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In Run-Up To Olympics, Tune Hotels Finds London Success With Social Media

New York — May 1, 2012 — With the Summer Olympics set to take over London this July, hotels throughout this notoriously competitive tourism market are fiercely battling to grab the attention of the throngs of visitors soon to descend. The savviest of the lodging providers are turning to social media to stand out from the frenzy and alert the traveling public to some great deals to be had in the Olympic City of 2012.

Tune Hotels, the Kuala Lumpur-based group that has revolutionized the hotel industry by offering quality guestrooms for as low as £2 per night, is launching its third and fourth hotels in London just before the Olympics begin. Tune Hotels is still new to the UK market overall, having debuted there in 2010, and the upcoming Olympics provide a fantastic opportunity for broad market exposure—if the company can find a way to broadcast above the competitive din. Enter Flip.to, a new social marketing platform that turns guests into a hotel's strongest brand advocates, boosting brand awareness by engaging a pool of future guests and earning the hotel more booked room nights.


Tune Hotel Kings Cross, London

Flip.to helps the 20 Tune Hotels throughout Asia Pacific and the UK to turn their guests into brand advocates, who in turn reach more than 200,000 social connections every month. As the Tune Hotels brand rolls out in the UK, Tune is using Flip.to to build relationships with guests to gain a quicker foothold in the market.

"It’s about relationships,” says Tune Hotels CEO Mark Lankester. “With friends, people have deeper and more special relationships, and those relationships engender great trust and goodwill. Through Flip.to, we have been able to bring some of those relationships and trust and goodwill to Tune Hotels, and we’re delighted and honored to be part of that circle. In highly connected markets like the UK, that comes even more to the fore. As we add more hotels in London and the rest of the UK, I envision even greater advocacy programs being planned by us.”

The average hotel guest has 130 Facebook friends, 300 Twitter followers and 60 LinkedIn connections. Because most consumers inherently trust the opinion of people in their social network far more than advertisements or marketing messages, that equates to a large number of friends, family and colleagues that are primed to be receptive to their contact’s hotel recommendations. Flip.to taps into that sentiment, transforming guests into a huge, enthusiastic and trusted marketing force.

Flip.to is designed as an engaging, personalized experience for each guest, encouraging him or her to spread the word about the upcoming trip—and the selected hotel—at the time of booking and beyond. The ultimate goal of the Flip.to platform is to build a strong brand connection and convert these social interactions into new bookings. Flip.to has been successful in raising awareness of the Tune Hotels brand, Lankester says, but the platform just as importantly drives actual bookings on a daily basis. In regions with higher rates of social media participation overall, use of Flip.to has been noticeably higher, he says.

Social media today plays a crucial role in launching new hotels, particularly in a highly competitive market like London. For Tune Hotels, the Internet is its sole global storefront, with TuneHotels.com the main point of interaction with guests and the channel of approximately 80% of the company's total bookings. "Social media is the most important conversational and communication avenue for us," Lankester says. "It allows someone a world away to converse with us about our hotels and allows us to deliver customized information to them almost instantly. It allows us to converse with our guests and friends and followers consistently and engage to a greater extent, whenever they want."

Flip.to makes it easy for hotels to incentivize guests to act as brand advocates on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Traditional hotel marketing campaigns generate only about 3 percent engagement, but by offering incentives for participation, campaigns based on Flip.to have engagement rates in the 15 to 25 percent range. Furthermore, Flip.to is superior to other social marketing platforms in that it integrates directly with a hotel's booking engine and website, so that it’s a seamless part of the hotel’s brand with a uniquely personalized experience for each guest and each of their social connections. Flip.to has found that participating hotels have experienced a return on investment of least 10 times, and some properties have seen ROI as high as 66 times.

Flip.to features real-time analytics and comprehensive tracking, allowing hoteliers to easily view how much business is being delivered via social media. The platform also identifies a hotel’s top social media mavens—those guests drumming up the most traffic and bookings—making it easy to give special VIP treatment to the customers who have earned it.

For more information about Flip.to’s brand advocate platform, please contact Ron Callari at rcallari@flip.to or visit www.flip.to.

About Flip.to
Flip.to is a marketing platform for hotels and restaurants that turns their guests into engaged brand advocates to boost brand awareness and earn new customers. Launched in early 2010, Flip.to is generating substantial ROE (return on engagement) and ROI (return on investment) for clients around the world. Find out more at www.flip.to.
 
About Tune Hotels
Founded in Kuala Lumpur in 2007, Tune Hotels is a limited-service hotel brand that offers 5-star beds at 1-star prices, providing high-quality accommodations with the basic essentials, 5-star beds, Power Showers, central and convenient locations, clean environment and 24-hour security. It is a growing chain of hotels that has embraced the limited-service model used by low-cost airlines. It employs a self-service online booking system that encourages guests to book early to enjoy exceptionally low prices. For more information, visit www.tunehotels.com.
 
For more information, contact:

Ron Callari, VP Business Development
Flip.to
rcallari@flip.to
 
For media inquiries, contact:
Andrea Roland
Plan A PR & Marketing, Inc.
Tel: +1.407.905.0608
andrea@planapr.com


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