Social Media Case Studies

Are You Keeping Your Social Antenna Up?

Sure, the instantaneous nature of the social Web can create business crises faster than you can say “Tiger Blood” and “Kenneth Cole is an Oaf”. But, that rapidity also creates unprecedented opportunities for marketers with their antenna up, scanning the real-time horizon for a chance to make a difference.

George Jordan, the General Manager at Hotel Felix in Chicago is all about the antenna. The guy is practically an ant.

In the big Chicago blizzard earlier this year (so big that it was Chicago’s third-largest snowfall day on record), George realized as the forecast turned to Snowmageddon that commuters would be stranded by the thousands.

Seeing an opportunity unfolding, Jordan and his PR firm instantly updated the hotel’s Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog with a special $79 blizzard rate. 41 rooms were booked almost instantly.

Hotel Felix 9 Are You Keeping Your Social Antenna Up?

This one-night-stand turned into a full-blown dalliance when guests taking advantage of the offer woke up the next morning to find 20+ inches of snow. Anticipating this, Jordan added extra employees to the dining staff, enabling the boutique, eco-friendly hotel to feed guests on-site.

The snow interrupted the hotel’s regular supply chain, so when supplies ran low on the second day, staff trudged through the blizzard to Whole Foods to restock. Stranded is stranded, so many hotel team members stayed in the hotel two or three nights, giving them a fresh perspective on amenities and guest relations.

This is The NOW Revolution in action. Having a culture that supports and rewards quick thinking; listening and responding with context and speed; and using the real-time Web for purposes that support your business objectives.

For his nimble offer that kept both commuters and his bottom line warm, George Jordan is the winner of the inaugural NOW Revolutionary of the Month Award. He’ll be getting a book signed by Amber and me that he can read the next time he’s snowed in.

(Thanks to hotelinteractive.com for their initial coverage of this story)

Who do you nominate for the next NOW Revolutionary award? Let us know in the comments, or on the Facebook page for The NOW Revolution.

  • http://trafficcoleman.com/blog/official-black-seo-guy/ Black Seo Guy

    This was a smart idea..it just shows the people who are willing to keep their antenna up for great opportunities..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Joey Strawn

    Jay, one thing I love about your blog is that you always pull the best examples. This is no different. You obviously have your radar up and on the look for stories like this.

    Jordan was brilliant in his plans. It may have taken a little extra effort on his part, but worst case scenario, he was overstocked on supplies, oh no!

    Great stuff.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      You can never have too much ice. Words to live by.

  • http://www.spinsucks.com Lisa Gerber

    I love this for many reasons: great example of the hotel (and I wish I was paying attention because my office is right around the corner, and that would have been FUN!), but also, I love the fact that you are giving awards! I’m not sure if this is the first one, but it appeared to be a random act of kindness at first, and I loved it!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      This is the first of our hopefully monthly series of Now Revolutionary awards!

  • http://twitter.com/MimiMeredith Mimi Meredith

    This post made me buy the book. Abbie Fink’s powers of persuasion almost made me buy it, but my passion for people power and ways we can creatively, authentically serve one another was sparked by this post today, and the purchase was made.

    I offer that only because I know I love to harvest the “why” behind the decision to buy.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thanks Mimi! I appreciate it. If you liked this case study, you’ll love the ones in the book.

      Cheers!

    • Joey Strawn

      I agree with Jay. The examples in the book are awesome!

  • Carolyn Goodman

    I once worked for a company that gave out DWIT awards every month (‘Do Whatever It Takes’); and this is a GREAT example of that DWIT attitude we all wish employees embraced. Smart social media strategy, but an even smarter way to think and act 2 steps ahead of your customer. Not only did George fill his hotel, but he built solid WOM and referrals for life.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Exactly. The people that stayed there are mostly locals, so they might not be back per se, but they certainly will be telling their out-of-town friends about the hotel.

  • Carolyn Goodman

    I once worked for a company that gave out DWIT awards every month (‘Do Whatever It Takes’); and this is a GREAT example of that DWIT attitude we all wish employees embraced. Smart social media strategy, but an even smarter way to think and act 2 steps ahead of your customer. Not only did George fill his hotel, but he built solid WOM and referrals for life.

  • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leon Widrich

    Wow, thanks for sharing this story Jay. I feel this is very motivational to see that no matter what, there is always the next opportunity to come for you.
    I also see that this was more than a quick win for George. I bet he will have benefited a lot in the long run too, as he not only offered his “normal” hotel service, but behind that, gave people in need shelter on a more psychological level. You bet that will stick for a long time in their minds. This is just brilliant.
    Let me Buffer this right away :)

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thanks Leon. I appreciate it. Keep that antenna up!

  • Beth

    What a great blog/story! Almost ordered your book after Julia Rosien’s blog but now I must have it. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/donpower Don Power

    Hi Jay!

    I keep my social media antenna up at all times, in particular in my local community of Nanaimo, BC Canada (pop. 80,000).

    I also like to be a social media catalyst and connector for my local community based on the hits my antenna receives. You can also generate your own social media signals and opportunities like I did when Nanaimo was hit by a snap snowstorm recently.

    My tweetmentioning a couple of local hotels in case anyone found themselves stranded in Nanaimo during the storm resulting in a booking for one of the hotels. It also generated a new customer for one of the local restaurants I recommended in a follow up tweet. (You’re warm and toasty in your hotel, now how about a nice pizza delivered right to your room!)

    My comment here is not to pat myself on the back. It’s to reiterate the vast goldmine of business opportunity that arises everyday on social media – the majority of which goes unnoticed by local business. And I’m on a one man quest to change that in my local community.

    Social media ROI? Definitely! IF you’re listening and you know where (and how) to look!

    Cheers!

    Looking forward to seeing you at #SMCV11 in Victoria, BC this summer!

    – Don
    aka @donpower

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