I’m astounded at the slowness of many hotel groups in grasping the opportunity presented by the explosive growth of social media.
Instead of recognising that it offers the perfect vehicle to promote their brand in a consumer-friendly manner, many hotel companies prefer to let booking aggregators generate vast swathes of bookings for them.
This is despite the fact they end up having to pay them hefty 3rd party commissions, rather than investing in promoting their own brands and websites. Why on earth do hotel companies persist in doing this?
Why not instead reach out directly to consumers and offer them better last-minute deals than they could obtain through third parties?
Particularly when hotel consumers who use social media like Twitter and Facebook are hungry for exclusive, timely deals and engaging content.
One company that definitely “gets it” is Red Carnation Hotel Collection (led by the recently-crowned Hotelier of the Year, Mr Jonathan Raggett).
They’re the first hotel group I know that is offering structured and genuinely exclusive promotions to their Twitter and Facebook followers.
You are then automatically eligible for special weekend offers at one of the group’s award-winning London hotels at a substantial discount.
The “snag” when you book is that it’s for an unnamed hotel, so you won’t always know which London hotel you’ll be staying at.
However, as featured on this blog, all six of the company’s four and five star London hotels are currently in the top 25 on TripAdvisor (with 4 in the top 10) so you’re not going to go too far wrong.
All are also in or around central London so there is no obvious “catch”.
This sets Tweekends apart from the Lastminute.com “secret hotels” service which also offers late discounts at unnamed hotels – but where you could end up with a turkey (despite the tips we revealed to “beat the system”).
There is the added bonus that all last-minute Tweekend bookings are automatically entered into a monthly draw to win a stay in one of the Red Carnation Collection’s hotels outside London (including award-winning properties in South Africa, Guernsey, Dorset, Geneva and Miami).
But I think it’s the consistency of the Red Carnation hotels in London (I’ve personally visited most) that is the biggest draw of this special offer.
And in the unlikely event that you have a complaint, you may even end up being invited to one of the Red Carnation focus group dinners.
As long as this set of luxury London hotels continues to maintain its high service standards – as you can independently verify through sites like TripAdvisor – its Tweekends promotion offers sparkling value for money.
Photo credits: Red Carnation Hotel Collection.