Continuing on the the social media track that has hotels boosting brands and turning guests in loyal consumers, the Ritz-Carlton was the first luxury hotel company to officially launch a concierge campaign with Foursquare.
Just last week, the Ritz-Carlton introduced the social media sphere to its World Concierge -the staff of Ritz-Carlton's around the world who will check-in with fun facts, things to do and local tips from their destinations.
Tips will be populated regularly by concierges from all 75 Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide, so that when you - a traveler - checks into a destination, you'll find tips and information from a Ritz-Carlton concierge (if there's a hotel is located where you are).
"Guests of The Ritz-Carlton have always enjoyed the expertise of concierges who are the best in the business. Their local knowledge, VIP access and incomparable contacts make them an invaluable resource for travelers", said Chris Gabaldon, chief sales and marketing officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. "Foursquare enables The Ritz-Carlton Concierge to travel with you."
But if you think you're going to hear about about thread counts, spa specials and soups-of-the-day with your local Ritz-Carlton concierge, think again: The Ritz-Carlton promises their "check-ins" will be all about what's happening outside the hotel including top restaurants, new museums, last-minute events, and general tips for tourists in the area, and not about promoting what's going on inside the hotel.
"It's possible to access their destination knowledge instantly as you check in to multiple global landmarks," added Gabaldon. "Starting today, Foursquare users across the globe are invited to access knowledge and valuable tips just by following The Ritz-Carlton on Foursquare. For the first time ever, the collected local knowledge of The Ritz-Carlton is available in your pocket."
To test their promise, I checked into FourSquare with Ritz-Carlton in Massachusetts and Moscow. In both cities, the concierge's stood to their promise. In Massachusetts, the concierge said: "After you visit the State House, stroll around Beacon Hill, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Boston. Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once lived here." In Moscow: "Yes, Moscow's iconic cathedral and most famous square are, well, not very red. The reason? The Russian word krasnaya can mean either red or beautiful. And Red Square is a very beautiful place."
Both interesting facts, both having nothing to do with the hotel. A bold, and commendable move by Ritz-Carlton to build a successful social media campaign without pushing PR on guests.
Here's how you can follow while you travel: Foursquare users can follow The Ritz-Carlton on Foursquare here: www.foursquare.com/ritzcarlton
Check in from wherever you are and a Ritz-Carlton concierge will pop up with a new tip
or piece of information to make your area a bit more interesting.Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world. Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com