As global hotel companies go, we’re always pleasantly surprised by luxury brand Ritz-Carlton‘s rapid acceptance of and moves towards innovation in the social media space. At the corporate level, they’ve been quick to adapt to and utilize sites like Twitter (@RitzCarlton), and, at the property level, often engaged on social media sites in a way that their luxury competitors are not.
Now, the brand has launched a new initiative with Foursquare, the location-based social networking service that allows users to “check in” at locations around the globe.
Dubbed the World Concierge, Ritz-Carlton’s entree into the Foursquare market is the first time a luxury hotel brand has extended their exclusive services to a mobile public audience. Tips will be populated regularly by concierges from all 75 Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world contributing, with the knowledge-base growing and evolving every week.
There is not a mention to be found about the soup of the day at a particular hotel; instead, the ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton have taken their knowledge and expertise beyond the four walls of the hotels in which they reside, providing insight into cities such as Toronto, Miami, Berlin and Dubai to name a few.
The result: hundreds of tips and insights about local destinations and landmarks all over the world.
“Guests of The Ritz-Carlton have always enjoyed the expertise of concierges who are the best in the business. Their local knowledge, VIP access and incomparable contacts make them an invaluable resource for travelers”, said Chris Gabaldon, chief sales and marketing officer for The Ritz-Carlton Company.
Foursquare users are able to find local information by visiting the profile of The Ritz-Carlton or by checking in to numerous locations of interest around the world. To receive tips as they go live you can follow The Ritz-Carlton on Foursquare. If you’re not already following the brand, you may see the tips as part of of other area recommendations.
They’re not the first brand to partner with the location-based service. Starwood is also engaged in the FourSquare space, offering loyalty points to users who “follow” the brand and “check in” virtually when they literally “check in” to the hotel with a confirmed registration. Hyatt has had similar success at the concierge level with their proven @HyattConcierge Twitter handle, which supplements the property-level concierge staff by serving as a social media funnel for guest requests across all brand properties.
We’re curious to see if other brands follow suit, emulating one of the established players, or, like Four Seasons, continue to develop individual property personas across channels like Twitter or Facebook.