It's less about turning every click into a booking and more about raising awareness and defining Four Seasons as "the" hospitality brand for travelers that identify with a certain kind of lifestyle.
After Four Seasons‘ corporate marketing team saw the success it was having on Pinterest, the luxury hotel group made it mandatory that the brand’s 92 hotels and resorts maintain an active presence on the social sharing site.
This corporate practice may have seemed bizarre a decade ago, but social media has quickly become one of the more important communication tools that a brand has as its disposal — especially one as image- and inspiration-driven as Four Seasons.
The hotel chain has had exceptional success on Pinterest where, according to Pinterest’s case study on Four Seasons, the hotel brand experienced “a 1,000% increase in daily average visitors and a 1,700% increase in daily average clicks to its website.”
Rather than limit itself to property photos or promotions, the brand chose to project a lifestyle including food, fashion and general travel.
To do this, Four Seasons’ social media team keeps tabs on luxury travel and trends online and incorporates them into its own pages, explains Elizabeth Pizzinato, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Four Seasons.
“It’s a whole lifestyle approach,” explains Pizzinato. “It’s a great way for us to the use the platform.”
Four Seasons was also one of the first brands to test Pin.Pack.Go boards that allow travelers to exchange itinerary ideas with the hotel that they might book. The new feature led to a 100% increase in brand-level Pinterest followers, Four Seasons’ executive vice president Susan Helstab told Skift earlier this year.
Turning Pins into Profit
A recent pin promoting the brand’s Private Jet Experience in Bora Bora generated 8,564 re-pins and 9,121 visits to the Around the World on a Private Jet landing page.
Even more important, it generated 463 “Reservation Inquiry views and 486 clicks on the “Request a Brochure” button.
Only about a fourth of those, 112 people, filled out and submitted the form to request the brochure for the $70,000-per-person trip.
In total, less than 2 percent of the people that re-pinned the private jet pin were serious about looking into the trip.
But considering these are trips targeted at the 1 percent, that’s not a bad response.
Pizzinato admits the difficulty in drawing a direct connection between a click on a pin and a purchase or booking.
“It is hard for us to make that direct attribution that I clicked through to that pin and made a booking.”
The company incorporates Pinterest and its other social media channels into email campaigns and websites in an effort to create a two-way flow between the social networks and corporate website.
Hub and Spoke
Each Four Season hotel and resorts runs its own social media accounts, which in addition to Pinterest includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
“It’s a bit like a hub and spoke system. The 5-person corporate team sets the brand strategy, provides a lot of training, and brings our PR directors together for a workshop,” says Pizzinato.
Despite Four Season’s success on Pinterest, the Pizzinato would not concede which platform delivered the best results.
“Each channel has real strength for what you can do on it. It’s not just about the click-throughs or the transactions. It’s about creating an ecosystem and personality for your brand.”
Four Season has an online training portal where new directors go to learn about the brand’s approach for each channel. The brand would only share the below screenshot.
According to Skift’s data analysis of global travel brands, Four Seasons has the third highest Skift Score of all hotel companies worldwide.
Four Seasons’ corporate Twitter account tweets about 28 times per day, 70 percent of which are replies, and has the fifth highest number of Twitter followers of all hotel groups. It also posts on Facebook two to three times a a day. The individual properties consistently perform higher than their peers, as well.
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Photo credit: The homepage of Four Season's Pinterest account. Pinterest