In today’s strategically curated social media landscape, hotels and resorts have become popular settings for users to showcase their outings and adventures. Creating increased awareness around destinations and amenities alike, hospitality brands have also been investing in influencer marketing as a means to woo more followers and customers.
While hotel brands have reaped many likes and comments from travel influencers bringing the world to their followers, fake and disingenuous influencers have also begun to take advantage of hotels and restaurants looking for exposure. In this way, today’s brands are learning that influencer marketing isn’t a plug-and-play practice but, rather, requires research, planning, and thorough implementation.
Recognized for its social media and influencer campaigns, Hilton’s marketing strategy has enabled its family of brands to succeed within a competitive space. With 267,000 followers, the company’s flagship brand, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has one of the most popular Instagram accounts within the hospitality industry.
As the company moves into its 100th year, Hilton is coming off an impressive 2018. Hilton’s marketing strategy has positioned the brand as a pioneer within the hospitality industry, as its innovations expand beyond its resorts and into its marketing campaigns as well.
With their “Seven Urban Wonders of the World” study, Hilton crowdsourced top metropolitan destinations through various social media influencers who had a combined audience of more than 3.5 million. The information was analyzed by tech partner LikeWhere and compared against other data, including traveler preferences, as well as “cuisine, culture, architecture, diversity and Instagrammability.”
Hilton announced their “Seven Urban Wonders of the World” on October 8th, 2018:
Following the announcement, Hilton collaborated with several travel influencers to promote their new list. As a growing category on social media, travel influencers are helping hospitality brands reach relevant and targeted audiences with their various messages and campaigns.
Combined Results (15 posts):
Travel photographer Junell Cornejo’s portfolio is filled with gorgeous global locales spanning from Bali to Bavaria. In his top performing Seven Urban Wonders post, Cornejo presented a stunning video of the architecture, shops, and environment in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
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Explored Sharjah, an emirate I rarely visit, last weekend and I’m glad I did. @HiltonHotels was on board to help me discover Al Noor Island which can be found at the heart of this emirate. It was shortlisted for their Urban Wonders of the World. #righthere #sevenurbanwonders #ad
In the caption, the Dubai-based photographer mentioned to his 91,000 followers that @hiltonhotels helped him to find Al Noor Island—a location that was shortlisted in the Seven Urban Wonders study. Cornejo’s video received 532,849 views, 18,574 likes, and 341 comments for an impressive engagement rate of 20.79%.
London-based photographer, Alixe Lay, shoots rich, moody images of travel, food, people, and still life. For her highest performing Seven Urban Wonders post, Lay shot an area of Edinburgh, Scotland from iconic Calton Hill.
The richly dark image with hazy highlights included Lay’s description of Calton Hill’s impressive views for her 55,300 followers. Lay’s image garnered 7,219 likes and 111 comments, resulting in an engagement rate of 13.25%.
Brazilian/Colombian travel influencer, Guillermo Zambrano, better known as @heymemozam on social media, has more than 41,000 followers on his Instagram account. Zambrano’s most engaging post from the Seven Urban Wonders campaign featured the traveler inside a top pick on Hilton’s list—the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Surrounded by modern design inside the bright photo, Zambrano’s caption describes some of the important works at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, while also thanking Hilton Capital Gran Abu Dhabi. Zambrano’s post received 1,662 likes and 55 comments, achieving an engagement rate of 4.18%.