are part of the videos to the entrants that match the couples up. The hotel gets that social media will only work if it is a two sided effort and that’s what makes it different to traditional marketing.
The hotel have also used the competition as an opportunity to learn more about how to engage with their Facebook fans. They are now posting more status updates and asking their fans questions and inviting them to submit other content that also relates to the main theme of the competition, such as photos of their wedding at the hotel.
How have you used or how are you planning to use social apps to promote your business? Please share your suggestions below…