Top Villa Hotel Weibo Marketing in China

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Top villa hotel market

In the “The Chinese Luxury Traveler White Paper” released by Hu’run and ILTM Asia, the number of Chinese luxury travelers will top 1.02 million in 2012, 6% increase. On average, those top luxury travelers will take 2.4 times outbound trips a year and 3.4 times for billionaires.

To seize more market share, foreign villa hotels and resort hotels companies are very active in Chinese luxury tourism market now. Inter-Continental Hotels Group PLC has announced a new brand called “Hua-luxe Hotels and Resorts” only for China luxury tourism market. Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts also signed a contract with a hot spring development company, again, aiming to China luxury tourism market.

Marketing tools

Different from business hotels, villa hotels are relatively far from where customers live. It requires villa hotels to push harder to increase their popularity and let customers know more details about their location, service, and so on.
And there is one marketing tool quite popular amongst villa hotels now and it is called “weibo”.
Many top resort villas have opened their companies since weibo became the most influential online marketing platform.

To understand how top resort hotels do marketing on weibo, let’s study on those companies who has already registered on weibo.
Sina Weibo and CIC jointly release “2012 Corporate Weibo White Paper“. There are currently about 5000 hotel enterprise accounts in Sina Weibo. Some of them have opened very professional weibo accounts.

1. Banyan tree

Banyan Tree Holdings (SGX: B58) manages and develops resorts, hotels and spas. They have been listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange since 2006. (Wikipedia) Now Banyan tree has already built a good reputation among top tourists in China.
Banyan tree is one of the earliest players in weibo marketing. It opened its weibo account on July 10, 2010.

Here’s the page of Banyan weibo account:

banyan tree weibo account illustration

banyan tree weibo account illustration

  • background

The background of their weibo page is fading dark blue which helps make an environment of peace. And it is also the message Banyan tree wants to give to its customers.

  • Verification

Then you can see the blue “V” which is the official verification from Sina. So people will believe it is not a fake official weibo of Banyan.
Outstanding comment box

On the top, you can see the logo, comment bar and basic information like number of fans. What needs to point out is the comment box. It is put on the top so that visitors can easily find it and comment. And this is a unique character of service companies weibo accounts because feedback from customers or visitors is very important for them.

  • Rich information

On Banyan Tree weibo’s page, visitors can easily find information about recent activities from bulletin boards, links of their website and local hotel information.

  • Tags

Maybe tags are not so important for visitors but it does help visitors to find your account from more than 5,000 other hotel accounts.

2. Ayana

Situated on 3000sqm (32,292sqf) of landscaped tropical gardens on the edge of the cliff, Ayana Bali luxury Villa offers a stunning cliff-top views on the island and the privacy of its secluded location. The weibo page of Ayana:

Ayana weibo account illustration

Ayana weibo account illustration

  • Background

The picture taken as background is an overview of the hotel. It is a nice photo, but it doesn’t help visitors focus on the content of the page which is more important.

  • Verification

An official verification always helps visitors feel more relieved.

  • Video

You can hardly find other online marketing tools more efficient than video in sending message to visitors, especially well filmed promotion videos. For example, the video of Ayana is very nice but it can be better if added with a subtitle in Chinese.

  • Clear information

Unlike Banyan Tree, Ayana is an individual hotel, so a link to the official website is enough.

  • Tags

Again, don’t forget to put tags.

3. Westin

Westin Hotels & Resorts are an upscale hotel chain owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. As of 2011, Westin operated over 160 hotels in 37 countries.(source: Wikipedia)

Westin weibo account illustration

Westin weibo account illustration

  • Background

The background of Westin weibo account is pure white. It does make people focus on the content. As I have explained in previous articles, a weibo account of a company should be more friendly, no need to be that serious like newspaper.

  • Verification

It is clear to see the verification, but it has also a small problem, when people see the verification, they cannot recognize the name of the company beside easily.

  • Banner

Sometimes, pictures can work better than video in sending message to customers. For example, if the video is big and network is bad, pictures can be very nice. Other advantage of banner pictures is filming a video costs much more money than taking a picture.

  • Rich information

Like Banyan Tree weibo’s page, visitors can easily find information about recent activities from bulletin boards, links of their website and local hotel information.

  • Tags

Like the other two, Westin doesn’t forget tags, either.

 

Do you have plan to develop business in China? Have you got any idea about how to open your weibo account?

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