Kimpton influencer campaign boosts Instagram engagement

Amy Horsfield By Amy Horsfield
11 December 2018 | Updated 11 December 2018

US: Kimpton Hotels & Resorts boosted engagement on Instagram 4x with an experimental social influencer campaign.

The boutique hotel chain showcased Room 301 at the Kimpton Everly Hotel in Los Angeles. The interactive room allowed guests to leave mementos for the next occupant - through a guest book, Polaroid pictures, message boards and a shared Spotify playlist - according to a case study by Gartner L2 shared with Mobile Marketer.

In September 2018, Kimpton commissioned a local artist to transform Room 301 into an "Instagrammable space" by painting a pair of her signature street art angel wings on one wall. Over the next three months, the hotel then invited several social media influencers to stay in the room and share their experiences on Instagram.

The posts averaged 2,337 interactions, nearly four times Kimpton's average of 720. Two of the most-followed influencers Kimpton partnered with for the Room 301 campaign drove 38% and 95% lifts in average engagement. Each influencer post included at least one campaign hashtag and location tag for the hotel, and contributed to a shared Instagram Story for Kimpton.

Kimpton's effort to transform a traditional hotel room into a shareable experience demonstrates the power of social media influencers and tapping into consumers' interest around authentic experiences. The hotel brand chose influencers based on follower size and audience. While Kimpton partnered with two influencers with large social followings, it also worked with niche influencers, whose posts about Room 301 drove engagement lifts of more than 50%.

They aimed to appeal to millennials, who tend to seek experiences to share on social media, by giving guests a glimpse into the lives of previous occupants through message boards, photos and a shared playlist.

According to the report, Gartner L2 recommends that luxury hotel brands boost their mobile marketing strategies by featuring user-generated content in hashtag-driven Instagram feeds that work as visual reviews and are linked to featured property pages, where users can get more information on pricing and reservations.

Gartner L2 found that luxury hotels are emphasising Instagram and a stronger social media presence this year compared to 2017, this is believed to be an effort to appeal to millennial travellers and remain relevant in the minds of on-the-go consumers. Social and mobile features are growing increasingly important for hotel brands, in particular, to provide guests with personalized service and a smooth, engaging stay. Hilton in September added a feature to its mobile app to give loyalty members access to local employee suggestions of restaurants, attractions and activities during their stay. Hilton is also rolling out a Connected Room to more locations to let guests use a mobile device to control the TV, lighting and room temperature. Last week, Marriott announced a partnership with Pepsi's bottled water brand Lifewtr to deploy augmented reality art displays.

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