While businesses struggle to use social media to stay relevant to customers immersed in the culture of instant gratification, one hotel company has found a novel way to exploit it to their advantage.
Starting Nov. 19, anyone who follows Loews Hotels and Resorts will be able to book a room at any of the chain’s properties (excluding those in Orlando) via a tweet to the chain with the hashtag #BookLoews. A Loews travel planner will then link the customer to a chat conversation where the two will finish the logistics of booking a room. When Loews rolls out this new project on Nov. 19, the first 140 people (because of course) to book reservations using Twitter will receive a discounted room rate.
Will Loews venture in using Twitter to garner new customers start a trend among hotel chains prompting them to start a similar program? Possibly, if the undertaking produces significant revenue for Loews, as Loews senior vice president of e-commerce and distribution, Jimmy Suh, hopes it will.
"We absolutely feel confident that it increases the value proposition of Loews, because it enables the person to makes a Loews transaction as part of a platform that is part of their daily activity," Suh told USA Today.
Of course, there's one minor problem with this whole idea: Final logistics might be handled off Twitter, but if this idea catches on, you can be certain that customers will inadvertently announce to the world when they'll be away on vacation. Combine #BookLoews with Twitter's geolocation function, and catburglars are going to have a field day.
Photo by Robert Neff/Flickr