Hotel Selfie – Hotelfie…seriously, it’s big and hotels need to encourage them

Selfie SunglassLove them or hate them, selfies are part of modern culture and they’re integral to our love of all things digital, especially for Millennials. So if this is a new and important way of communicating, it’s an area all hotels need to start capitalising on the hotel selfie and using to their advantage.

If you aren’t up with all of this, a selfie is a photograph you take of yourself, typically with a smartphone and it is then shared via social media.The word ‘selfie’ was officially entered into the Oxford Dictionary in 2013, recognising it as a part of modern society. Selfies reached a new height of fame last year when Ellen Degeneres took THE most retweeted selfie of all time at the 2014 Oscars.

A study of social media habits conducted by research firm YouGov showed that 25% of Americans post a photo within just one hour of arriving at a vacation destination. Take into account the fact that 64% of Americans also retake their photos in order to make sure they’ll get them likes.

Selfies aren’t going away any time soon so it makes sense to capitalise on them in order to have your guests do your hotel digital marketing for you, especially for hotels based in Asia. When Time magazine tried to quantify the world’s “selfiest” cities using data from Instagram in March 2014, Makati and Pasig City in the Philippines were the winners. In fact, four of the top 10 were in Asia, making the selfie a way of life and the hotel selfie, or Hotelfie is something all hotels need to start encouraging now.

The ultimate sharable content

Successful content which promotes your hotel on social media, needs to be sharable. There are few forms of media which are more frequently shared than selfies, and of the many different forms of selfie, hotels can encourage more than one type. Customers and guests are always looking for something authentic and special to share online with their friends – something that will both impress them and show off where they’re traveling.

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Plenty of User-Generated Content

A study of social media habits conducted by research firm YouGov showed that 25% of Americans post a photo within just one hour of arriving at a vacation destination. Take into account the fact that 64% of Americans also retake their photos in order to make sure they’ll get them likes.

Guests are pouring their own-created content of your property onto social media channels, making capitalising on this a must. Providing them with plenty of beautiful backdrops and reminders of the great locations within your property to take a selfie, whether it be a beautiful beach or a stunning city view, becomes important. Reminding them to tag your hotel brand or use a hashtag will do wonders to boost your hotel’s exposure.

Top 4 Types of Selfie:

The study by YouGov also found the top 6 types of vacations selfie ranked as follows:

1. Sunglasses selfies

Beach properties and resorts will likely do well when it comes to selfies with sunnies (a British idiom for sunglasses, in case you weren’t sure). You could further encourage this sun-drenched self-indulgence by running a simple hashtag competition, along the lines of The best sunshine selfie wins free cocktails at your hotel bar. Posting this on your website, hotel app and social media channels will quickly encourage guests to post and tag your hotel claiming what a wonderful time they’re having there. Sharing positive images to thousands of people for the cost of two Pina Coladas.

2. Group selfies making silly faces

Does your property have a mirror or shiny surface in your lobby? Stick a hashtag next to it or on it and let your guests go nuts taking group selfies before heading out to the beach or heading out to dinner.

3. Selfie with a cocktail

If you’re not serving cocktails in your hotel bar, I’m surprised you’ve lasted long enough to read this. Cocktails are a staple mark of any vacation and frequently appear in hotelfies. A little cheeky note in your bar menu saying how great a specific cocktail looks in a selfie is an easy way to prompt guests to snap a shot of your fabulous hotel cocktails.

4. The Beach Feet Brag Selfie

The ultimate bragging rights selfie, your guests are literally showing how they’ve got their feet up and are relaxing and having a great time away on vacation. Usually taken to show the beach or the pool in the background and prove how far away they are from work, school and bad weather (we’ve all done it).

If you have beautiful views where guests can take a beach feet selfie then make sure they’re tagging your hotel in their snaps. You could even run a promotion within your hotel spa for pedicures on your hotel app or hotel website featuring images like this. “Get your toes ready for that all-important beach-feet selfie.

Ask guests to mention or use a hashtag in their post when they come in for their spa treatment, they’ll be happy to show off how much they’re being pampered during their stay for added bragging rights.

Don’t forget about Food Selfies

Food selfies could range from the “Look at how fancy my meal is” to “Treating myself while on vacation” style posts. Depending on your menu and guest demographic you could even go for the “Look how hungry I am eating all this food” type of selfie. Photos of food are just as popular as selfies, it could be a simple matter to ask guests to tag or hashtag your signature dish in order to receive a discount off their bill. This produces a huge amount of online presence and can create a reputation for your F&B quickly, especially in city hotels where many patrons will be non-guests.

About the Author

Nick BakerNick Baker is the community manager for Appy Hotel, a hotel digital marketing startup based in SE Asia, that provides mobile applications and digital marketing technology solutions to hundreds of hotels across Asia and around the world. Reach him at or
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