STAMFORD, Conn. — Starwood’s loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), now offers seven branded geo-filters at 650 of its hotels in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
While Westin and Sheraton brands are participating in the new technology venture, the geo-filters offered differ based on individual properties. Users can share their location via Snapchat with digital postcards, or “Checking In” so their followers will know they have arrived at their locale, or they can use “Do Not Disturb,” which tells their followers they are relaxing.
“We know people are using Snapchat. We are looking to learn what’s the right way for us to enter the platform,” says Christine Espinoza, associate director of Global Social Media strategy for SPG. “People may be at Starwood hotels for a work meeting or a relaxing vacation. We want to tap into these behaviors and communicate with our guests on their terms.”
A Snapchat geo-filter can cost as little as $5 but, Starwood says, this initiative is a learning experience for the brand to understand the power and influence of the popular social media app. “You cannot just repurpose content from Instagram or Facebook,” says Espinoza. “We want to be thoughtful, and this geo-filter campaign is the first step for us to understand the power of Snapchat.”