#luxchat Recap April 2011 | The Spa at La Costa

@SpaLaCosta | The Spa at La Costa

Spa tweets from sunny Carlsbad, CA by Carrie (*CP) at the Spa at La Costa. Look forward to tweeting with you! :)

About La Costa Resort and Spa:
From the moment you enter through the gates of La Costa Resort and Spa, you are embraced by the picturesque beauty and leisurely charm of our coastal California lifestyle. Here within this quaint village setting, you’ll discover an idyllic Southern California getaway, now featuring newly re-designed guestrooms and suites. More…

Moderators:


Click 
here to “Like” our Facebook page and click here to follow us on Twitter.

We chatted with Carrie Peterson, Online Marketing Manager for La Costa Resort and Spa.  An undeniable knack for social media, she shared her advice and successes with SM marketing.

Some highlights from #luxchat with @SpaLaCosta:

Q1. How are social media efforts going so far for @SpaLaCosta?

A1. We’re on facebook and twitter at the moment and working on rewarding our brand advocates w/social media. Right now we are working on our second #SpaSocial event with 150-200 mommy bloggers and socially savvy women here this Friday. It’s been great! I have a background in SM and helped to build our social channels at the Spa and @ResortLaCosta from the ground up. Our Spa Director loves the use of social media to get new customers & we’ve seen a jump in people that come to the spa because of SM.

Our spa business is about 70% local spa-goers, so we work hard to show them some love and appreciation for being our brand advocate.  The #SpaSocial event is this Fri from 6-9 at the spa and is a happy hour event w/music, bellinis and apps for all. We’ll be having a tweet up simultaneously during the event (#SpaSocial) - can win prizes!

Q2: Out of curiosity, what is your background BEFORE you took on social media?

A2: I worked in online marketing @UpperDeckSports.

Q3. How do you identify who these social media “savvy” women are amongst your spa users?

A3. We create a list of people who are advocates on our Facebook page & twitter followers who engage in our content. For the #SpaSocial we are partnering with @SDMomfia and @RockOnMommies to gather a list of prominent local bloggers to share the <3

Q4.  How significant is the male market and how do you reach out to men through social media? (v. @HotelPRGuy)

A4. We currently target the significant others of our female audience/demo with specials for v-tines day, mother’s day, etc.

  • @EliteTravelVelo I also like how spa is reaching a younger generation. My parents went to La Costa when I was a kid.

Q5. How do u differentiate yourself from so many other Luxe Spas that are in the Social space? Any insight you can provide? (v. @Michael_Ludwig)

A5. As far as we know, we are among the first to create real-world events (#SpaSocial) that bridge SM with the Spa. Twitter is a great tool to search SM fans by geo-targeting. Listen to who they are, what they do, then join the convo.

  • @DanielleLeitch: I wish more spas would notice brand enthusiasts - we’re better than most mktg options avlble + can save lots $
  • @SpaExpertsSea Yes, great tool! W search for keywords (Seattle + spa, massage, etc) and see how we can engage locals.

 Q6. Do you find many people tweeting about their #spa experiences or do they stay unplugged?

A6. They are “supposed” to stay unplugged at the spa, but people still manage to be socially engaged w/smart phones/pics. These days, it’s hard to monitor what people are doing w/their phones. We do discourage their use while spa-ing.

Q7. Have you experienced having to address service issues via Twitter? How do you handle if so?

A7. Yes, customer service issues are handled on this platform, but all good - a woman tweeted it was her birthday & we gave her a cupcake!

  • @artofthespa: Most spas use Social media as broadcast media not the interactive arena it is.  Not interacting & creating engagement points is wasting the social media venue IMO esp for spas. So many ways to connect.

Q8. What types of promotions do you have right now via @FourSquare?

A8. Free bellini drink with lunch purchase and valet parking for the @ResortLaCosta. We promote @Foursquare and @Facebook check-ins in prominent locations across the @ResortLaCosta and the spa front desks.

Q9. Any thoughts on pairing up with vendors of products you may sell for SM promotions? If so any push back from them? (v. @Michael_Ludwig)

A9. We are looking into vendor/product promotions and have yet to implement a campaign, but stay tuned!

Q10. Many spas are using social media marketing now. How do you distinguish yourself? (v. @WellnessTravel)

A10. @SpaLaCosta: We are among the first to bridge real-world events with social media to reward brand enthusiasts (#SpaSocial) 4/15. We have a robust blog (www.bloglacosta.com) which is also a prominent social media channel for the @ResortLaCosta and Spa. We are also looking for guest bloggers to talk about celebrations & experiences at the spa.

Q11.  What is your “measure” for social media success?

A11. We use engagement as the ultimate measurement. Follows, replies, “Likes” and comments.

  • @frontrowtierra: Overwhelming response from brands “doing it right”, don’t measure SM in monetary ROI rather see engagement as the benefit.

Q12. How are you using Facebook specifically? Asking people to post their pictures/comments? As an info sharing tool? What’s most effective?

A12. For Facebook, we run photo contests and ask a lot of questions of general experiences and likes of the spa to gauge our consumers.  Most recently was a chance to win a spot @ #spasocial this Fri - all about social savviness. We also have a special bday and anniversary program for our SpaVite members who opt in to our email program (lacosta.com/spavite).

Q13. What are you doing to stay ahead of the curve? Whats next?

A13. QR codes to dive print to social ;). New changes to the spa include renovated treatment and relaxation rooms, a reflexology path, fresh herb garden & new spa cafe menu.

  • @Stef_Bernstein:  Any thoughts on integrating mobile apps into your future marketing plans?
  • Re: @SpaLaCosta: Absolutely – coming soon!

Q14. So you use Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, blogging & EDM - if you didn’t have time for all could u pick 1 or 2 essential (v. @athlengentables)?

A14. Depends on the company and target demographic for which SM channels I recommend.

Q15. In your social media campaigns how do you balance content vs selling? (v. @EliteTravelVelo)

A15. Almost all focus on content and impressions.

Q16. Is there a way to bridge brand-enthusiasts + spas together better? Many don’t have dedicated SMM like @spalacosta for outreach? (v. @DanielleLeitch)

A16. Work with someone to get you set up on social pages, and start the conversations by saying “thanks for being a fan”.

#luxchat Recap March 2011 | Bergdorf Goodman

@Bergdorfs | Bergdorf Goodman
5th/58th


About Bergdorf Goodman:
Standing at the crossroads of fashion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street in New York City, Bergdorf Goodman is known throughout the world for elegance, luxury, and superior service. Discover the evolution of this New York legend below. More… 

Moderators:

Check out our tweetreach from 03/16/11 here.
Click here to “Like” our Facebook page and click here to follow us on Twitter.

We chatted with Cannon Hodge, the woman behind the always charming, informative, and lovely @Bergdorfs Twitter handle.  She even made a sign!  

Some highlights from #luxchat with @Bergdorfs:

Q1. How do you maintain exclusivity for the @Bergdorfs brand while engaging with your audience in social media?

A1. Always Customer Service. Always beautiful merchandise. Creativity. And things that tempt and inspire.  I respond to every customer service question asked on our platforms and try my best to assist! 

Q2. how does a new designer grab the eye & get in the door with Bergdorf Goodman? (v. @dreamofmcqueen)

A2. our buyers present collections to our fashion office & merchants and it evolves from there!

Q3. You always respond to tweets in such a timely and charming manner — how do you organize your time to do it all and who provides the content?

A3. Ahhh! thank you. Twitter’s part of my job & it’s one I take seriously;  I’m primarily responsible for twitter. Content comes from many (Linda, buyers, etc)  To organize, I have a split screen situation - twitter always is up so that I can respond. My goal is to answer within the hour.

  • @NOVAFashionWeek: Seeing the magic @Bergdorfs bring to the table is superior. Loving the #luxchat as we are learning a lot.

Q4.  Congratulations on the new Tumblr page, The Bergdorf Goodman Swipe! Why was it important for you to create a secondary blog?

 A4. We love exploring these exciting new platforms - tumblr seemed to be the perfect place for our creative boys. Tumblr also was a great way to expand our conversation with a new audience & to listen/see what their interests are.

 Q5. What is your official title?

A5. Officially, Social Media Manager. Unofficially, Gal about Bergdorfs.

  • @TamarStar: If you have a moment, check out @bergdorfs Twitter stream for some excellent insights into what social media means for the company. 

Q6.  What do you think the hardest part of going Social was and how did you overcome it? (v. @Michael_Ludwig)

A6. Everyone here loved the social idea. The real challenge always is sharing all that we want to share  

Q7.  Do you think of yourself as having a “Bergdorf” persona? (v. @amidprivilege)

A7. It’s really up to me. Bergdorf Goodman is part of the New York City Fashion story. And that story can be interesting. We wanted to be genuine & inviting - - while giving glimpses of what makes us special & unique.  

Q8. What are Bergdorfs feeling about Facebook?  How do you engage users?

A8. We love Facebook! It’s a great place to share what’s happening in-store while addressing customer service queries. The focus is The latest and greatest on 5th Ave & 58th.  

Re: engagement, I love posting questions- lunch break topics & sharing sites that are interesting, for example - today I shared an @OscarPRGirl video.

 Q9.  How do you measure your social media success? What are some of  your goals for 2011?

 A9. For us, success wasn’t about the numbers. It was about communicating with an audience. Every time we satisfy a customer service request a success. It’s more about listening & engaging.  

Q10. When and if you receive a negative comment or tweet, how do you go about addressing it? (v. @KmartFashion)

A10. We listen to everything & take all comments seriously. Customer service issues are immediately sent to those in charge

Q11. Who do you look to for social media and fashion inspiration on Twitter?

A11. Who don’t we look to? I follow over 600 tweeps for a reason!  I try to follow all of our designers. Writers, etc. Plus others who are savvy.  Inspiration can be discovered in many places. It all makes sense in the grand scheme. 

Q12. You use many social media outlets, Facebook, blog, tumblr,& YouTube; How do you utilize YouTube effectively? (v. @DoodleHome)

A12.  This may help: http://www.youtube.com/bergdorfgoodmannyc. We have amazing videos - designer interviews, behind-the-scenes & more! 

Q13. Iphone or Blackberry? 

A13. iPhone. Bberry kept dying

Q14. Social media marketing must-dos? (v. @luliferrer)

A14. Listen. Read. Take risks!

#luxchat Recap February 2011 | Blantyre Resort

February Host:

@BlantyreResort | Blantyre, Luxury Country House Hotel
Relais & Chateaux


About Blantyre Resort:

Robert Paterson was introduced to the Lenox area in the late 1890’s by his friend John Sloan (of W&J Sloane). Lenox already had many great estates, prompting the area to be known as “the queen of inland resorts” or, as Cleveland Amory wrote, “the Switzerland of America.” Paterson acquired the Lenox estate of 220 acres called “Highlawn” from the Dorr family. He tore down the modest house, keeping the outbuildings. Hence, the Carriage House Stables and Potting Shed date from the late 19th century. He set about building a property on a grand scale… More… 

Moderators:


Click here to “Like” our Facebook page and click here to follow us on Twitter.

This month we chatted with YOU, our audience and Amy Cao, Head of Social Media for Foodspotting about “Food Paparazzi”.  This February edition of #luxchat is brought to you LIVE from Blantyre Resort, a luxury country home hotel in Lenox, MA. 

Click here to check out the full transcript and here/here to see the articles that inspired the conversation, via Los Angeles Times and New York Times.  We asked your thoughts on food paparazzi and discuss the evolution of food reviews from traditional channels to digital. 

Some highlights:

Q1. Food Paparazzi! Your thoughts?

  • @AmyBlogsChowDefinitely can’t argue with that. Restaurant info - ALL info - has become available practically instantly.
  • @VegasBill: Documenting meals in real-time have become more popular. We see some at nearby tables will start the same.
  • @kmarney66: I appreciate the tweets ‘cuz it exposes me to places that might not be “listed” at top dining spots. Love the hidden gems, the instant shots because reviews can be stale/dated but real time is fresh. 
  • @thechrislam: People who take pictures of their food while I’m eating is no big deal. They’re obviously excited about their food. Just don’t blind me with flash!

Q2.  Have you been in a restaurant with someone documenting their meal in real-time? Did it detract from your fine dining experience?

  • @AmyBlogsChow: as casual food photography become more common, the photographers are also more conscientious of what’s acceptable.  flash photography in dark restaurants is inconsiderate. When that happens is when I put my head down in shame
  • @NotCotso hard for it not to? recent press trip, the number of “wait! picture first” before diving into dish definitely have slowed things down.
  • @VinoFuse: The tension in the @latimes article comes from restaurants wanting to deliver a luxury experience and diners wanting to create their own.

Q3. How has the existence of apps like @Foodspotting or @Yelp change your dining experience? What helps you determine who’s opinion is relevant when dining?

  • @AmyBlogsChow: Just as food pics can look delicious, they can also make food look bad…which some restaurant owners are wary of.  Photographing the food sometimes allows the diner to express THEIR view of the food, independent of the chef’s. As far as opinions, it depends, some diners prefer the wisdom of a NYTimes critic, others look to their friends & peers.
  • @MisterHirsch: The apps has change our experience and for the better… I always enjoy others tips & recommendations.
  • @WickInnBC: Just like reviews on Trip Advisor, the unlimited sharing challenges all of us to stay ahead of the game.
  • @EliteTravelGal: i read Yelp & OpenTable reviews but defer to friends for recommendations

Q4.  Are Food Paparazzi cultural?

  • @AmyBlogsChow: I’ve heard that food lovers in Asian countries, like Japan, are very open about photographing food! It’s even cool! haven’t experienced food photography phenomenon 1st hand in Asia but from what @Foodspotting CEO says: It is common. 
  • @Moscerina: Italy has a such a strong culture of eating & knowing what one likes, i think the attitude towards food papsi is an amused “Why?”

Q5. Everybody’s a “Foodie” these days, what are your thoughts?

  • @AmyBlogsChow: At the heart of it: someone who loves food. Cooking, eating, finding a great dish, but quite possibly “foodies” are aspiring food writers. The web has merely democratized the process.
  • @LuxuryPRGal: Foodie = someone who loves to EAT! Who revels in subtleties of cooking, dining. Food as an experience — not fuel.
  • @JohnicaReed: Everyone eats, so everyone thinks they’re a foodie. No knowledge or deference for those who’ve honed the craft of critiquing food.

Q6. Do we have any restauranteurs or hoteliers who have specific rules about photography in the dining room? 

  • @BlantyreResort: We have private rooms people can take photos, but in main dining room we prefer no electronics. People come to us for privacy and serenity. Privacy is important here at Blantyre. Our policy of no electronics is because our fear of guests taking pictures of other guests.
  • @WickInnBC: We see some of it, which works as long as it doesn’t affect other patrons & guests… and we appreciate the appreciation! Our principal rule at is to not disturb others’ dining experience.

Q7.  Do you think the consumers are listening more to the traditional channel or the new ones when it comes to reviews?

  • @AmyBlogsChow: services such as Yelp and @foodspotting are gaining momentum because people are looking for input from peers. Also, they want food recommendations on the go! Food apps are meeting that need.
  • @LuxuryPRGal: Social media is becoming a peer recommendation engine — instead of Google, users are turning to their friends for advice on brands

Exclusive #luxchat Package: Blantyre Resort

Only 3 hours from Boston and New York City, and 1 hour from the Albany airport (ALB), Blantyre is the perfect getaway for aspiring lord and ladies of the manor. In honor of the second LIVE #luxchat, Blantyre created a Virtuoso Exclusive promotion for those who wish to experience the service and life of a bygone era.  

Room rates starts at $600, supplemented with Blantyre’s meal plan - $200 per room per day, which includes all food and non-alcoholic beverages for the duration of the stay.  Welcome amenities include: Fruit and cheese tray, welcome champagne, and $100 spa credit. 

To book the #luxchat package or for more information, please call SmartFlyer or Elite Travel International, or your favorite Virtuoso travel advisor.

About SmartFlyer:
SmartFlyer is a full-service travel agency based in New York City. As a Virtuoso Agency and because of our extensive top-level network worldwide, we are able to extend significant perks and amenities at the best properties worldwide, as well as complimentary upgrades, early check-in and check-out, and other value-added benefits. SmartFlyer is a preferred travel agency for Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Orient-Express, AmanResorts, Rosewood Hotels and more. Elite Travel International is SmartFlyer’s West Coast Affiliate.

About Virtuoso:
Virtuoso® is a network of the world’s finest travel agencies with knowledgeable advisors who draw upon first-hand experience to craft the perfect vacation for you. Virtuoso affiliated travel advisors have global connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies. For you, this means access to exclusive travel offers that you can’t get on your own, along with your best value for the money. 

#luxchat Recap January 2011 | Robb Report

January Guest Tweeter:

@RobbReport | Robb Report
The Global Luxury Source


About Robb Report:
For over 30 years, Robb Report magazine has served as the definitive authority on connoisseurship for ultra-affluent consumers. Robb Report not only showcases the products and services available from the most prestigious luxury brands around the globe, but it also provides its sophisticated readership with detailed insight into a range of these subjects, which include sports and luxury automobiles, yachts, real estate, travel, private aircraft, fashion, fine jewelry and watches, art, wine, state-of-the-art home electronics and much more. For connoisseurs seeking the very best life has to offer… More… 

Moderators:


Click here to “Like” our Facebook page and click here to follow us on Twitter.

We chatted with Brett Anderson, Editor in Chief of Robb Report magazine. Some highlights from #luxchat with @RobbReport:

Q1. What trends do you anticipate seeing in the luxury market in 2011?

A1.  The most important perhaps is that Internet use continues to grow among affluent users. More people have access to audiences through digital, and audiences have fractured and become more niche-oriented. The differentiator is brand, companies who meet the challenge & make the right choices will have an advantage. 

Print media companies that did not move from analog to digital technology 25 years ago suffered. Magazines have consolidated or close, think Gourmet, Bon Appetitte, Folio. Companies that don’t take advantage of these new channels will likewise suffer.

  • @HotelPRGuy: Affluent travellers are discerning… There is fine line between engagement and spam.
  • @LuxuryPRGal: eMarketer study: Number of affluent users on the Internet grew by almost 25%.
  • @lesliefineint: Traditional media and social media should be used hand in hand for the biggest impact and best results.

Q2.  Must “luxury” be luxurious? Adventure & getting off beaten travel path can be very expensive but not alway luxurious.

A2. We see great interest among ultra-affluents in experiential luxury RE: travel & self-improvement.

  • @MissSmartFlyerI think it’s about the experience, unique/one-of-a-kind is luxury.
  • @MaryJaneMurray: Luxury does not need to be luxurious. Being unique can qualify as luxury.

Q3. How is @RobbReport using social media to spread the magazine’s editorial message? what are some of your social media goals for the magazine in 2011?

A3. Social media enables us to let our community know when we have a real-world event or online event. Additionally, social media have driven many users to RobbReport.com and RobbReport.tv.

  • @WaldorfParkCityLuxury = high end service + product. Social media for lux travel is an extension of great service and a personal touch

Q4.  Which luxury brands do you think do an amazing job with social media?

A4. Louis Vuitton has broadcast its ready-to-wear shows live exclusively on FB. Tiffany & Co. also has a robust Facebook page with over 400K fans.

Q5. What are your thoughts on the surge of online based lifestyle mags and their huge successes?

A5. We often get hung up on delivery… if content is engaging, consumers will respond. Those that succeed will do so because of the talent behind the project.  The successful online magazines understand the principles of good content & design. Success is less about the medium than the message, these are the same factors that have figured in the success of any medium. 

Q6. Does the saturation of the market affects response and readership?

A6. Actually the luxury magazine space has shrunk in the last two years which is good for us. This has strengthened our impact on the luxury marketplace, which is less dilute.

Q7. what are some of your social media goals for the magazine in 2011?

A7.  We seek to strengthen communication with our community. Our FB audience has increased 10x in 7 months. We have 5 editors tweeting @Robb_Associate @AshtonEditorial @jillbnewman @RobbHostApp and @ReadRobbReport

  • @jason_mesnick: I think its a never ending media web, both traditional and social media need each other.
  • @FSMiami: Social media is everybody’s job.

Q8. The @RobbReport Host Guide features wine, party entertaining tips. Will the mag have its own monthly app?

A8. A subscription based #iPad app that is: Yes, we will be launching Q2 this year

#luxurychat: #luxurychat Recap | December 2010

 December Guest Tweeter:

 @Lexus | Lexus
Pursuit of Perfection

 


About Lexus:
Established in the early 1980s and launched in 1989, the Lexus marque soon became associated with quality, luxury and superior customer satisfaction. The brand reputation grew quickly until, barely a dozen years after its founding, Lexus became America’s best-selling line of luxury motor vehicles. Lexus belongs to the global Toyota family, whose members together constitute the world’s third-leading automaker. We and our affiliated companies employ more than 31,000 in the United States, and our Lexus and Toyota dealers and suppliers employ an additional 160,000 persons. Toyota’s investments in the United States amount to $12 billion. More… 

Moderators:

Check out the full transcript from 12/15/10 here.
Click here to “Like” our Facebook page and click here to follow us on Twitter.

We chatted with @NancyHubell @DanielReynolds @Stef_Bernstein and @Michael_Ludwig through @Lexus Twitter handle.

Some highlights from #luxurychat with @Lexus:

Q1. How does a luxury car brand uses social media while maintaining air of exclusivity?

A1. We really look to provide engagement opportunities and reach out to customers personally. Our primary social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube and of course, Twitter. We try to treat (or tweet) each customer like a guest in our own home, this is part of the Lexus Covenant. It’s about customers first. Recently we did a virtual lunch with the GM of Lexus and exclusive Lexus dinners with live tweet. 

  • @VegasBill@Lexus does reach out personally to customers via twitter. I’ve witnessed this first hand and have met several IRL

Q2. How do you keep a consistent ‘voice’ in your social media? Especially if multiple people manage the account?

A2. Our brand voice comes from our core group of social media folks. We’ve got a covenant and we all try to stick to it. Based on it, we established guidelines for us to use as well as each individual dealerships - there’s a great opportunity for our dealers and we’re offering guidance as we go.

Q3. Do you ever partner with luxury hotel brands? 

A3. We partner with Fairmont and have some cool luxury hybrid suites in select properties. We also partner with Pebble Beach Resorts and some cool boutique properties. Owners get special discounts, test drives, upgrades, etc. from our partner hotels.

  • @FrontRowTierraYou can’t deny the power of SM for marketing luxury brands and the consumption of them.

Q4.  How do you manage customer service on social media sites with such a large brand name?

A4. We have a broad base of consumers so we diversify our marketing programs for different channels. Facebook is good for reaching out to clients and Twitter is best for listening to them. We believe in going where our customers are!

  • @GlaceLuxuryIcewe’ve never felt closer to the Lexus Brand as right now… a testament to social media pw
  • @EliteTravelVeloI like how the dealerships are using social media to get in contact with there customer base.
  • @EliteTravelGalAs a @lexus customer I can attest to the power of social media. I tweeted praise for my salesperson and she was notified immediately and called me 10 minutes later to say thank you!
  • @LuxuryPRGal: SM should be about customer service
  • @golfgirlSome luxury brands miss the social media mark by focusing exclusively on ultra-young and believing over 40 = old media

Q5. How do you plan to differentiate yourself with social media from other luxe auto brands? 

A5.If we always turn to our core value of customer first, we’ll automatically differentiate ourselves. We did a fun event in various cities with family bloggers that demonstrated our safety features, check out this link to the Lexus YouTube.

  • @Elite_WellnessIts the skill, perception and maturity of a brand that allows it to multiply its reach 
  • @LauraDavidson:  This is the new “market research”.
  • @notcot: #luxurychat is making me think i need to play with more lexus’ in this new car hunt…. 

Q6. How do you measure ROI?

A6. We measure success through engagement, customer satisfaction, increase in fans and followers.  

Q7. If your brand were a celebrity, who would you be? 

A7. Four answers from each of us: NH-George Clooney, SB-Catherine Zeta Jones, ML-Justin Bieber, DR-James Franco.

Q8. Do you have any fun & interactive social media campaigns for customers planned for 2011?

A8. Our fifth hybrid, the CT 200h begs for social media. Check it out at DarkerSideOfGreen.com. We also have plans for geo-targeted campaigns in 2011.

#luxurychat Recap | November 2010

November Guest Tweeter:

 @ExclusiveResrts | Exclusive Resorts
Luxury Destination Club, Worldwide

Exclusive Resorts, @ExclusiveResrts

 

About Exclusive Resorts:
Exclusive Resorts was founded in 2002 with one mission: to create far more rewarding vacations for club members. We accomplish this goal by combining the best things about staying in vacation homes with the best things about staying in luxury resorts—while eliminating the disadvantages of both. More… 

Moderators:

To celebrate the first LIVE #luxurychat, we launched a new two-hour format.  The first hour was spent discussing our host, Exclusive Resorts, and their role in the luxury market and social media.  The second hour was a great discussion on the travel climate in Los Cabos and Mexico.

Check out the full transcript from 11/17/10 here.
Click here to “Like” our Facebook page and check out our images from Los Cabos ER.

Some highlights from #luxurychat with @ExclusiveResrts:

Q1. What is Exclusive Resorts?

A1. ER is a destination club.  A luxury destination club combines the service of luxury resorts with spaciousness of private homes, members enjoy vacations at 400 homes in 37 destinations and world class service. Check out all the places our members travel with us here, THEN add amenities like gourmet kitchens and private pools.

Q2. What are ER member’s favorite destinations? What are the new ER destinations?

  A2. Our top destinations are Cabo, Tuscany, Costa Rica, New York, and Vail, members love the variety.  Members love privileged access to golf courses @SeaIslandResort, Kiawah, Scottsdale, Kapalua. Our members are equally excited for ski season at our nine mountain destinations - especially our new homes in Steamboat - they are 4 bedrooms, ski in ski out at new One Steamboat Place. Beautiful decor and mountain touches! 

Vdara in Las Vegas City Center is another one of @ExclusiveResrts new destinations. Members love that it’s an oasis. Non-smoking, non-gaming, best of everything with City Center nearby

Q3. What is the demographic of your target member?

A3. Families, vacationing in a 4 bedroom home beats staying in cramped hotel room, especially with kids! Our homes are spacious, average 3500 sq ft. Perfect for vacations with family & friends -  with ER, our members never have to worry about arranging adjoining rooms

Q4.  What is your destination club’s definition of luxury & how is your club different than others?

A4. To us, luxury means choice, space and time. What differentiates us is our portfolio of 400 homes and relationships that we builld with members. We build loyalty through club community: member events, cocktail parties, on-site receptions - one in Cabo every Monday.

Q5. How do you engage members through social media?

A5.We rolled out our SM in January, we use social media to connect further with our members as well as prospective members who see tweets and Facebook comments from our existing members. SM highlights key differentiator for ER: power and value of our member community. Prospective members also read about how much our members love ER, its a real community building and brand loyalty tool.

We use Twitter to engage with the luxury travel community (All of you!) We’ve also seen a lot of PR opportunities come from Twitter, it’s been really fun.  We are also focused on responsiveness on Twitter. We have members who are power users - which helps us to always stay in touch.  

  • @SteveCase Good to see Twitter being used to discuss @ExclusiveResrts on #luxurychat!
  • @VegasBill: Using the combo of 500M people on FB & Twitter is a great social media strategy
  • @EpsteinTravels:  People need 2 think bigger when engaging in social media. You never know who’s listening.

Q6. How much real estate do you own, what is the average cost of the homes you own?

A6. We own $1 Billion in real estate. Our homes average about $3 million each.  

Q7. Can you tell us about Steve Case’s involvement in ER’s social media efforts? 

A7. @SteveCase has been a huge influence and supporter of our SM, he’s really been a great mentor for us. Steve has a special interest in luxury travel, he is a majority owner in @Miraval in Tucson.  He has helped think outside the box - in fact working with something like #luxurychat was something we discussed earlier this year.

Q8. Do you have a strategy for measuring ROI? 

A8. We measure our ROI by member engagement, PR opportunities, new leads and new membership sales.  Facebook has proven to be a great deal closer for us - check this out: http://ow.ly/3bz7g.

We use the Hubspot platform to track and measure the performance of all our SM efforts. However, as you all you know, measuring ROI in social media a challenge. We’re committed to it as a long term strategy 

  • @VegasBill: Remember social media is not only immediate but long-term ROI on customer engagement with brands. Also measure ROI by registrations, reduced sales cycle, links & inbound activity.
  • @TierraFilhiol: It’s a matter of projected image and how far your actual reach is beyond the web. Can the brand translate?
  • @kiwi_collection: A lot of times, ROI is intangible.

Q9.  Tell us about your “Once in a Lifetime” program.

A9. Our Once in a Lifetime program gives members incredible travel experiences each year, it’s incredibly popular within the ER member community. This year, Once in a Lifetime took members to Antarctica, Patagonia, Provence, Australia, Africa and more.

What we’re hearing about Mexico…

Favorite destinations… 

  • @EliteTravelGal: Cabos, Punta Mita, Rivera Maya. Best food, friendly people, fab resorts.
  • @lax2nrt: I love the Rivera Maya. I am actually confused on picking a resort there as there have been so many fab new ones!

Security concerns…

  • @LuxuryTravelMom: I’ve taken my children to Rwanda, I’ve been to Haiti, Mexico is much safer…the world really isn’t so scary.
  • @LuxuryPRGal: The media has hyped a lot of the crime in #Mexico. Luxury travel resorts in the country are very safe 
  • @CaboSella: Seems many media outlets keep hammering Mexico & forget about many other dangers in US alone, often problems are also because of travelers.
  • @ExclusiveResrts: All of our residences are in private, gated communities. But common sense goes a long way - as with any traveling
  • @lax2nrt: Re:Mexico security concerns, I think that is primarily in border towns and large cities. I think concerns are always with the less travelled. Mexico ia an awesome country and a great neighbor.
  • @jeffrago: Just got back from a week in Nuevo Vallarta outside PV and it couldn’t have been more beautiful or felt safer.
  • @UGAStephB: The best part of W. Caribbean cruises is #Cozumel port. Would be a shame to stop them bc of negative media influence.
  • @LuxeTiffany: #Mexico is a fabulous #Honeymoon destination! There were nine newlywed couples on my plane from #Dallas.

There’s No Place Like Together

Stay tuned for our #luxurychat recap with @ExclusiveResrts.  Thank you to all who joined our first ever LIVE #luxurychat from Los Cabos.

For more information on our lovely host, please click here

#luxurychat Recap | October 2010

 

October Guest Tweeter:

Alexandra W. Wilson - Gilt Groupe

@Alexandra_Gilt | Alexandra W. Wilson
Gilt Groupe Founder and Chief Merchandising Officer

Alexandra brings more than 12 years of international experience in the luxury-goods, retail and finance sectors. Most recently she managed retail operations at Bulgari, overseeing 15 stores throughout North America. Prior to working at Bulgari, Alexandra managed Leather Goods Sales Planning for Louis Vuitton North America.  More… 

About Gilt Groupe:

Gilt Groupe provides invitation-only access to highly coveted products and experiences at insider prices. Each day, Gilt offers its members a curated selection of merchandise, including apparel, accessories and lifestyle items across the women’s, men’s and children’s categories. In addition, we provide the best in home decor and entertaining essentials, along with luxury travel packages and fantastic offers on local services and experiences. Most sales start at noon ET and last only 36 hours, making Gilt.com an exclusive shopping destination for luxury at up to 70% off.

Moderators:

Check out the full transcript from 10/20/10 here.

Some highlights from #luxurychat with @Alexandra_Gilt:

Q1. As a busy CMO, you have really embraced Twitter. Do you manage exclusively & who do you actively follow?

A1. I absolutely tweet myself on my own account @Alexandra_Gilt Its so fun to interact directly with our membersI follow brands and people who inspire me. Twitter is also such a great source of real time news!  I also travel a ton for work and pleasure and find so many great travel tips via Twitter. 

I am inspired by people who create things- whether they be designers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists. I am also inspired by the “Do-ers” of the world. Laziness is such a turnoff to me. Authenticity is key. People are smart - They know when something is canned and not genuine.

Q2. Aside from the highly respected team at Gilt, what do you believe is the key ingredient to the success of the company?

A2. It has been a combo of top brands, products, loyal and addicted members and good timing @GiltGroupe.  Key ingredient to a success of the company is company culture as seen in Zappos - company culture is so important. Just read the Zappos book @DHBook and loved it! @Zappos' customer service is impeccable and should inspire all ecommerce companies!

Q3. @GiltGroupe just hiring employee #500. How many are involved in social media marketing?

A3. Yes! Just hired employee #500! About 15 of us @GiltGroupe tweet individually on our own accounts. We also have teams tweeting for @GiltGroupe, @GiltCityNYC, @Jetsetterdotcom,@GiltCityMiami, @GiltCityLA, etc 

  • @hotelPRguy: No need to be techie to get social media… Just a genuine interest for building real human connections.
  • @CharlesHotelExactly! It’s fun to interact & learn from your guests! RT @sheila_gh: @hotelPRguy interest for building real human connections.
  • @EpsteinTravels: I agree with the need for creating a true voice for the brand as @VegasBill just stated. I think @GiltGroupe is nailing that.
  • @cruisebuzz: Regarding social media I say keep it simple, keep it real and stay on branding targets 

Q4. The Gilt Groupe has moved into local “deals”? Why go local? Miami, Chicago, LA, New York & Boston. Where next?

A4. Through GiltCity, live in 6 cities, we drive traffic to offline experiences-events, stores, restaurants, spas etc. I think we are curators of fashion and lifestyle experiences. We remove hassle for members.

  • @LuxeTiffany: I’m a huge fan of this regional approach. I’m even getting to know my city of #Boston better! 

Q5. How important have your mobile apps become?

A5. Our iPhone, iPad & Android Apps have been key to @GiltGroupe. Our members love them.  Our iPad App is so cool that we are using features from it and incorporating them into Gilt’s UI. I really hope we do a Blackberry app soon. I personally use the Blackberry Torch! Also, sometimes we offer sales only accessible via our iPhone, iPad or Android apps. Fun experience for mobile users!

Q6. Aside from @Zappos, are there others u think have a great model for a luxury business in social media outlets?

A6. I think @ToryBurch @InsideDVF @OscarPRGirl and @Burberry all do a great job. I love artofthetrench.com! 

Q7. Is luxury a woman’s business? 

A7. We know our male members love fashion and luxury. We see the results everyday on @GiltMan!

  • @tierrafielhol:  It may be the topic, however #fashion for men especially @Burberry is truly being embraced this season
  • @tylerhwilliamsabsolutely true- my blog has loads of luxury-loving (male) readers!
  • @epsteintravels: Was leaving but have to respond…I’m a guy: love football, love hiking, love beer, love luxury

Q8. Has digital/social media investments returned as much, more or less than the company’s projections? 

A8. Social Media efforts @GiltGroupe have been incredibly important in growing our membership! Virality is key! Social Media efforts @GiltGroupe have been incredibly important in growing our membership! Calculating lifetime value of a Gilt member isn’t easy, but after 3 years of data,almost there! 

#luxurychat Recap | September 2010

#luxurychat is an interactive Twitter discussion around luxury brands and social media in 140 characters or less.  Every third Wednesday afternoon 2.30PM PST/5.30PM EST of the month.  In case you missed #luxurychat, transcript of this month’s chat is available here.

Moderators:

This month, we talked to YOU.  Our chat centered around Fashion Week, luxury, and how social media influence us all. It’s our very own “September Issue”!

Are luxury consumers really on twitter?

  • JohnAntonios:  consumers of all genres are on twitter - however just like in real life they have private circles
  • leyla_a:  Absolutely, luxury consumers are on Twitter just less likely to speak out en masse. Like anywhere else, luxury consumer is quiet 
  • LoisMarketing:  Yes, I agree luxury consumers on on Twitter and active in social media, also among the early adopters of new apps and technology 
  • JohnAntonios:  luxury brands in cars, fashion, resorts, are all in the SM space - this is basic niche marketing - twitter is the new middle man
  • luxmextrvlchica:  social media is used by many groups of interest, a matter of targeting right consumer like rev mgment

Who did you “pick-up” during Fashion Week?

  • leyla_a:  I followed all of #FNO for five straight hours with @fashionstreamz - it was great fun & picked up so many new ppl to follow.
  • tierrafilhiol:  @Bergdorfs How epic was @twitter’s launch into the fashion industry with #nyfw!? @americanexpress as well.

Where do you feel the luxury consumer congregates online?

  • mcleger: luxury consumers talk a lot, but want to do it in an exclusive venue.
  • AmidPrivilege: They aren’t congregating as “luxury consumers.” These days people of means don’t like that term.
  • RobertKCole: Private luxury social networks exist, but have their critics - asw.com & affluence.org come to mind, insights?
  • JohnicaReed: re: Private #luxury social networks - ASW.com has been useful for me while traveling. Great global community.

Do you think the word “luxury” is overused?

  • MissSmartFlyer: “Luxury” needs to be used carefully and sparingly.
  • abcddesigns: it is already overdone so when it is used, doesn’t it have *so* little meaning?
  • RobertKCole: Cannot agree more - GOLDEN RULE should reign over all relationships - both online & offline re: sparing usage - theexplorateur

Relationship & customer service in social media…

  • bergdorfs: I follow a lot of people & try to help as many as I can, as quickly as I can!
  • LoisMarketing: I am sure you are like me, always putting thought into suggesions, valuing relationship
  • RobertKCole: Social platforms can be used to provide exceptional service, but they must be used on the customer’s terms
  • ExclusiveResrts: The luxury consumer wants the personalized customer service on Twitter just as much as any other consumer
  • ADMAVEN: @sesandiego tweeted me when I checked in - I found it nice to know they were paying attn, some may find it creepy
  • SamSaysFashion: Brands/establishments should understand Twitter is 4 interacting/engaging, not just announcing promos. This isn’t Wal-mart

Thoughts on DMs…

  • AmidPrivilege: I hate DMs I haven’t asked for. Enough to make me never buy that service or product.
  • luxmextrvlchica: twitter is means 2 reach customer,then personalize on differnet medium
  • theexplorateur: Unsolicited DMs = instant turnoff
  • LoisMarketing: Here to be a friend and resource. I enjoy making introductions and connections

Measure & ROI…

  • ADMAVEN: More and more brands are using metrics like @Klout to ID key taste makers and send them product

Should luxury brands have a real name handle or a business name?

  • leyla_a: I think luxury brands should have 2 handles - real name & then an top level executive handle
  • theexplorateur: I prefer when the Twitter handle is the actual name, feel better that I’m following the real deal!
  • LuxeTiffany: Personally I don’t mind when a business use only company name. Especially with luxury hotels