Gifted and ranked fifth in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Prestige Hotels, Le Meridien launched an Instagram contest with photographer Gray Malin. Malin and Le Meridien VP of global brand management fly to various Le Meridien destinations and take photos to post on the hotel’s social media channels. The brand is also sponsoring the Follow Gray Contest. To enter, users must follow @lemeridienhotels and @GrayMalin on Instagram and post a travel/discovery inspired photo with the tag #FOLLOWGREYCONTEST.
Le Meridien had the smallest Instagram community of all Starwood-owned hotel groups during the study period (January to May 2014). Parent company Starwood Hotels has made efforts to boost the Instagram following of its brands by encouraging shares of UGC snaps with the tag #SPGLife, and advertising on the platform. (It was the first hotel brand to advertise on Instagram.) The #SPGLife hashtag has been used more than 12,000 times and generated more than 350,000 likes. As shown in the graph above, the efforts drove a spike in followers for the @SPG account with residual benefits for individual brands. It appears as if the hotel company is taking steps to boost the social following of individual brands as well. Gray Malin has more than 83,000 followers versus Le Meridien’s 10,500, and the potential to amplify Le Meridien content by a multiple of eight.