Hampton By Hilton Bristol City Centre Hotel wins award for innovative use of social media

 Imran Ali
Focus Hotel Management’s Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre hotel has been recognised for its innovative use of social media to engage with customers.
The hotel, which opened in September 2015 following a £20 million conversion of York House, was the winner in the Marketing Campaign of the Year category at the Bristol Post’s Business Awards 2017.

During the regeneration work and run-up to opening, the management recognised the need to engage with its target audience – including corporate guests, tours and groups and individual tourists – providing up-to-date information about the progress of works, room availability and events in the city, and decided the best way to do this was via social media.

The hotel’s General Manager Imran Ali, who was appointed to the role in January 2015 as the conversion work took place, says: “This award means a lot, as we started telling our story on social media when I came on board, keeping our messaging consistent and relevant.

“The use of these channels has continued since opening and we have now become the leading UK (arguably European) hotel within the brand for engagement with our target audience via social media and public relations.

“Customers, guests and staff have been brought along on the ‘hotel journey’ with many social media users having become genuine friends with team members.

“Word of mouth is perceived as being the strongest form of communication for the hotel. If someone has an enjoyable stay then they will tell their friends and peers. The best advocates are the guests who stay at the hotel and staff who work here and all are actively encouraged to interact online.”

Figures demonstrate the success of the hotel’s approach, as occupancy targets are continually exceeded; often leaving the hotel completely full.

“Being able to react to events has been key,” says Imran. “Devising innovative offers based on events or news has then driven room sales and has proven successful.”

An excellent example followed the announcement on direct flights from Bristol Airport to Reykjavik, Iceland. As a result, a series of Facebook adverts were designed and targeted to people living within a 70-km radius of the Icelandic capital. The result was a massive increase in Icelanders booking rooms at the hotel.

Imran concludes: “Hoteliers need to keep their eyes and ears open to see what next could come into our business. The touch points in the customer journey are changing so rapidly, that we need to be ahead of our game all the time – it pushes us to engage with our guests continuously at all levels.”

The Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre is a contemporary and stylish hotel in a former office building on Bond Street in Bristol, a fantastic city-centre location close to both business and leisure areas of the city, with easy access to the M32 and regional motorways.

Air-conditioned rooms are equipped with everything needed for a relaxed, productive stay including free Wifi, a large desk with ergonomic chair, a comfortable Hampton bed and a 32” flat screen TV. Focus Hotels Management is a leading independent hospitality company with a UK portfolio of 16 hotels, with more than 1,500 bedrooms.

As well as operating independent hotels, including Sketchley Grange Hotel and Spa and Oxford Witney Hotel, the company also operates hotels under franchise agreements with Hilton, Accor and IHG.

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