Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Resort Twitters Away 96 Rooms - Gladly

LM Comment: Another attempt to figure out a way to leverage Twitter.

May 26, 2009: summarized from The Big Fat Marketing Blog -- To celebrate its 96th year in operation, the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa opted to do something most 96-year-olds don't usually do: It got hip to Twitter.

On a Monday in mid-May, the Asheville NC resort put out an offer to its followers at http://www.twitter.com/ewgrove, informing them that the first 96 callers who dialed a designated toll-free number would win a free one-night stay in the historic resort's Mountain View accommodations.

Within fewer than 90 minutes, all 96 of the giveaway rooms had been claimed.

"It was amazing how fast they went," said Jay Winer, director of public relations for the privately owned resort. "The displays on the phone banks kept showing 'Twitter' to mark the 1-800 number we used specifically for this promotion."

Many of those getting the Twitter message and calling in were new followers on the microblogging service re-tweeting the offer to their friends, he pointed out. "We only had about 42 followers starting out, but when I last checked [on Tuesday May 12] we were up to about 250," Winer said. "We were interested to see the number increase after this promotion. You definitely learn from doing things like this."

Callers who reached the hotel after the 96th free room had been awarded were told to keep following E.W. Grove, the resort's founder, on Twitter to pick up on future offers.

Winer says those are definitely in the works for a future undetermined date. He says the next Twitter offer from the Grove Park Inn may target discounts rather than giveaways.

"You can't wait too long to go after the [Twitter] followers, because they drop off," he said. "But I think the next time we try this, the natural evolution will be to say, 'The next 96 people who call in will get a room for $96.' And then we'll see how many bites we get on the second promotion."

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/p6p3ru

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