Industry Update
Opinion Article13 October 2014

Create A 'Selfie Station' At Your Hotel

By Doug Kennedy, President of the Kennedy Training Network

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Most hotels and resorts are always looking for ways to expand their presence on social media. Many Tweet-out press releases and post engaging content on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Others train their guest service colleagues to create memorable guest experiences that "Make Guests Tweet," which was the title of one of my recent articles that included some tips and techniques for doing so.


One additional easy way to encourage more social media postings is to create a "Selfie Station" in your lobby and/or other public areas. Having two teenagers has really made me understand first-hand the emergence of the "Selfie" phenomena as it has emerged these past few years, the purpose of which for them is to then score as many "likes" as quickly as you can. Seems whenever I am anywhere with my kids they are always scouting out places to take selfies.

Yet as I have traveled about these past few months I have also noticed that it is no longer just the Millennials who are taking and posting Selfies; it is travelers and tourists of all ages. When attending conferences and trade shows, it seems anywhere there is a place with a banner showing the conference name as a background and there are always attendees waiting to take pictures. One example I have experienced is at the HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference, where they had a backdrop with the HSMAI logo that I saw several people standing in front of posing for selfies. Another example is when I take my son to various sporting events, such as Miami Marlins games or WWE events, where they always have banners with the event or team logos that make perfect backdrops.

Recently I was in San Francisco on business down my Fisherman's Warf and I saw one person after another posing in front of that iconic sign taking selfies with it in the background; in fact I even took one myself.

Just last week when I was in Cancun conducting some training I noticed they have recently installed a sign reading CANCUN win large colorful letters. Sure enough, there were lines of people waiting their turns to snap a selfie.

Smart hoteliers should take advantage of this trend by installing "Selfie Stations" in their lobbies, conference center corridors, recreational areas and other public spaces. The first step is to order a backdrop such as a banner or large poster showing your hotel's logo (and maybe even website address or slogan) that can be displayed in the space you have in mind. Next, have a sign made to put beside it that literally says "Selfie Station." Then include a small display showing selfies taken by a few various people. Finally, provide a special email address or phone number for guests to share their selfies with the hotel marketing or PR staff so that they can be posted in a blog or social media outlet.

By providing a Selfie Station you will be not only harnessing the social media presence of your guests and visitors, but also adding a fun attraction that will make guests smile and give them a reason to remember their experience in a positive way.

Doug Kennedy

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