October 23, 2014

This Hotel Rewards Guests for Retweets

marriott rewards

Social media is a powerful promotional tool for businesses, in part because it allows customers and connections to do some of the work for you. If you’re a business that can leverage your social connections to share information about your business, you should be able to reach quite a few people.

The tricky part is actually getting your customers to post about your business. That’s why the Marriot hotel chain started its Plus Points program. Plus Points allows the hotel’s members to earn real Marriott Rewards points based on their social activity, including tweets, retweets, Facebook or Instagram posts, and check-ins.

So if a member staying at one of the chain’s locations posts a picture of their room with a nice caption, it could translate into actual Marriott Rewards. They could use those Rewards on a future stay, post even more to social media, and continue the cycle.

Vice President of Marriott Rewards Rich Toohey told USA Today:

“As we started to think about new ways to allow the next generation of traveler to connect with… and participate in rewards, we thought this was an interesting idea. It was a cool opportunity for them to take advantage of and participate by doing what they’re already doing.”

The company has assigned various point values to different activities. For instance, guests can earn 25 points for following a participating hotel’s Twitter or Instagram account. They are allowed up to four transactions per day and up to 2,000 points a month.

Though Marriott isn’t a small business by any stretch, the concept is one that could easily translate for businesses of all sizes. In fact, other hotels and hospitality businesses are already starting to follow Marriott’s lead. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants just launched Kimpton Karma Rewards, a similar program that rewards visitors for various activities, including social media posts.

Businesses pay for advertising and other promotional methods, so why not retweets and Facebook posts? Including this type of activity in a Rewards program seems like a fairly low-cost way to encourage social media posts while also encouraging brand loyalty.

For smaller businesses that are looking to increase social engagement, employing a similar type of program would be worthy of some consideration.

Marriott Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles and feature stories. She is a freelance writer specializing in marketing, social media, and creative topics. When she’s not writing for her various freelance projects or her personal blog Wattlebird, she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

13 Reactions

  1. It’s good that the reward points are only given to hotel members as that’ll add to the perceived authenticity of members’ tweets and posts.

    • Yes, they seem to have a pretty decent set of rules for that purpose. I’m sure they’ll have to make updates regularly to keep things authentic and valuable to their marketing efforts, but a good idea in general.

  2. Love it. This is a situation where the hotel can properly incentivize customers to share positive experiences.

    • True – having guests share their experiences with their networks can be more valuable than the business just sharing updates with people who already follow them – so why not incentivize it?

  3. Annie: This is a great initiative! How do they keep tabs on all the social media activities by their customers?

    • I believe they have a specific hashtag for members to use and I think there is also a web portal for them to update their activity.

  4. It’s about time that businesses start to do this. Social media is really powerful. People should really be rewarded for their shares.

    • It is really powerful. And companies pay for all kinds of other marketing initiatives so this only makes sense.

  5. It is a neat idea from the business side of things, but from the consumer side, I get way to much junk mail as it is and am bombarded with advertising all day long. I just hope this new trend will have an ‘ignore’ button next to it.

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