Snapchat - Starwood's latest vision

Is Snapchat the up and coming social media platform for building brand loyalty?

Although popular social media channel Snapchat has taken Millennial and Generation Z smartphones by storm, it hasn't yet seen much use as a business marketing tool - well, at least not a whole lot in hospitality anyway. This is all about to change. With the ever-posing question whether loyalty programmes will ever really have the same impact on young people as they do with the older generation, Starwood is eager to make Snapchat succeed:

Starwood's loyalty programme, SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest), is introducing its SPG-branded Snapchat Geofilters, which will take effect in 650 properties across the US, the UK and Canada. Snapchat users will be able to apply fun SPG filters to their photos and videos when visiting these properties, which can then be shared on the digital platform. Planning to run over June and July, the campaign will start by featuring 7 filters, which will vary accordingly depending on location and hotel type. Expect to see slogans like "Greetings from [...]" and "Do Not Disturb" on Starwood's purple banner alongside a bunch of holiday-themed designs like cocktails, cameras and more.

According to SPG's Associate Director of Global Social Media Strategy Christine Espinoza, it was Starwood's success last October with W Hotels' Geofilters campaign launch that spurred on this Summer experiment. This first campaign really saw success with more Snapchat users applying the Starwood brand filters over the other paid filters. That is to say the device saw a high conversion rate and therefore big brand awareness. With a view toward improving guest experience, SPG wants to find the balance between showcasing brand awareness, but also providing a tool that will actually offer useful filters to the given vacationer. The result - snap-happy guests and a Starwood ad shared around the world.

Sure to be a visionary victory for SPG's marketing team, we're looking forward to the reception. Could Snapchat really be the new way to increase sign-ups? And with Millennials and Z kids, no less?

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