Have you ever been rewarded by a company (brand, entertainer, etc.) for being a fan of their product or service? That happened to me today.
A hotel I love sent me an oversized, comfy zebra print bathrobe – the kind you always want to steal but even better – just because I follow them on Twitter and engaged with them.
In June 2009, I traveled to California for the first time. After a weekend in San Diego, I headed to San Francisco a day early for my business trip just to hang out and explore the city.
I don’t choose my hotels when traveling on business because my office books my trips. Since I was booking for myself for my one free night, I wanted to stay in a fun but elegant hotel. I asked for hotel recommendations on Twitter because many of my connections are frequent travelers. Right away, three people recommended I check out the Kimpton family of hotels, and one person specifically mentioned Hotel Palomar.
I checked out the hotel’s website. The photos looked great, the site projected a fun and funky vibe and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. I booked it.
As soon as I walked into the hotel, I felt pampered and truly welcomed. They had an ice cream social in the afternoon and a wine reception that evening. When I saw my room, the first thing I did was drop my bags and take pictures to later share with my friends.
Beyond the funky color scheme, incredibly comfy bed and enormous bathtub . . . what really caught my attention were the bathrobes.
I love bathrobes. I especially love over-sized fluffy robes at hotels. And there, in the closet at Hotel Palomar, were two of the most fun, fluffy-looking hotel bathrobes I had ever seen!
After I checked out of the hotel, I was still so tickled about the robes that I even tweeted a picture of the one I wore. They really embodied the whole vibe of the hotel; fearless, classy, fun and funky.
I always try to learn more about companies that provide cool products or services, both for my own benefit and for the benefit of friends I constantly share with on Twitter, Facebook and on my websites. Before I checked in, I joined the hotel’s free loyalty program because you enjoy free wifi in room if you’re member.
After I checked in, I found Kimpton on Twitter, and followed them to stay updated on what’s going on with the brand. They have several hotels all over the country, and I enjoyed hearing the news on fun things they have going on at their properties.
After having followed their tweets for months, a fun one popped up last week when I was running an errand.
I happened to be out and about and responded immediately. And I was one of the lucky 20.
Today, it arrived, just like they promised.
Thank you, Kimpton.
Before you gave me a free robe, I had already recommended your hotels to an entrepreneur friend who flies all over the world for a good part of the year.
But thank you for taking a few minutes to reach out to your fans and do something cool for us. It’s things like that that make sure I will never forget your hotels no matter what city I end up in.
You’ve got a fan for life, and I bet the whole effort (between tweeting, tracking and shipping) took no more than a couple of hours to execute. I hope more brands start using social media like you do. You rock!
Friends: If you want a robe of your own but aren’t planning on traveling for awhile, don’t worry. You can buy your own fuzzy animal print robe on their website.