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InterContinental Hotels Group social media case study — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Don Vanderslice of Connect with him by following him on Twitter.

3:50 —’s Kurt Vanderah introduces InterContinental Hotels Group’s Director of Social Marketing, Nick Ayres.

3:54 — Nick explains that they have 13 brands. Each brand has it’s own marketing, PR, etc., and they operate in nearly 100 countries and territories with 4,600 hotels. They also serve 157 million guests every year.

3:55 — Nick: The Vision: To lead IHG to becoming a best-in class social business.

3:57 – Nick: Our journey is a winding road. A few steps forward and a few steps to the side, a step back. But it is a journey.

3:59Case Study: Reputation Management

Nick: Hotels and businesses must take ownership of their online reputation. To do this, one has to listen socially, but this is complicated, especially with 13 brands.

4:00 – Nick says there are a number of sites that hotels must look at to receive feedback and reviews regarding individual properties. But managers have a ton of responsibilities, which makes social listening and responding not the highest priority.

4:02 — Nick share four phases of social listening:

1. Reiterate the importance of social listening:

  • 86% of travelers use travel sites to gauge sentiment
  • 71% see a manager response to reviews as important
  • 68% of travelers say that the presence of a management response would make them in favor of Hotel A over Hotel B

4:03 — 2. Roll out the tools: IHG Social Listening tool:

Nick: We went through a long process to find a white label tool that would help managers listen to what’s being said on review boards and allow them to respond via the tool.

4:05 – 3. Reinforce the processes and best practices. We spearheaded social listening training curriculum including:

  • Development of evergreen social marketing team space on corporate intranet
  • Partnership with global and regional field operations training events
  • Integration into development, learning classes, and online courses

4:06 — Nick: Revolutionize the business. Go beyond making apologies and begin to make operational changes.

4:07 — 4. Receive feedback … and act on it. Listen to owners and managers and what is of value of them.

4:08Case Study: Community Management

Leverage technology to satisfy your customers. Examples include:

  • Early adopter Facebook global pages
  • Early adopter of Twitter geo-targeting tweets
  • Global adoption of the social media management systems

4:10 – The result? Happy customers. We know that customers who see valuable and relevant content end up being happy customers.

4:12 – Parting thoughts -

  1. Success is making something incredibly complicated look easy. Aspire to it.
  2. Never lose sight of what’s important to your customers.

Q & A:

Q: What vendor were you able to white label?

A: Nick: Revinate

Q: How does the shared/collaborative economy, like AirBnB, affect how you listen or respond?

A: Nick: We’re paying attention, but it’s not changing the ecosystem yet. They are now a part of the consideration set, but they are not dominating the decision process yet.

Q: What social media management tool do you use? Any negative response to the move to Facebook global pages.


  1. Sprinklr
  2. We had early hiccups but nothing substantial. Like any new product, there were a few things we had to work through but there was nothing that ultimately affected our guests at the end of the day.

Q: How do you prepare for the internal response when you’re making the switch to a new vendor or platform?

A: Nick: We figure out beforehand which brands and management groups are progressive and forward-thinking and those that are not. Those that are not tend to have a harder time adapting

December 10, 2013 0 comments

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