The Ritz-Carlton – a look at their customers

cdiesbourg    November 2, 2015

Organization Name:   The Ritz-Carlton

Industry:   hotel

Web References:,,, www.travelandleisure

The Ritz-Carlton – this luxury brand wants to stay with you

According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.

What are you trying to achieve via your social channels? And which channels are key to those goals?

Social media can serve a variety of purposes, from generating awareness, to improving customer support or engagement with a community. So how do you really measure social media marketing success?  There are three key measures to monitor:  Reach, Engagement and Conversion.

Reach – How many people did you impact with your message?   

The first place to start is to measure ‘Reach’ – the number of people you have impacted with your social media content.  Reach will give you a good understanding of how attractive your social media content is to your target audience.  Examples of reach metrics to track include:

  • Connections on LinkedIn
  • Followers on Twitter
  • Likes on your Facebook page
  • Views and Subscribers on your YouTube channel
  • Visitors to your blog

Social networking sites, like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, all have analytics reports you can track.  Finally, you can take advantage of third-party services to track Reach for you.

Engagement – How many people interacted with your message?

By measuring  ‘Engagement,’ you will have access to this vital information.  To engage people with social media, you need to create valuable content that inspires people to act.  If your Engagement level is low, you need to take a critical look at how to improve your content.  Examples of ‘Engagement’ metrics to track include:

  • Clicks on links in your social media posts
  • Retweets, Mentions and Direct Messages on Twitter
  • Shares on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Comments on your Facebook and LinkedIn posts
  • Ratings on your YouTube videos
  • Comments on your blog posts

Just as with Reach, you can measure Engagement by keeping track of these statistics manually or you can leverage third-party services to track these metrics for you.

Conversion – How many people took action because of your message?

Examples of ‘Conversion’ metrics to track include:

  • Registrations for content downloads
  • Webinar registrations
  • Online lead generation form completions
  • Phone-in leads
  • Online sales

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A Case study – Ritz-Carlton

In the United States, The Ritz-Carlton Investing Company was established by Albert Keller who bought and franchised the name. The Ritz-Carlton, Boston revolutionized hospitality in America by creating luxury in a hotel setting.

In 1998, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel was purchased by Marriott International. Since this purchase, The Ritz-Carlton has continued to grow, providing exceptional service and genuine care to their guests across the globe. Today they boast 89 hotels worldwide in 29 countries and territories.

Social media at the Ritz-Carlton

In 2013 the Ritz-Carlton began devoting a huge piece of homepage real estate to a new cross-channel social campaign. “Memories by the Ritz-Carlton” asks users to share photos of their favorite memories at Ritz-Carlton properties, and the luxury travel brand selects top images to share on the site. The collection is heartwarming and personal, but it also gives viewers ideas of places they might want to visit in the future.

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The number one way travelers share their memories is with photos in social media. ‘Your Memories’ displays photos of captured moments as they are shared by guests on Twitter and Instagram and tagged with #RCMemories. The constantly updating, tiled photo stream showcases those snapshots and videos shared by guests. This brings those two things together by pulling the curtain back on the real live memory making at our hotels.” said Clayton Ruebensaal, vice president, global marketing, The Ritz-Carlton. “The Ritz-Carlton brand is positioned on our ability to create memories for our guests.

Even if you’re not headed to a Ritz-Carlton property anytime soon, the mosaic-like display is still worth a click for the wanderlust inspiration. See for yourself at

As consumers see the images of other engaged @RitzCarlton travelers, it fosters a sense of community.

“We noticed that our guests were using #RCMemories so often but only our team was seeing all of it,” said Clayton Ruebensaal, vice president of marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington. “Posts were coming in every day from Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, Instagram, but the outside was only being exposed to small slivers of it.

“We saw a tremendous opportunity to republish this content, as much for how well it showcases The Ritz-Carlton brand as for how it showcases the world of travel,” he said.

The post factor

The new content hub was initially powered by social media submissions that have appeared on Twitter and Instagram with the #RCMemories since the campaign’s launch.

The Ritz-Carlton was smart to wait before developing the Web page until they had numerous images already set to post. When fans feel compelled to participate in a campaign, without prize incentives, the brand wins. Images displayed in the mosaic rotate and move around.

“#RCMemories has tremendous value to us because we have been using it consistently for two years,” Mr. Ruebensaal said.

“Our aim is to own that hashtag the way other brands own taglines,” he said. “That way our guests will become accustomed to using it every time they capture a memory during a Ritz-Carlton experience.

“The hashtag on average gets over 500 hits a day and we are nearing the half million mark for total uses.”

Lessons learned

2014 was an innovative year in social. More brands focus on their audiences’ needs instead of themselves, and more brands used channels outside of Facebook and Twitter. See Ritz-Carlton twitter feed.

Fans had posted a sufficient number of images since the launch for the brand to develop a respectable mosaic of images. Oftentimes, brands will unveil user-generated content hubs and end up with a woefully inadequate number of submissions that can cast a withering light on the brand. Many brands are wary of incorporating user-generated content on their own Web sites, but it can be beneficial for brands to have consumers’ voices as part of their digital presence (see story).

  1. Every opportunity you have to group your content and increase your visibility is valuable.
  2. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers.
  3. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion.
  4. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.
  5. Additionally, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand.

social metrics

Below is a quick overview on the validity user generated content has on your brand.

submitted by: Christine Diesbourg, University of  Waterloo