Starwood Hotels hacked Instagram to allow socially connected travelers to initiate the booking process right in the photo-sharing app. Working with digital shopping platform LiketoKnow.it, Starwood allows users to start booking a reservation simply by liking one of the Instagram photos that the hotel chain paid social influencers for. Once they double-tap, they receive an auto-generated email via LiketoKnow.it with a link to book their stay at the hotel chain’s two featured properties in Paris.
What Brands Need To Do
Among popular social media services, Instagram has been notoriously hard for marketers to crack, largely due to its restriction on clickable links. Save for the call-to-action buttons in ads and the one URL allowed in each account profile, brands have no viable means to move Instagram followers down the sales funnel. Starwood’s effort here provides a new example of how brands can find innovative ways to circumvent Instagram’s restrictions and convert followers into customers.