How the JW Marriott Indianapolis Uses Social Media to Create Amazing Guest Experiences

Is it possible to wow ?your hotel guests by bridging the physical and digital worlds? Absolutely! Just ask the JW Marriott Indianapolis.

JW Indy is a convention hotel; more than three-quarters of its business comes from meetings and conventions. The onsite marketing team utilizes our location-based marketing platform — which surfaces all of the public social data coming from their property (even posts without hashtags, @mentions or geotags) — to interact with guests and convention-goers on a personal level via their Instagram and Twitter accounts. With HYP3R, they can not only monitor what guests are talking about in real-time, but also set up alerts for specific events, such as birthdays or other celebrations, to better connect with their guests and help address any issues that may arise.

The JW Indy has a 50 percent return on engagement rate — that’s double the industry average!

As the hotel’s Senior Marketing Manager Michelle Klein put it, the JW Indy team strives to be the best every day, and that means going above and beyond to take care of their guests.

“The front desk and concierge teams do a wonderful job of connecting with our guests during the check-in process and taking the extra steps to make their stay special and personal,” she told us. “Using HYP3R allows our team to extend that hospitality even further, enabling us to make more connections and create more special touches.”

The JW team delivers delightful one-on-one social media engagements to guests through HYP3R on a daily basis. If there’s a conference or special event, they prepare conversation templates to help them engage efficiently during peak times. But, they make sure that even if a message is a template, it still feels human. For example, the messaging may include welcoming guests to the property and asking what’s on the agenda for the day, or offering a free treat from Starbucks in the morning. As a result, the JW Indy has a 50 percent return on engagement rate — that’s double the industry average ?! The hotel also boasts a 4 percent follower conversion rate, meaning that 4 percent of their engagements result in a guest following their account.

Research shows that 71 percent of consumers who have a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.

Basically, JW Indy has a rockstar team. That was particularly evident when they engaged with a conference attendee last year. Brand strategist Josh Mills posted about Build Business 2017, and the message was picked up by our platform.

The JW Indy team engaged Josh using a pre-written conversation template, but they forgot to swap out a placeholder with Josh’s name ?.

JW Indy responded in a delightfully human way (“Clearly we need to have some coffee before we start tweeting!”), and Josh seemed satisfied. These experiences matter, considering that 71 percent of consumers who have a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.

But then, JW Indy took the engagement to the next level by sending Josh a Starbucks gift card and hand-written note.

Josh tweeted that message out to his thousands of followers, creating a ripple effect that paints JW Indy in an extremely positive light.

“The main benefit here was that this interaction supported brand loyalty on a few different levels. First from Mr. Miles, who commented in a separate interaction that he was impressed with our customer service and timeliness,” Michelle explained. “Second, this interaction reached other guests, and inspired them to comment on how much they loved the property.”

Indeed, other conference attendees took notice.

And the praise for JW Indy continued.

Months later, Josh reached out to JW Indy again on Twitter, saying he included this interaction as a case study in his book about brand marketing.

So JW Indy created an amazing guest experience that was organically amplified to friends and followers beyond its own network, and then they were featured in a book about it. Does it get any better than that? (We doubt it).

This is just one of many examples of how the best marketers in the world are using location-based marketing to analyze, engage and acquire high-value customers. Props to JW Indy for creating such amazing experiences at their property, and especially for turning a small gaffe into an incredible guest experience. You guys rock ?

Want to learn more about how Fortune 500 companies in the hotel industry are using our award-winning platform? Check this out ?

Joseph Lage
Author Joseph Lage Director of Growth Marketing