Caribe Royale captures more than just pictures with its most successful photo contest to date

Advocacy becomes a foundation of Caribe Royale’s marketing strategy

ORLANDO, FL — December 2, 2015 — Caribe Royale, a Flip.to customer since 2013, has captured authentic guest stories, warm introductions to their hotel, and more guests with their latest and most successful photo competition to date using Flip.to’s advocacy platform for hotels. Running from June through September, the Beat the Summer Heat photo contest was designed to reveal new brand stories and compelling images from guests to complement Caribe Royale’s existing marketing campaigns.


Success by the Numbers

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In a short three-month span, Caribe Royale received 143 finalists in the contest, each sharing the favorite moment of their stay with their networks to rally points. The effect was viral. Guests, their friends, and even their friends’ networks were engaged to vote and share on behalf of the guest and the hotel. By the end of the competition, they together rallied an incredible 221,217 points, earned in ranges from 3 to 8 for different actions like voting or sharing.

More importantly, these engagements represent captivating, authentic introductions to the hotel through advocacy. According to a Nielsen report, 92% of respondents say they trust earned media (recommendations from friends and family) above all other forms of advertising—a fact apparent as nearly 500 of these visitors alone voted and signed up for an offer on a future stay, revealing warm leads who’ve shown real interest in the hotel.

To make them even more valuable, these sign-ups from the competition represent an ongoing opportunity to engage and nurture potential future guests, building brand affinity and driving long-term, recurring revenue for Caribe Royale.

As opposed to standard hashtag competitions—which are often riddled with image curation, attribution and usage rights pitfalls—Flip.to was built with the hotel’s marketing in mind. Images and quotes are easily curated, sorted, and shared from the hotel’s library. As a result, Caribe Royale was provided with an ongoing stream of authentic guest stories at their fingertips, with the ability to share across social media channels in just a few clicks.

Elyse Cottle, the Director of Promotions for Caribe Royale, spoke of Caribe’s recent success, “Flip.to has taken the headache out of capturing, curating, and distributing our guests’ incredible stories, saving our team countless hours. It’s always a pleasant surprise to come back to the Flip.to platform and see how much content and reach we’ve effortlessly captured.”

The competition was a resounding success, both for the guests and the hotel. Caribe Royale was recently recognized for a 2015 HSMAI Gold Adrian Award for their use of the Flip.to advocacy platform—a ‘tip of the hat’ garnered in addition to the unique user-generated content, outstanding reach, and warm introductions to potential future guests gathered using the platform.

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Recently debuting Photo Explorer, Flip.to is designed to make authentic guest stories, like those captured in the Beat the Summer Heat photo competition, an integral part of the hotel’s story. The platform extends a hotel’s ability to turn guests into advocates and create a huge impact on brand exposure and ROI.

Hotels may display their guests’ favorite moments gathered during their photo competitions in a dynamic gallery, creating a truly personalized experience for every site visitor. This entirely new look at the hotel through the eyes of its guests is an incredibly smart platform, designed to convert curious on-lookers to future guests, and better communicate the personality and genuine guest experience of your hotel.

Advocacy: A Foundational Marketing and Revenue Strategy

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The impact of Advocacy has been felt throughout the marketing and revenue efforts of Caribe Royale. Since launching with Flip.to, Caribe Royale has reached more than 1.6 million of their guests’ friends, relatives and colleagues, in addition to seeing a spike in traffic to their website.

“Advocacy transcends every aspect of a hotel’s business, from marketing and sales to revenue management,” added Edward St.Onge, President of Global Sales and Marketing at Flip.to. “Your hotel has the opportunity to increase direct bookings, build trusted brand connections and extend your reach to travelers across the world when advocacy becomes a core component of your hotel’s overall strategy.”

Flip.to has been key to Caribe Royale’s success. The platform gives Caribe Royale’s guests the opportunity to tell their story to the world, creating an ever-growing team of advocates who have a massive impact on their reach and bottom line.


Caribe Royale is an upscale, Caribbean-inspired convention hotel located just minutes from popular Orlando tourist attractions. To reserve a stay, visit www.cariberoyale.com, or contact Elyse Cottle at ecottle@cariberoyale.com.

Introducing: Photo Explorer, an entirely new look at your hotel

Captivate & inspire an entire new audience of global travelers like never before, and tell a richer story for your hotel with Flip.to’s newest feature—Photo Explorer. It’s an entirely new look at your hotel, as told by your guests.

img_explorer_viewYour guests capture the widest range of experiences and most candid insights into your hotel. With Photo Explorer, your property now has the ability to infuse these authentic stories and perspectives that only your guests can provide into your online experience. Thanks to advocacy, your guests drive their friends & family back to your site, drumming up a ton of activity and attention for your hotel.

It’s refined at every level. From a nuanced interface, to thoughtful interactions designed with your guests’ travel considerations in mind, the platform is smarter than ever. Photo Explorer adapts for every type of visitor that comes to your site, whether they’re learning about your hotel for the first time, or a past guest rekindling their favorite moment. With Photo Explorer, your hotel can tap into the benefits of aspirational selling and influence potential travelers where hotels can really win—inspiration.

Take a deeper dive below, and see how engaging your guests who create and share their stories makes a real impact for your hotel.

Take a tour of Photo Explorer

 

Curate a richer story from your guests’ meaningful moments

Turn memorable moments into highly engaging interactions with every type of visitor to your site—from your guests, their friends & family, or a curious onlooker. Capture, curate, and infuse authentic guest moments into a compelling online experience for your website. It’s a fun part of your day that makes a huge impact for your hotel. Since it’s in real time, these stories are timely, relevant and seasonal—speaking to your potential guests today.

Filtered by your hotel’s current and past contests, or through a unique Gallery view, Photo Explorer is smart. It takes into account hotel rating, votes, timeliness, and even who’s viewing your site. Your best images will always be on display, paired with the right message for that visitor.

Deliver unique, personal experiences to every website visitor

Photo Explorer EmailsPhoto Explorer engages different users in different ways—out of the box. Personalized, thoughtful interactions are built in, so your hotel has the right conversation with every viewer based on their persona and their travel considerations.

With unique call to actions, your hotel can now build real relationships with past and future guests. Convert anonymous visitors just learning about your hotel into warm leads, or rekindle a favorite moment of a past guest. These strong initial brand connections nurture guest relationships when you deliver unique, personal and genuine online experiences to every person that visits your site.

Integrate simply and see immediate, measurable results

Photo Explorer BackendSimply put, integration is a snap. Provide a link location to point your content, and we’ll take care of the rest. Managing Photo Explorer is easy too, fitting effortlessly into your day along with the rest of the Flip.to platform.

Everything is tracked, so you can see firsthand the impact authentic guest stories make for your hotel. You’ll be notified of submissions, sign-ups for future offers and shares—driving home the impact that authentic stories created by your guests are making for hotels on a global scale.

The Path to Booking is Not a Single Step

Even though the travel buying process doesn’t start at “Book Now,” this tends to be where most hotel marketing efforts are focused. In reality, the decision for travel starts well before guests are ready to book. In fact, the inspiration and research phases are primed for influencing the decision to travel. Fortunately for hotels, this is where they can be making a big impact. The key is to engage them in the right way.

Instead of pushing someone who isn’t ready to book now, why not change up the conversation. If they’re very early in the decision-making process, offer a light touch, let them unveil, and begin nurturing them down the path to becoming a future guest. With Photo Explorer, your hotel can do just that.

You’ll build brand affinity, and when they are ready to make a reservation, you’ll be top of mind and they’ll be more likely to book directly.

Aspire to Inspire

What does all of this really mean for your hotel? Photo Explorer is an entirely new look at your hotel. Thanks to your guests, your hotel can have real, candid experiences woven into a smart platform that drives and converts. It aspires to inspire—and aspirational selling is the key to winning in the new hotel marketplace.

Guests want more. They’re looking to buy into experiences and seek inspiration. By sharing in the creation of this inspiration, they receive value in return, and start on their way to becoming loyal brand ambassadors. It’s a win-win for your hotel, as you’ll not only share in getting incredible content, but you’re truly connecting with your guests.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out Harvard Business Review’s recent article, What Apple, Lending Club and AirBnb know about Collaborating with Customers, which ties revenue and profit margin growth directly into the ability to tap customers to become co-creators.

Want to see more?

Stay tuned for a lot more to come. In the meantime, get in touch with one of our Advocologists to see a live implementation. We’re excited to see the stories your guests are telling!