I am the reason W Hotels was named the only hotel brand with a genius IQ by L2 Think Tank.
Ha. Just kidding. But I can say that I played a very, very, very small part.
This article from Tnooz reports on the results of L2 Think Tank’s study of hotel brands’ “digital IQ,” or ability to manage online channels. This is mostly focused on a hotel brand’s website, search performance, and email marketing, but social media carries its own tiny bit of weight.
Back in 2008, the year also known as the Wild Wild West of what we now call social media, I created the first Twitter account, and possibly the first Facebook account, for a W hotel. We were opening a property in downtown Atlanta in a climate of (far too) many other luxury/boutique-esque hotel openings. At the time, I got some push-back from the powers that be, probably because they thought I was gaming or otherwise wasting time. But once they figured out what we were doing, our efforts were soon replicated our work around the country.
The hotel industry is not known for setting the world on fire when it comes to technology; I’ve stayed at many upper-upscale properties that still don’t have WiFi. One school of thought is that hotels let other industries perfect new technologies first as a deliberate strategy, since we can’t dedicate the resources to becoming leading experts ourselves. I get that, and I am all too aware of the financial hog-tie many hotels find themselves in.
But (and you had to know there would be a but), the ability to be nimble and fluid with regard to technical advances – from cabling to new marketing opportunities – is no longer an a la carte option for any business. Staying on top of your game online is now table stakes; the real winners are the brands who do it with creativity and panache.
Congratulations to W Hotels, you digital geniuses, you. And everybody else: start playing your cards right.