Social media has become an integral part of our lives, even following us where we go to disconnect and unwind – vacation. In fact, 57% of respondents of a recent study indicated they wouldn’t consider abandoning their favorite networks in exchange for hotel kickbacks. Taking note of this need for a social connection during R&R, two new hotels are making sure their guests never have to leave the world of hashtags, @ mentions, and selfies behind by offering a socially integrated experience from check in to check out.

Located in Sydney, Australia, the 1888 Hotel is all about Instagram. This boutique hotel welcomes guests with a “selfie space” to use upon checking in, as well as a dynamic, Instagram-fueled mural in the lobby. If you boast more than 10,000 followers, you’ll automatically score a free night at the hotel, while other guests can enter a monthly competition that awards an extra night based on engagement and creativity. More into Twitter? The Sol Wave House hotel on Majorca may be right up your alley. After settling into their Twitter-themed room, guests can tweet and message each other, meet up, and share experiences using “#SocialWave,” a private Sol Wave web app. Even the staff connects through Twitter, fulfilling service requests and food orders pushed through tweets and special hashtags. To top off the experience, the hotel offers a Friday “#TwitterPoolParty” featuring signature Twitter cocktails and a Twitter Party Suite, where guests can hang out with champagne, Twitter-inspired décor, and hashtag treats. While these hotels may seem a bit over the top; Paul Fischman, CEO of the 1888’s parent company, 8Hotels; makes a great point: “There has always been a strong, intrinsic link between travel and photography, but the advent of social media… has made photo-sharing an even bigger part of the traveler’s experience. People not only want to visit and stay in beautiful places, they also want to capture and share it with their friends and networks as it happens.”

However, travel and hospitality brands don’t have to be built by social to make it work for them. Throughout our experience in the industry, we’ve found social media is a powerful tool to use not only for fans to share their experiences, but to connect with consumers and deliver great service and guest perks in close to real time. For example, since adopting social media, Hilton has seen a 185% lift in its Facebook followers. The chain also established a Twitter handle dedicated to customer service, which makes it easier to handle issues and keeps heated content away from its day-to-day social operations. Hilton and another massive presence in the hospitality industry, Marriott, both swear by consistent monitoring and pledge to respond to every guest problem within six to twelve hours – pretty fast for such huge businesses. Popular Las Vegas resort The Cosmopolitan extends VIP treatment and special discounts to its social followers and also does a good job of retweeting and engaging with guests, while the Hard Rock Hotel right here in San Diego monitors its Twitter account for opportunities to surprise guests with treats to fulfill wishes and requests. Another nearby hotspot (and Mindgruve client), Visit Carlsbad, has established itself as an authority on local restaurants, shops, hotels, and more and offers ongoing recommendations to its thousands of social followers. Visit Carlsbad also opens the floor to fans so they can join the conversation and offer their own picks for must-see places, in turn building brand advocacy and increasing tourism.

Hospitality brands – and really any service-driven brand, for that matter – have a huge opportunity to develop their own unique social presence and strategy to increase market share and better serve their customers. Whether an entire business revolves around key social channels, á la the 1888 and Sol Wave House hotels, or they offer social media as an additional resource to their target audience, they’ll be setting themselves up to sync with existing and potential guests in a format they embrace even on their downtime.


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Stadd, Allison. “57% Would Not Give Up Social Media On Vacation In Exchange For A 25% Hotel Discount .” N.p., 29 Apr. 2013. Web. 4 Sept. 2013.

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