#luxchat {Spring Edition} | Abercrombie & Kent

As a part of Abercrombie & Kent's 50th Anniversary celebration, Mr. Geoffrey Kent, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Abercrombie & Kent, joined us for an hour of #luxchat this week.  He shared with us A&K’s social media strategy and what we can look forward from A&K in the next 50 years…

Kent today, and at 16, when he traveled 5,000 miles by motorbike from Nairobi to Cape, which he called “a defining moment.” {Image courtesy of Geoffrey Kent and Abercrombie and Kent}


A&K Social Media Channels:

@AKTravel_USA | @AKPhilanthropy | @AKExtreme

Facebook | YouTube | Flickr


Highlights from our #luxchat with @AKTravel_USA, check out the full report here.

On the A&K Clients:

  • 17% of A&K’s guests travel solo. Many pursue a personal passion like photography.
  • There is no “typical” customer! Many are busy executives who rely on us to handle the details. Time is valuable. Also, families celebrating milestone events.
  • Travelers are looking further and further off the beaten path to find authentic experiences. Stronger demand now for places like East Africa, China, Antarctica.
  • A&K is developing a very high end concierge division to serve its top clients.

On Luxury Travel:
  • Luxury is not just about thread count, but quality of experience. Travelers are looking further and further off the beaten path to find authentic experiences.
  • The mindset of the traveler has changed. People expect greater value
  • Luxury is a balance of authenticity, flexibility and a complete sense of well-being.

On the importance of a tour operator in luxury travel:
  • To have a reliable/knowledgeable person available 24/7 is so imperative when time is money for someone.
  • Every luxury travel agent & tour operator would agree that it’s all about the details!  We have access to people and places you couldn’t experience on your own - with the best guides available.
  • With 50 years’ experience, we’re experts at dealing with the unexpected while still offering seamless service. There’s so much info avail online. It’s overwhelming. The details that aren’t “Googleable” can make or break a trip.
  • I think of A&K as world’s oldest start up. In search of new experiences for our clients in emerging destinations, continuing to deliver a better, more luxurious, more personalized experience than anyone else

On Inspiration Behind A&K Philanthropy efforts:
  • Our love for the areas we operate in. A deep-rooted concern for the natural world infuses every A&K journey
  • Tourism is the most effective way to transfer wealth from rich nations to poorer ones.

On Social Media:
  • A&K handle Social Media in-house, as the constant flow of information would be too difficult for outside source to keep up with.
  • With 50 offices worldwide we have direct access to stories, trends and photos, which makes conversation more authentic.
  • With social media, we are so much more connected. You get instant feedback about what people want.
  • Social media gets you inspired, but travel is the real thing.
  • SM has introduced an entirely new audience of travelers to A&K. Our social media goal is to grow the community further and act as a go-to destination resource for travelers.

On iPad & Technology:

  • We have an iPad app. Very interactive and visual, to download the A&K Travel app click here
  • Instead of printed itinerary, guests can request an A&K itinerary be delivered to the iPad or eReader
  • We’ll be sure to keep our #luxchat friends posted on our Pinterest plans!

#luxchat {Winter Edition} | Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Last season, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts joined us for the unveiling of its new website as well as launching a Luxury Travel Trend Report, we’re so excited and grateful to be a part of this great milestone for the Four Seasons brand. 

It’s also exciting for us, as it was the first time the the #luxchat hashtag trended worldwide on Twitter!  What an accomplishment, and we have all of you to thank for that! According to our Tweetchat.com report, January’s #Luxchat had over 1500 tweets, reached 384,636 people & over 6.5 MIL online impressions. 

Here’s what you have to say about the chat!

Four Seasons truly understands modern social media.” - via LuxQ

I am thankful that such a well know hotel brand with a strong positive reputation are leading the way for the tourism and travel industry." - via GO Future Media

For a full report on January’s #Luxchat, please see here.

#luxchat Recap September 2011 | #LetUsStayWithYou

@RitzCarlton The Ritz-Carlton
You can’t be a legend without a great story.

About The Ritz-Carlton:
100 years of history. Countless rewards. With an unshakeable credo and corporate philosophy of un-wavering commitment to service, both in our hotels and in our communities, The Ritz-Carlton has been recognized with numerous awards for being the gold standard of hospitality. More…


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

Some highlights from #luxchat with @RitzCarlton:

Q1. Please share more about #LetUsStayWithYou

A1. #LetUsStayWithYou is essentially pulling back the curtains to a way of service that has always been delivered at Ritz-Carlton. Guests who know us well know that we look for those little opportunities to surprise and delight all the time. Now we have a communications platform that speaks to who we are beyond the physical aspects of our beautiful hotels - and that is to say nothing of the many ways our ladies and gentlemen will continue to animate #LetUsStayWithYou on-property.

Q2. Is #LetUsStayWithYou strictly an online platform or are you promoting it in other ways - TV, print, etc?

A2. It is so much more than an online platform. The online channels are just one pillar of #LetUsStayWithYou. From a Communications perspective, and beyond online, website and social, you will see beautiful print ads roll out in October. 

The beauty of revealing the platform and the detail has been the increased flow of communication from guests staying with us. It has given additional encouragement for them to let us know about the things that are important to them. Their passion points. You can only truly deliver a memory that will last a life time when you are in tune with what truly holds value to your guests.

Q3.  Can you elaborate more on the Ritz Carlton Foursquare World Concierge?

The Ritz-Carlton Foursquare World Concierge is probably the most popular foray into the social space that we have made. It is a service that provides travelers around the globe with access to expertise of our concierge, without having be in a hotel.

Travelers trust us. They trust us to look after them in and out of hotels. They trust our advice. That’s why Foursquare is such a hit. The goal on Foursquare? To allow travelers to let us stay with them where ever they go.

Guests actually walk up to concierge and say “we saw your tip on Foursquare - thx for that!’ FULL credit goes to 76 Concierge desks around the globe and our social media partners @PandemicLabs. It tooks months of planning, but like anything, now Foursquare World Concierge is running, it is easy to maintain and populate 

Q4. Ritz Carlton recently launched the Ritz Carlton Credit Card and loyalty program, is this a part of the new brand platform?

A4. Any extension of our brand to better serve consumers could be termed part of #LetUsStayWithYou and that includes our credit card. The benefits of holding a Ritz-Carlton Credit Card have been popularly reported as great. http://bit.ly/mTOBTF

Q5. How are you rolling out the #LetUsStayWithYou to employees? Is it just select employees or all? (v. @Michael_Ludwig)

A5. Oh, the employee question is a special one. We have taken a lot of time to articulate the platform to our most valuable resource. The ladies & gentlemen that work for Ritz-Carlton are our most valuable asset. There wouldn’t be a platform if it weren’t for them

Q6.Why is it important to share “Stories that Stay With You?”

A6. The best way to describe any brand is from personal experience of it. What makes it special/unique/through personal stories. There’s a beautiful part of website dedicated to stories told by our ladies & gentlemen. Worth a look http://bit.ly/qgvbsn. Year to date more than 1,200 letters have been written by guests to our Prez, Herve Humler. They all detail beautiful and unique service stories by our ladies and gentlemen. We started by reaching out to some of those employees and asked them to tell the story. We will continue to do that. 

Q7. Who is responsible for managing the roll-out of the new #LetUsStayWithYou brand platform? (v. @ChrisJGabaldon)

A7. #LetUsStayWithYou has been in development for the last 18 months. We have never been a brand to jump into programs, campaigns or anything else without the right research and understanding. Our partners @TeamOneUSA worked with us to understand the changing needs, habits and passion points of a luxury consumer

Q8. Why did you decide the timing was right, now for a new brand platform?

A8. All indicators told us that now was the time to deepen our relationships with our guests and ask out loud ‘LetUsStayWithYou. We feel Social Media provides additional channels. We treat them with great importance, But they don’t replace other channels

Q9. @RitzCarlton has always maintained one brand Twitter handle. Is this still true or will hotels manager their own social media? Why is this?

A9. The conversation around one Twitter handle has always centered around not throwing all the hotels into the space ‘just because’. We want to add value to a consumers experience when our hotel launch property accounts. we have had one hotel experimenting by themselves to measure what will hold value to consumers on Twitter. I can tell you exclusively on #luxchat, hotels will launch in a unique an interesting way. Can’t say more as @Chic_Travel will be reporting!

Q10. What are your suggestions for those of us launching a brand? What lessons did you learn during the 18 month process? (v. @ShannonMcShane)

A10. One piece of Social Media advice, don’t fall to peer pressure. Don’t do things because competitors do. Stay true to your brand/your organization. And in quest to stand out and be different, do something that adds value to consumer.

Q11. How does #LetUsStayWithYou make you different? 

A11. It hasn’t changed us at all. We are simply exposing the core of who we are. #LetUsStayWithYou allows us to create guests for life through thoughtful touch points along their continuous guest journey. 

#luxchat Recap August 2011 | Infiniti

@InfinitiNews Infiniti USA
Vision of Inspired Performance

About Infiniti USA:
Infiniti is the luxury division of automaker Nissan. Infiniti officially started selling vehicles on November 8, 1989 in North America. Marketing operations have since grown to include the Middle East, South Korea, Russia, Taiwan, China, and Ukraine. Infiniti began sales in additional European markets in late 2008. The marketing network for Infiniti-branded vehicles now includes over 230 dealers in over 15 countries. More…


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

Some highlights from #luxchat with @InfinitiNews:

Q1. What makes social media a good platform for Infiniti JX launch? Is it generating the type of buzz that Infiniti was expecting? 
A1. Our goal was to give our most engaged fans opportunity to see #JXConcept first & share thoughts to be part of reveal. For instance…we received 73% higher FB page views during our roll out of JX. People really got into the content. 

Q2. We recently heard about a concierge service that Infiniti is providing? Can you elaborate? 

A2. The Infiniti Personal Assistant provides owners with unlimited 24-hour access to a live team of professional assistants. It is Infiniti Personal Assistant. Like what you get with an AmEx Black Card. Live help at all times. Here are more details on Infiniti Personal Assistant: http://bit.ly/pJHkRQ 

Q3. Can you share some of the images released so far of the #JXConcept?
A3. Here are the photos we have released so far of the #JXConcept -http://on.fb.me/qjZtok 

Q4. Is the “Power of 7” the first social media campaign for a new vehicle? Why did you decide now was the right time to reveal a new vehicle launch via social media?

A4. We did social media for Infiniti M Hybrid vehicle, inc a virtual video reveal & NCAA basketball Coaches vs Charity 

Q5. Please describe the “Power of 7” campaign to the audience.

A5. Infiniti #JXConcept #Powerof7 Campaign phase 1 is 7 teaser images to culminate tomorrow with car reveal in the evening. Phase 2 #Powerof7 uses 7 unique features of concept vehicle inspiring challenges in categories like art, fashion, food. Fans will have opportunity to upload own inspiring creations in any of 7 categories & collect votes in order to win. 

Q6. What is Infiniti’s overarching social media goal?

A6. Our goal is to build & strengthen Infiniti community, nurture passion about our brand and sell vehicles.

Q7. Infiniti seems to invest significantly in social media, did the brand immediately understand its value?

A7. Not at first. We were late to the game. Now it is central to everything we do. 

Q8. Except from the new JX, what else is Infiniti showing at @PebbleConcours?

A8. At @PebbleConcours Infiniti is also showing 2012 #InfinitiFX, Redbull Racing #F1 car & Infiniti Etherea Concept

Q9. Are you anticipating Google+ business profiles as part of your future social media strategy?

A9. We look at social media in a platform-agnostic manner. If G+ provides value to our communities we will be there. FB shows the most engagement so far but, G+ looks promising but no brands allowed yet.

Q10. Do you use social media to engage with existing Infiniti owners, potential new customers, or both? Has Social Media changed the way @infinitinews conducts internal operations and/or the way you design your vehicles? 

A10. We engage both current owners, potential customers and just people who have passion for cars and design. It creates a heightened awareness of our customers internally. We seek input from fans to create sense of family.

Q11. How does the Infiniti social media team communicate ROI back to executives and employees?

A11. We track handraisers which we tie back to actual sales. Gives us an actual ROI based on sales per action we take. Handraisers are those who ask us for more information about our brand by e-mail for example. 

Q12. Is there a social media policy or handbook that employees follow if they tweet from personal accounts?

A12. We have guidelines to engage in Infiniti-related conversations from personal accounts, but do encourage participation.

Q13. What is social media success (or ROI) for Infiniti?

A13. Success = Engagement & Cars Sold. JX campaign has driven 12% > internet buzz vs. pre. We’ll track sales when JX is out. 

Q14. What is Infiniti doing in the way of online video - YouTube, Ustream, etc?

A14. Our YouTube channel offers video content & we will host live video chat Sat from #PebbleCars http://www.youtube.com/infiniti

Q15. Does Infiniti consider geo-location services (like FourSquare) as part of its social strategy?

A15. Yes, we will use geo-location this weekend at Pebble Beach where we are sponsoring @PebbleConcours.

Special Edition #luxchat Recap | July 2011

The July edition of #luxchat focused on, how luxury brands use social media to provide premium customer service.

Guest Moderators:



  • @AustininLA, Austin Watkins - Director of Marketing at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles.
  • @BMacJ, Mac Joseph - Social Media Marketing at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. 
  • @JMPelz, Josh Pelz - Social Media Manager at Gansevoort Hotel Group.
  • @JorgeCollazo, Jorge Collazo - Director of Sales & Marketing Canyon Ranch, Miami Beach
  • @Michael_Ludwig, Michael Ludwig - Customer Service Specialist at Lexus.

For July, the #luxchat ladies handed the discussion over to five men we admire in luxury and social media — they did not disappoint!

Check out our TweetReach from July 20, 2011 here. The power of social media - We reached 3.8 million impressions!

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

Some highlights:

Q1. How important is social media in preserving the high-level of customer service expected of a luxury brand??

  • @JorgeCollazo: Social Media allows us to reach our customer directly the way they want to be reached. The brands that are not doing Social Media are perceived as not being up to today’s standards. The other important part of social media in customer service is that it is a Public Two Way street. Some of us forget that half of Social Media is just about being Social.
  • @BMacJ: Social media absolutely plays a role, but it’s only one channel through which we should be addressing cust. service. As a “luxury” brand, we need to be accessible to our customers. They deserve it!
  • @Michael_Ludwig: Lexus is all about exceeding the expectations of our customers; it helps build relationships.
  • @jmpelz: Highly! Customer service is expected of all brands, being a “luxury” brand only emphasizes that!!! It is important to be anywhere our customers may be. Social media makes that possible.
  • @lesliefineint: SM is an efficient & effective means of reaching customers & getting their feedback in a timely fashion

Q2.  Do you have set procedures for handling customer service issues online?

  • @jmpelz: The only set procedure is to respond to every request in a timely manner, positive or negative. During the day, in under 15 minutes.
  • @BMacJ: Mandarin Oriental does have set procedures, but guidelines can only take you so far. Each issue requires a unique solution.  
  • @AustininLA: We are 24/7 and should be. [Brands should respond] in minutes and not in hours.
  • @Michael_Ludwig: Lexus has a process to ensure all customer contacts are handled quickly & personally. Tweets or post are like phone calls…to be effective you want to listen, take action, and then follow up as quickly as possible.

Q3. Question. Does a brand have to respond to tweets when guests are onsite?  (v. @CruiseBuzz)

  • @LuxuryPRGal: No response is a lost opp. Why bother?
  • @BMacJ: Absolutely! If a customer is staying with us & turns to twitter to communicate, it is our responsibility to address. Each customer deserves equal attention, regardless of online influence. 
  • @EverywhereErica: Brands who only respond if you’re “influential” or if you rant against them on SM tick me off. Good customer service = serving all customer 
  • @JorgeCollazo: If a guest Tweets from property, it is very engaging to surprise them with a small gift - shows your listening.
  • @LaurBreu: We don’t have to, we want to!

Q4.  Have you experienced customer complaints on Facebook and how do you handle? Ever delete to preserve image?

  • @Michael_Ludwig: For us deleting a post is like hanging up the phone on a customer, it’s just not done! (unless offensive to groups or individuals). We look for opportunities to surprise and delight our customers not just to handle complaints.
  • @jmpelz: A response is given immediately, usually public & private. We very clearly say on the facebook page. “We reserve the right to remove comments that are factually incorrect, or we deem otherwise inappropriate.”
  • @Roopunzel: Part of my job is responding 2 Tripadvisor reviews- I relish the complaints gives me challenge in answering & learn

Q5. Do you ever follow up major complaints with email/phone calls?

  • @BMacJ: Yes, we follow up complaints through whichever channel is necessary to properly address the customer’s needs.
  • @Michael_Ludwig: Email/phone still play a large role in the Lexus SM channels. It allows us to deliver the luxury #custserv that has built our brand
  • @jmpelz: whenever the relationship can be taken off line we grab the opportunity. A phone call is great, face to face is best!

Q6. Some major brands like @GiltService have a dedicated customer service Twitter handle. Is this a good approach?? 

  • @jmpelz: Yes! What brands like Gilt, Comcast and CITI have been able to for customer service has been tremendous! At the moment we do not see the volume to necessitate a dedicated handle.

Q7.  Do you have a customer service success story you can share?

  • @Michael_Ludwig: Here is an example of Social Media helping a customer buying his first Lexus. http://bit.ly/eXIXM2
  • @BMacJ: We have many success stories. If you pay close attention, there are plenty of chances to turn negative to positive.
  • @HotelPRGuy: Biggest satisfaction for a brand - converting a guest from being skeptic to lover. Makes me smile!
  • @jmpelz: Success stories come every day! Most recently we caught someone heading to the wrong Gansevoort and re-directed them en route!

Q8. How do you encourage your guests to interact online? or they just do? (v. @Roopunzel)

  • @BMacJ: Not all of our customers want to interact with us online, which is perfectly fine. We’re here for anyone that does! 
  • @LuxeTiffany: Nice example @SonoraResort of encouraging guests to interact via social media.

Q9. Do any of you engage in forums or just management responses?

  • @jmpelz: We are everywhere our customers may be… Forums, message boards, chatrooms, twitter, facebook…. EVERYWHERE!
  • @BMacJ: We have not really begun to engage in forums. But @TripAdvisor & other review sites are important. 
  • @LuxuryTravelMom: My friend reviewed @fsseattle on @tripadvisor, it’s had 466 views in 2 weeks….powerful site.
  • @Roopunzel: Google alerts on forums enable us to know when us or our competitors are being spoken about but not enough on forums.

Q10. Should luxury brands respond to product/service improvement suggestions?

  • @BMacJ: If a customer cares enough to share ideas for improvement, a luxury brand should be excited to listen. 
  • @jmpelz: Sometimes just knowing that a brand is listening goes a very long way.
  • @JorgeCollazo: A brand should respond to improvement suggestions with honesty and facts about what they are doing about it. Some brands make the mistake of “false modesty” by not acknowledging positive feedback on SM.

Q11. What social media tools do you use to manage your brand’s online presence?

  • @BMacJ: Google Alerts are great. We use Tweetdeck, Facebook (& insights) & web analytics as well. Oh, and how could I forget my iPhone…my social media management tool on the go!!
  • @Michael_Ludwig: Our tool kit includes @Tweetdeck, @hootsuite, @CoTweet and @Radian6. We also have a daily in-house SM newsletter that goes out to all associates. Great way to keep people informed. Our newsletter includes top stories in the social space and internal social media highlights and happenings.
  • @jmpelz: The best tool that we use is @hootsuite and @google alerts. 
  • @JorgeCollazo: The best tool is whatever electronic device you keep with you, instant emails seem to work best.

Final Thoughts:

  • On the introduction of Google+: At this point, brands should just be listening on Google+ - while I love it, it’s important for brands to understand before jumping in. (v. @LuxuryPRGal)
  • Did you know the demographics of social media? Largest group 30-49 yr olds on Twitter! http://t.co/lFTiVI4 (v. @VegasBill)
  • As a customer, being able to communicate with and get a response from a luxury brand is the ultimate in great customer service. (v. @lesliefineint)
  • At the end of the day it is about being relevant, adding value and making sure that the brand lives up to service standards. (v. @CruiseBuzz)
  • One of the great things SoMe does is help weed out those who are doing it and those who are faking it. Being honest and accountable is great customer service. (v. @cestmoidiane) 
  • SM provides luxury companies the ability to be a positive constant to a client; not just there when needed. (v. @EpsteinTravels)

#luxchat Recap June 2011 | Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

@MO_HOTELSMandarin Oriental Hotel Group
The Fan. Luxurious. Elegant.

About Mandarin Oriental:
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is an international hotel investment and management group with deluxe and first class hotels, resorts and residences in sought-after destinations around the world. The Group now operates, or has under development, 41 hotels representing over 10,000 rooms in 26 countries, with 18 hotels in Asia, 12 in The Americas and 11 in Europe and Middle East. In addition, the Group operates, or has under development, 12 Residences at Mandarin Oriental connected to its properties. More… 


Check out our tweetreach from 06/15/11 here.
Click here to “Like” our Facebook page and click here to follow us on Twitter.

Click here for a complete list of Mandarin Oriental’s social media space.

Some highlights from #luxchat with @MO_HOTELS:

Q1. How do you think a luxury brand should approach social media?

A1. Luxury brands, just like any other, have a place in social media. The specific strategy however must make sense for the brand.

  • @LuxeTiffany: Luxury hotels are you listening? @MO_Hotels says not to be afraid of social media. Be out there!
  • @OneBrownGirl: With humility & the right advocates.
  • @TravelMaestro: Think it’s important for luxury hotels to integrate social media into traditional marketing and stick to their brand message.

Q2. What specific strategy does your brand take with it’s social media presence? And what was the biggest challenge?

A2. Consistency across marketing channels is key without that, you lose strength of brand. Most difficult was first developing the Group-wide strategy - what makes most sense for our brand.

  • @lesliefineint: Since my clientele are in the luxury market, I’m more likely to recommend a brand that I’m engaged to on SM and feel like I know.
  • @gregoates: Lux hotels can approach social media as a purveyor of good taste

Q3. How many Mandarin Oriental hotels have a Twitter presence and how do you use social media to tie or separate the brands?

A3. Currently, 21 MO hotels are on Twitter and we have 26 MO hotels on Facebook — in addition to a brand Facebook page. More to come! We regularly share brand-wide best practice & standards, but given each market is unique there must be some leeway.

  • @HookedOnMonMode: I feel that using SM is a great way to spread an idea across a wide spectrum!
  • @FrontRowTierra: @MO_HOTELS Acknowledging the individuality of each market is so important, great practice.

Q4.  As a well known luxury brand, was the @MO_HOTELS group ever apprehensive about approaching social media?

 A4. Fortunately for us, no. Our organization from the top down has believed in the value of social media from the start. We have had an official presence on social media since January 2010. Key to our strategy today are Facebook & Twitter.

There’s no simple way to determine which channels are “brand appropriate”. Always research before you join.

 Q5. How can you manage 21 individual twitter accounts, 26 individual hotel pages, and one for the brand? How many people help?

 A5. Each MO hotel has a dedicated colleague who oversees property social media activities. The specific department varies, but falls within Sales & Marketing. It is always important to find the right people. We pride ourselves on consistency between our brand and property-level activities.

We manage @MO_HOTELS & brand Facebook page from our New York marketing office.  We also look forward to welcoming our newest property @MO_PARIS on June 28, 2011!

  • @elitetravelgal: Had chance 2 meet the tweeters behind @MO_Barcelona recently while in Spain, they do an AMAZING job!
  • @graupix: For me @MO_HOTELS are the best hotel chain using Twitter: combining the HQ account + each hotel’s account

Q6.  Have you been/begun utilizing #youtube for marketing your properties?

  A6. We do maintain a YouTube channel, but hope to develop more video content in the near future.

  • @luxuryprgal: Video will continue to explode - important to be a leader. Not only that, but YouTube is (arguably) the #2 search engine in the world. Important to be on it.
  • @LauraAllenTvl: Could be a really fun way to experience a property/destination before committing!
  • @TravelMaestro: Great resource for travel agents too

Q7. Which SM channel has proven more valuable in terms of social ROI?

A7. That depends on how you define “social ROI”. For us, Twitter & Facebook each offer something unique.  Facebook is primarily for end consumers while Twitter allows us to also speak with travel experts, bloggers, etc.

  • @LuxTravel: Not only does @MO_HOTELS engage well using SM, they are a tried & true partner of travel advisors vs other luxury hotel brands.
  • @luxuryprgal: Facebook Analytics, Twitalyzer, TweetReach are great for this - but for paid @radian6 is my mecca.
  • @hotelrenewHI: Glad to see you pushing the bar with social media, who needs ads when you got positive word of mouth?

Q8. How do you measure ROI? Do you have a metric to track bottom line impact of social media (e.g. revenue generated, new sales)

A8. For measurement, fans/followers are nice but it is all about direct engagement (likes, comments, mentions, RTs). On measurement, one metric we value is “engagements per post”, measuring direct audience engagements from each message we share.

We do connect our social media activities with our website analytics whenever possible to derive revenue. Revenue, although a welcome end result, is not the sole reason we participate on social media, it is about building a meaningful dialogue with our past, present and future customers.

 Q9.  Most of your competitors are on Twitter. Do you follow them?

 A9. Yes, we take note of what other brands, both travel & other, are doing in social media. Some great examples too! Good to hear what the others are doing on SM.

So many great examples from past #luxchat guests! @Bergdorfs @TUMItravel, & many others.

Q10. #Luxchat-ers, what’s your favorite @MO_HOTELS property?


  • @fullersloane: @MissSmartFlyer @MO_HOTELS Love NY & MIA.
  • @bergdorfs: we’re a bit biased: New York, Columbus Circle
  • @elitetravelgal: cant choose one love @MO_Miami and @MO_Barcelona
  • @HookedOnMonMode: The San Francisco location is absolutely stunning—great costumer service!
  • @fdumenci: Love the new @MO_LASVEGAS
  • @graupix: My favourite @MO_HOTELS property is @MO_TOKYO and hope soon to be @MO_PARIS once tried.

Q11. Hotels are always quick to want to do giveaways to increase followers. What is @MO_Hotels feeling about this?

A11.  Many new channels today feature deals/discounts. While great for consumers, we prefer to focus on service & value-add.  Through our online conversations, we can enhance the guest experience while they are on property.

  • @FrontRowTierra: @MO_Hotels is proving that practices which influence luxury brand longevity are more beneficial than short term tactics.
  • @tomtravel2: I love the focus on service customers not sales and discounts

Q12. Could you tell us a bit about your new Paris property!

A12. @MO_PARIS is located steps from Place Vendome. 138 rooms/suites, beautiful garden & food by Thierry Marx.  Thierry Marx is a Michelin-starred chef who is opening his first #Paris restaurant

Q13. Do you have a policy for handling any complaints that may be tweeted by a guest?

A13. Complaints, just as any other comments, need to be addressed quickly & openly. An opportunity to turn bad to good.

Q14. Since you have a lot of celeb clientele, how do you keep privacy of guests with everyone tweeting, Facebooking?

A14. We strive to maintain complete privacy for all our guests. The same was the case prior to social media. Our colleagues are extremely conscientious about guest privacy.

This Month’s #luxchat Guest: Jerome Griffith, TUMI’s CEO

We’re excited to bring you the CEO of TUMI, Jerome Griffith onto #luxchat this month!  Be sure to pencil him into your busy calendar on May 25th at 1-2PM EST.  

Image via WSJ - Packing Light and Right

#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…


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

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… 


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… 


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