The whole world has gone social. With social media platforms becoming increasingly crowded, companies must come up with novel ways to draw attention to themselves. The hotel industry has been particularly creative in devising innovative and engaging methods to make their voices heard and their brands stand out.

Invite them to play

With a loyal legion of virtual farmers and Candy Crush addicts, Facebook’s gaming community reaches far and wide. Marriott Hotels has cleverly decided to harness the power of play by creating a Facebook game of their very own. Entitled “My Marriott Hotel,” players are invited to operate all facets of their own computer-generated kitchen. When their cyber-restaurant manages to turn a profit, they are then able to move on to running other aspects of the hotel.

This game not only helps to make the brand “Marriott” a household name, but players will also associate the brand with fun and leisure. “My Marriott Hotel” also strives to attract talent to the company’s career section and provide valuable educational information on the inner workings of the hotel industry–making it both a marketing and a recruitment tool.

Become an authority

In a competitive marketplace, it is important to find your niche–something that sets you apart from the competition–and Sheraton Hotels have decided to do exactly that. The introduction of their “Social Hour” program has been hugely successful in the hotels, themselves, and on social media platforms. A joint venture with Wine Spectator magazine, Sheraton Hotels’ “Social Hour” is a weekly tasting event boasting over 90 wines that have been Wine Spectator-rated. And it has drawn a massive social media following.

Sheraton Hotels’ weekly Facebook installments entitled “Wine Wednesdays” offer wine-related tips from the highly respected Wine Spectator magazine, itself,–generating a buzz and solidifying the hotel chain’s reputation as the place to go to enjoy the finer things in life.

And, when they launched the program in May, 2013 they invited participants and followers from across the globe to share their own “toast-worthy moments” at #SheratonToast–many of which are now posted on the corporate website.

Offer rewards

New York City’s The Distrikt Hotel has put Foursquare to work–winning new clientele and rewarding guests for their custom. With both the hotel and its restaurant, College Bistro, set up as venues, Foursquare users are given the chance to win a free drink or loyalty points. These prizes generate good will towards the brand and lure potential clients through the doors.

Furthermore, when a guest of the hotel checks in on Foursquare, they are presented with a reward which can range from an upgrade in their accommodations to a thank you note.

Run a contest

One of the key reasons for creating a social media presence is to develop a stellar online reputation. A great way to do this is to collect and showcase positive feedback. And the Holiday Inn has found a clever way to make people want to say great things about them.

In a recent Facebook campaign, the hotelier invited its Canadian followers to “like” their Facebook page and post a review. Participants will be entered into a draw to win prepaid American express cards.

This campaign not only creates positive feelings towards the Holiday Inn brand, but it also enables them to reap a healthy harvest of glowing reviews. Clever.

As these hotel chains have demonstrated, it is possible to rise above the social media noise and make an online audience take notice and hear what you have to say. Your brand can stand out from the competition–and social media is the perfect place to make it happen.

What social media marketing campaigns stick out the most in your mind? Why?

This post was contributed by Kimberley Laws. Kimberly is a freelance writer and avid blogger. She has written on a wide range of topics including social media marketing, online reputation management, and great deals at cheap hotels.

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