How Starwood Hotels Is Changing The Instagram Marketing Game

Instagram Case Study Starwood Hotels Influencer Strategy
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Instagram Case Study: Starwood Hotels’ Innovative Influencer Strategy

Partnering with top travel and lifestyle Instagrammers is one of the best ways for brands to sway purchasing decisions, especially when it comes to influencing where consumers travel and what hotels they patronize while vacationing. According to a recent survey, 48% of Instagram users rely on Instagram photos and videos to help them choose their next travel destination, while 35% of users look to Instagram to discover new places (Mediapost).

To capitalize on this trend, Starwood Hotels, an American hospitality company that owns Westin, Sheraton, W Hotel and The Luxury Collection, collaborated with five high-reach Instagram influencers to promote two of the brand’s newest properties and launch an innovative new way for Instagram users to book hotels through social media posts.

Instagram Case Study Overview

Starwood Hotels is no stranger to marketing on Instagram. According to Skift, the innovative hospitality company was the first brand to advertise on Instagram in January 2014, and they regularly publish user-generated Instagram photos (45,000 of which are uploaded on the photo-sharing app every month, according to Marketing Land) on their official website.

Recently, Starwood Hotels partnered with five prominent Instagram influencers to promote the opening of two new Tribute Portfolio hotels (Le Metropolitan and Le Dokhan’s, both in Paris). To increase brand awareness and drive bookings, the lifestyle influencers documented their experiences while staying at the hotels and embedding a link to, a consumer shopping service, within each post’s description. Instagram users who “liked” the sponsored photo would then receive an email from with booking information, or users could reserve a room directly through the influencer’s post (Skift).

  • Increase brand awareness of Starwood Hotels (specifically Le Metropolitan and Le Dokhan’s)
  • Drive social media audiences to take action—in this case, to like a sponsored photo or reserve a room at Starwood Hotels
  • Encourage social media users to share their own Starwood Hotel experiences
  • Starwood Hotels collaborated with five high-reach French Instagram influencers—J’aime Tout Chez Toi (Alice & J), Alex’s Closet, Elles En Parlent (Coralie L.), La Revue De Kenza, and Marie Luv Pink—to create engaging content and compelling social media stories.
  • The hospitality brand partnered with to allow Instagram users to reserve a room directly through a link in each Instagrammer’s description.
  • To increase engagement, the brand also encouraged customers to publish their own content when staying at its properties. Photos or videos tagged #IndependentMoments are entered for a chance to be featured on Tribute Portfolio’s owned Instagram account.
Instagram Case Study Results
  • The hospitality brand’s marketing campaign reached almost 500K Instagram users and thousands more across each of the social media star’s corresponding social media channels.
  • Starwood’s influencer-driven campaign generated more than 17K likes on nine pieces of original, brand-sponsored content.

Instagram Campaign Examples

See the best examples of brand-sponsored content from Starwood Hotels Instagram influencer marketing campaign:

Jaime Tout Chez Toi

Instagrammers Alice & J use the platform to visually tell the story of their love and the romantic time they had staying at Starwood’s Le Metropolitan. To increase the content’s reach, the social media stars promoted the sponsored post on their blog,, as well

Alex’s Closet

With over 137K Instagram followers, Alexandra is one of the preeminent French lifestyle social media influencers. To promote Le Metropolitan, the Instagrammer and blogger published a stunning piece of content that captures the hotel’s exquisite beauty and amazing view.

Marie Luv Pink

Marie has been blogging since 2007, and her professionalism and refined aesthetic are evident in this gorgeous post promoting Starwood’s delicious room service options.

Le Revue De Kenza

Kenza introduces her 107K Instagram followers to the Le Dokhan’s glamorous decor while treating audiences to a sneak peek at her aspirational lifestyle. By working with Instagrammers of Kenza’s caliber, Starwood was able to target the perfect demographic for their brand-sponsored content.

The Takeaway For Brands

Collaborating with social media stars can help hospitality brands reach thousands of new consumers, but it’s important that the Instagrammers, YouTubers, Snapchatters, or bloggers the brand chooses to work with aligns with the company’s overall marketing strategy. For Starwood, partnering with lifestyle Instagrammers helped the brand target a niche audience while solidifying the identity of Le Metropolitan and Le Dokhan’s as trendy, upscale, and style-driven properties—all traits that the five Instagrammers possess.