How a Banana Made My Hotel Stay Amazing!

How a Banana Made My

How Creativity Can Build Social Engagement.

What is your business doing to stand out? How are you making guests smile? I recently had an amazing stay at the Hampton Inn in Bradenton, Florida. I’ve stayed at many hotels that offer the same level of accommodations or higher. However this hotel was different. The staff was very friendly, but the bananas they offered really made it exceptional.

Let me explain…
After  a good night’s rest, I proceeded downstairs to enjoy the hotel’s complimentary breakfast. Sure they offered a make-it-yourself waffle station, cheese omelets, steel-cut oatmeal, bagels and even bacon!!! Are you getting hungry yet? While enjoying my meal, I noticed several people congregating around the middle island, taking pictures of fruit. I thought to myself, “have they never seen an apple before?” Then more people started snapping pics.

At this moment, I had to go take a peek. To my surprise, these hotel guests were taking pictures of bananas with hand-written motivational quotes on them! How cool. So I also took a pic and shared it on my social media sites.

Within a 30 minute time frame,  at least 10-15 people commented, took a pic and/or shared it to their own friends. This is viral social media content in the making!!  In marketing terms, this could be called social proof or social currency.
DOWNLOAD FREE PDF: Motivational Quotes

How a Banana Made My Hotel Stay Amazing!

Proof that with a little bit of creativity, you can spark a wave of social media engagement for your hotel. In this day and age when Facebook conversations are as good as real conversations and when people get the latest news from their Twitter feed, not having a strong social media presence is as good as being invisible to millions of potential hotel guests.

Don’t believe me? Here are a few statistics to prove our point:

  • According to a study conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 55% of Facebook users use Facebook when seeking travel advice
  • 51% of Facebook users are more likely to book a room in a hotel that they follow
  • 79% of Twitter users are more likely to recommend hotels that they follow
  • Socially engaged travelers spend 30% to 40% more which means more revenue for your hotel
  • 52% of travelers said that their vacation was somewhat inspired by the photos and stories their friends shared on social media

Related Article: 10-Day Hotel Social Media Marketing Road Map

Social media is affecting the choices and decisions of travelers around the world and if you’re not part of the social media conversation, then you’re losing a great deal of opportunity to get more bookings for your hotel.

Most of the time, when we think about going big in social media, we think about expensive marketing campaigns. But take the example of this “motivational banana.” It’s inexpensive yet it was very effective. You just really need to think outside of the box to come up with novelty marketing ideas to drive social media engagement for your hotel.

Share how your business creates social proof, comment below.

How to Make Your Own Motivational Bananas

If you want to mimic the example above, here are the steps to make your own motivational bananas in your hotel.

  1. Go to your local market or grocery store and buy fresh, almost ripe bananas. If you’re already offering bananas as part of your menu, then you’re all set. Just make sure that the bananas you’re going to use have very little spots on them to make the quotes legible.
  1. Purchase a food grade pen or marker – “Gourmet Writer Food Decorator Pens“. People might feel iffy if they see writing on their food, but if you explain that you used food grade pen that is safe, edible and non-toxic, then there won’t be any reason for your guests to worry.
  1. Use the motivational I collected. Download PDF here: Motivational_QuotesMake sure the quotes are short enough to fit one banana.
  1. (Optional Step). If you want to prompt your guests to share photos of their favorite motivational bananas, put a tent card on your tables and ask them to take a photo of their favorite quote, post it on Facebook and tag you. In return, you can give them a special token of appreciation. Get more Likes and Follows, use Social Bucks.

Of course, you can do this with other fruits such as oranges. You can also use the same tactic as a good night treat for your guests (like motivational cookies for example).

DOWNLOAD FREE: Motivational Quotes

I hope this can be a fun project for you and your staff and drive social media engagement for your hotel!

Ask about our Motivational Quote Cards

Rupesh

Rupesh Patel, hotelier and founder at SmartGuests.com, a U.S.-based Hospitality and Review Tools company that helps hotels increase revenues and occupancy, by boosting their online reviews and reputation. His proven system has not only improved his own hotels, but have helped hundreds of other hotels (large and small) get an advantage over their competition. He regularly shares his passion for entrepreneurship, customer service and marketing on numerous industry sites, social media and blogs.

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