June 06, 2016

How Starwood is learning Snapchat with branded geofilters

Last week, Starwood’s loyalty program started offering seven branded geofilters at 650 hotels across Starwood properties in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

The filters vary based on the type of property. Snapchat users can share their location via a digital postcard “Hello From ___,” play on travel terms like “Checking In” to let followers know that they’ve made it to their destination, or they can use “Do Not Disturb” to inform people that they are in full relaxation mode. Some filters even tap into fun travel props like a cocktail or a camera so users can share beach views or other hotel highlights.

“We know that people are using Snapchat. We are looking to learn what’s the right way for us to enter the platform,” said Christine Espinoza, associate director of global social media strategy for SPG. “People may be at Starwood hotels for a work meeting or a relaxing vacation. We want to tap into these behaviors and communicate with our guests on their terms.”

Starwood still doesn’t have a Snapchat account. The hotel chain has traditionally been an early adopter — it even recently introduced two robot butlers (called “Botlers”) to its Cupertino boutique Aloft hotel. The hotel chain lets its rewards members check in via the SPG app for Apple Watch. But the brand has trod carefully with Snapchat.

Get the full story at Digiday