Advocacy behind the scenes: Nick Hotel

Advocacy has changed the game for how hotels develop and communicate their story to the world. But what does it look like to incorporate advocacy into your hotel’s day-to-day?

We connected with Deanna Padilla, Marketing Manager at Nickelodeon Suites Resort, to shed some light on this question—here’s what she had to say.

Nick Hotel on Branding

Michael Mathews: We can tell branding is important to your digital strategy. How important was it that could be seamlessly incorporated into your current site?

The Homepage Component is designed to fit into Nick Hotel’s current branding

Deanna Padilla: Our brand is important to us and our consumers, so being able to easily incorporate into our current site matching our brand standards is very important.

MM: Could you talk about some of the branding examples that were incorporated between your brand and’s platform (Homepage Component, emails, and certificates)? What has the value of the branded integrations meant for Nick Hotel and your guests?

DP: incorporated our brand colors within the homepage component and our hotel logo in the emails and certificates. This is a valuable detail to be able to incorporate the Nickelodeon brand with all of these initiatives. Plus, this also builds brand loyalty and engagement with the consumer.

Branding is consistent in guests’ certificates

MM: What advice would you give to other hotels when it comes to branding and messaging?

DP: Make sure your branding and messaging match, this makes your product more valuable, especially to your loyal customers. Branding truly builds advocates.

MM: How would you describe working with the team to incorporate these changes?

DP: has been a great partner to work with. The team was there step-by-step in getting photo advocacy up and running. It was a seamless process.

On the New Photo Explorer from

MM: Nick Hotel recently launched one of the newest features of, Photo Explorer. How would you describe using this piece of the platform (from set up and curation, to making changes)?

nick-curation-v2 photo curation makes it easy to rate and share submissions

DP: The setup piece was easy to complete. provided the necessary instructions for me to provide to our partners to update on their end on our behalf. Curation of guest photos is a simple and fun step, especially being able to see the property through the guests’ eyes.

MM: How much time out of your day do you spend on the platform?

DP: I spend about 10–15 minutes each day on the platform curating and sharing great photos on social media.

MM: How user friendly is the platform? What’s been your favorite aspect so far?

DP: The platform is extremely user friendly. A few touches, and you can share on your individual social media platforms.

Being able to share these experiences from the guests’ own personal photos on social has been a favorite of mine.

MM: Has there been anything that surprised you that you learned from the platform?

DP: Just how easy it is to manage, and also share on the hotel’s social media platforms. It’s a quick and easy process making posting more of a fun item than another work task.

MM: How has Photo Explorer helped in your overall marketing strategy?

Nick Hotel shares a submission on Twitter.
Nick Hotel shares a submission on Twitter.

DP: Photo explorer has increased our fan base on social media and will hopefully drive them to our website and lead to direct bookings.

On Advocacy

MM: How has changed your day-to-day?

DP: has added a nice addition to my day-to-day work tasks. I enjoy reading the guest comments and looking at the guest photos every day.

MM: What drove Nick Hotel to get started with, and using advocacy as part of your marketing?

Photo Explorer displays guests’ stories and experiences

DP: The opportunity for social sharing among our guests and their friends and their friends’ friends was a huge factor in deciding to participate in photo advocacy.

MM: What have you found most beneficial when making advocacy a core component of your revenue and marketing strategy?

DP: Definitely the number of sign-ups we have received from photo advocacy alone is outstanding. This has increased engagement on our social sites.

MM: What advice would you give other hotels who want to get started with advocacy?

DP: If you are looking to increase your social awareness and reach new audiences while building your relationship with existing fans, then photo advocacy is a must for your property.

Incorporating advocacy into your hotel’s long-term strategy will set your hotel up for success.

For Nickelodeon Suites Resort, integration was a snap. New features like Photo Explorer engage users with personalized interactions that are built in, so they have the right conversation with every viewer. Plus, a streamlined process and a bit of fun have been carried over into Deanna’s day-to-day tasks, making curation and sharing a breeze.

We love hearing incredible stories from our clients, so get in touch and let’s collaborate to feature your hotel in our next behind the scenes post.

One small step for integration, one giant leap for outreach

Sometimes, making a small change can make a big impact for your hotel. Take your welcome email—what can be a great personal touch for your guest, can also help you, the hotelier! In fact, welcome emails typically generate four times the total open rates and five times the click rates compared to other bulk promotions. This drives home that fact that it’s a great opportunity to do even more.

Enter the image URL from, which doubles as a tracking pixel. implements this strategy for our clients through our advocacy platform.

Why you should do it

The image URL or tracking pixel provides the ability to continue marketing to your guests with, regardless of the channel that they originally booked. This enhances the conversations from your hotel, and builds strong brand connections with your guests.

Since this is coming from your hotel’s existing welcome email, the recipients include those who booked through a call center, mobile device, in-house, or travel agency. Here is where the pixel really stands out—with the ability to continue marketing to those guests before and after their stay, you can continue the conversation with your guests even when they’ve packed and gone home.

Caribe Royale Welcome Email

How to set up your image URL

Within your welcome email, simply insert an image URL into your existing email template. This URL acts as a tracking pixel that provides the ability to enhance campaign outreach. Any guest that receives the email will now receive pre- and post-arrival touch points through the platform.

Because the pixel is an image URL, if you have Photo Advocacy enabled, you also have the ability to display a graphic relevant to their upcoming stay. This would include an invitation to let the guest know about the photo competition.

In this case, when the URL displays the graphic to announce the photo contest, it excites the guest by letting them know about their eligibility to participate—and knowing is half the battle. Following their stay, another email is sent to all of those guests that were tracked through the engine, as well as through the image URL, inviting them to interact and share their positive experiences to their friends and family across their social networks.

For hoteliers utilizing Photo Advocacy, guests participate further through periodic emails that rekindle their favorite moment, again and again. These interactions continue the relationship not only between the hotel and the guest, but also the guest’s friends and family, well after check-out.

So now, thanks to one tiny URL, the hotel has the opportunity to reach out to more guests, even if they’ve booked from other sources. This allows hoteliers to nurture these guests, and their networks, down the path to future direct bookings,

Bonus: Some providers include these email services and technologies within their subscription. Make sure you’re taking advantage of this service!

5 ways to target the right guest for your hotel using advocacy

Advocacy works for all types of hotels—the friends, relatives & colleagues of your guests are the perfect demographic for your hotel to reach. Whether your hotel fits in the business, leisure, resort, limited service or luxury markets, you have the ability to make trusted introductions to entirely new audiences of future guests with an advocacy campaign.

Your guests are already sharing their travels—get them talking about their stay too. Check out some tips below on how your hotel can reach the right guest by marketing with advocacy:

  1. Connect the right guest with the right incentive for the best engagement. Two glasses of wine may engage guests booking a romance package to advocate more than a flat discount off of food & beverage (perhaps better suited to a family). Likewise, business travelers may enjoy a complimentary room upgrade or loyalty points.
  2. Tailor guest share messaging for your brand. Your guests have like-minded travelers in their networks. Don’t be afraid to play up your guest share to build stronger connections with potential future guests. Just remember to keep it conversational—this message is coming from your guests on your behalf, not the other way around.
  3. Enhance your advocacy strategies to optimize results. Pre-stay, Post-stay, and Photo Advocacy are all great experiences to engage your guests at different times of their travel. For example, guests love sharing moments at spectacular leisure destinations. Adding Photo Advocacy would be a great fit for this type of property. Our advocology experts can help guide you through the process of putting the best campaign together for your hotel.
  4. Engage top advocates even further. Some of your advocates have astounding reach! With the dashboard, you can easily sort by top advocates. Keep an eye out at check-in for these notable guests (our handy front-desk guest-list email will help, too) and make their trip a bit more special. Building these connections convert your guests into even greater promoters of your brand (and even co-creators,) giving them further reason to continue to advocate for your hotel.
  5. Don’t forget to share! When your guests supply your hotel valuable moments from their stay in the way of photos and quotes, share! These authentic moments are perfectly suited to share to your own network and reinforce what’s unique about your experience. Plus, it’s built right into the platform—click to curate in just a few moments.

It’s important to remember that when you target guests using advocacy, you have the ability to be strategic across campaigns, incentives, share messages, and more. This will further optimize your outreach across your different markets. These small efforts can mean a big boost in engagement and revenue for your hotel!