Rad or Fad? An Ibiza Hotel and RFID Facebook Postings. Rad.

by Kate Brodock on 5 August 2011

Posted in: Case Study,Social Media,Straight Marketing

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This weeks The Social Hour podcast (which everyone should listen to weekly, it’s one of my favorites) had their “Rad or Fad” section focused on a new service provided by the Ushuaia Beach Hotel in Ibiza, Spain.  This hotel, located in one of the hottest party spots in Europe, has just introduced a system whereby hotel-goers can update their Facebook statuses via an RFID wristband and kiosks (strategically?) located around the hotel grounds (probably at the bars, the pools, the lobbies…. the social spots!).

Amber and Sarah decided this was a light Rad, basing on on the likelihood that people wouldn’t be without their cellphones, but that the average Ibiza vacationer was much more likely to be super social, so it could catch on, especially if groups started using it as a “cool new feature.”

All great points, however one huge thing that I see pop out of this wasn’t discussed.

  • This service greatly increases the possibility that a post will be put up on Facebook that wouldn’t happen otherwise.
  • Therefore, this service greatly increases the chances that their hotel will be marketed externally.

At this point, it’s not just about being social, it’s about exposure.  Yes, there will be plenty of people who won’t part with their cell phones all day.

But what if you just got 15 extra people a day to post about the completely awesome time they’re having ripping it up in Ibiza at a super hip hotel (15 seems reasonable)? Or what if you got 15 people to post one extra time a day to their networks. Then translate that over the vacation season (let’s say May-August peak, conservatively speaking, so about 120 days, that’s 1,800 extra instances over the summer.

Off-season let’s just say you 15 extra postings a week with smaller crowds (though I might suggest it’s higher, since the folks who go to Ibiza in the off-season are possibly of the less “attached to the hop with their mobile phone” type, and you might actually be able to spark enough interest with people that you get a higher percentage of them posting using the intriguing kiosks…. Man Kate, where the heck do you come up with this math, right?).  We’ll give off-season 5 months, 20 weeks, that’s an extra 300 postings (conservatively) that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. (We won’t include the really off-season).

That’s over 2,000 extra posts that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. And let’s be realistic, there’s not WAY they didn’t brand every single post that goes out of those kiosks.

This is increased exposure, straight up brand visibility.

I can also see this catching on and being even more effective in places that are frequented by less tech-savvy folks.  For instance, my mom-in-law probably wouldn’t travel internationally with her iPhone. However, she loves Facebook and if she passed one of these kiosks in her beautiful hotel in Florence, you better believe she’d use it (READ: higher percentage of people that would post that wouldn’t post otherwise).


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