Independent hotels won this week’s eclipse
Independent hotels won this week’s eclipse
23 AUGUST 2017 12:06 PM

No, the performance data isn’t out yet, but when it came to marketing promotions, check out what these indies did and how you can take advantage of the next big events on the horizon. 

Let’s all agree that this week’s solar eclipse, visible across a wide swath of the United States, was both a social media win and a fail in some respects.

It was a win in the sense that it dominated, for sure (the numbers behind the #eclipse and related hashtags are staggering). But it also dominated in the sense that everyone was doing it, and that created oversaturation.

It reminded me a little bit of social media activity around the Fourth of July: How can anyone stand out with a great, distinctive and effective social post and photograph when everyone and their uncle is flooding your feed with amateur fireworks photos and nonsense hashtags that nobody ever is going to click on? I’m sorry to break it to you, cousin Barb in Baltimore, but your poorly lit iPhone photo of a fizzling, smoky firework that you posted with 95 hashtags including #fireworks #family and #mom isn’t really the attention-getter you think it is.

In other words, it’s easy to get really tired, really fast, of all the social noise surrounding a big event. And it’s easy for hotels to get lost in the shuffle.

But on Monday, I paid close attention to all the independent hotels I follow on Twitter, and I was pleased to see the creativity they displayed in their eclipse-related programming. The reason it worked was because these hotels weren’t just posting #eclipse (sorry, had to do it) photos of the sky, but because they had created full-on experiences surrounding the event. And those experiences spoke for themselves when promoted on social channels.

You all went all-out, staging rooftop viewing parties with glasses, and lots and lots of F&B specials that were really creative.

Take a look at a few standouts:

What stood out, again, was the experience attached to these promotions, and in many cases the takeaways—you didn’t just get a fun eclipse-related cocktail at the Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis; you got the commemorative glass, too. And with a name like the Moonrise Hotel, located in the path of totality? Forget it—they had no choice but to shine!

As far as event programming for hotels goes, this one was small but mighty, I would imagine, for hotels in prime watching locations. Many independent hotels showed that even though it was one day out of 365, they could maximize the experience for hotel guests and locals.

Did your hotel host any fun events for the eclipse? Leave a comment below to show us. Or you can email me at or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph.

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