Many hotels talk about their social media strategies, but only Australia's 1888 Hotel has been designed in every detail to please users of Instagram, the photo- and video-sharing site.
Anyone with more than 10,000 followers on Instagram can stay free at the boutique property, which is in the Sydney suburb of Pyrmont and was just opened by the 8 Hotels Group.
The decor has been selected to be as photo-worthy as possible.
Details include room shelves made of iron bark beams, polished concrete and exposed brick walls, and three-meter-high ceilings that take advantage of some of the original elements of the structure, first opened in 1888.
After check-in, guests are invited to stand in front of an open frame hanging in the lobby and snap a selfie, or self-portrait, of themselves.
The 90 rooms have been decorated with Instagram photos taken by Australians.
The Daily Mail reports:
The hotel, who says of the property that 'every level has a view', encourages guests to take photographs of the furniture, rooms and views and post them on Instagram.
Those they judge to be the best can land the photographer a free night at 1888.
As Mashable reports:
When you walk into the boutique hotel, you're greeted by a revolving digital mural of Instagram images....
More than 100 guest-shot Instagram photos adorn the five-story space's 90 rooms. Check out the hotel on Instagram under the #1888Hotel hashtag to see what we're talking about.
The point of the social media experiment is free publicity -- both from imaging sharing on social networks and mainstream media reports about it -- and by creating enough buzz that the hotel can charge above-market rates on a full-capacity basis. (Rooms are currently averaging about $140 a night.)
A risk in the strategy is if the hotel has a customer service catastrophe. The image of, say, a broken bathroom, could be amplified even louder and accelerated around social media networks.
Another example worth checking out is the world's first Twitter-themed hotel, in Spain, launched this summer. Previously, a hotel on the famous European dance music island of Ibiza decided to combine RFID technology with social media in an inventive way.
All of these experiments are fantastic illustrations of the advice of Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis to hotel owners when we interviewed him this summer:
"If you know that today’s connected consumers are going to share things from their trip on social media anyway, you might as well give them experiences worth sharing."