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Andy’s Answers: How InterContinental Hotels’ fan community is guiding its social strategy

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

Fan feedback can be a powerful thing. But when you’re the size of InterContinental Hotels Group, with nine brands operating in 100 countries and serving more than 130 million guests annually, the volume of feedback and conversation can be overwhelming. How do you sort through it all to get to the meaningful, actionable stuff?

In his recent case study at the BlogWell San Francisco conference, IHG’s Nick Ayres walked the audience through how the company created an exclusive fan community that gives the brand amazing feedback and guidance for its social initiatives.

A few of Ayres’ big ideas:

  • Start with a group of your most passionate fans. When IHG launched its community, instead of opening it up to the world, it started with Priority Rewards Club members. These were frequent customers of the brand who were eager to get involved and give feedback.
  • Ask for feedback, and show customers when you use it. Ayres and his team regularly ask the community for ideas, content and even “gut checks” on campaigns before they launch. They use this feedback to tweak what they’re doing and follow up with the community on the result — which in turn drives even more engagement.
  • Start somewhere, not somewheres. Ayres recommended getting started in social media by focusing on one challenge, idea or opportunity. Because IHG started with a small group focused on a few key metrics, the company learned a ton and has momentum and internal support to try the next big thing.

See Ayres’ case study. Slides are available.