Using social media to grow your business
Crowne Plaza Northwood case study: growing a successful meetings and events business via social media
Successfully using social media
Eileen Timmons is the Sales and Marketing Director at the Crowne Plaza Northwood. The 4* Crowne Plaza Northwood hosts a wide range of meetings and events for a diverse client base in North Dublin.
How do you use social media to promote your meetings and events business?
The Crowne Plaza Northwood ensures that they publicise upcoming events by posting them on Facebook and Twitter. During the events themselves, the hotel encourages conferences to tweet about what’s taking place ‘in the moment’ to spark outside interest in what’s happening at the event on the day.
After the event, they encourage guests to post reviews on social media or testimonials on their website, this sends a strong message of confidence to potential conference/event organisers when the hotel is recommended by their peers.
Do you use location based marketing to promote your events like Foursquare?
The Crowne Plaza Northwood use location based Facebook offers to promote their food and beverage outlets.
Are you currently developing any apps to promote your meetings and events business?
The Crowne Plaza Northwood is currently in the process of developing an app for LinkedIn via their parent company IHG to promote their meetings and events business. In addition they are currently developing a dedicated customer service twitter account for events to service client/attendee enquiries on the day of the event.
How effective do you find YouTube videos of your meetings for attracting event planners?
This is difficult to quantify but event planners find YouTube videos give a clearer picture of the hotel facilities than still images. One of the most effective ways the Crowne Plaza Northwood use video is to do a virtual show around of the facilities speaking directly to the needs of the organiser. This personalised approach is very effective because the organiser trusts what they are seeing is “real” rather than “air-brushed.”
What are the top three things that you believe have had the most positive impact on your meetings and events business in terms of social media promotion?
Reviews and testimonials cannot be underestimated in terms of building brand awareness and this is applicable to a wide range of hotels. In addition, YouTube videos are a powerful tool as they create a sense of “reality”. Finding ways to reach a wider audience is key to growing your business.
What are the key things you need to remember when promoting your meetings and events business on social media?
Social media is only one of the tools to promote the meetings and events product. It is not a “fix-all” solution and should be used in conjunction with the more traditional methods of promotion. Not every meeting planner is comfortable with social media. As always, it is key to understand your client and know how they prefer to receive information. Social media is an interactive medium so be prepared for very public feedback which may be negative. It is important to have a list of standard operating procedures for social media and to incorporate this into your annual marketing plan.
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