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Keri La Ra
Director, Global Social Media and Digital Compliance, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
Social listening is not a one-way street—it’s a powerful tool not only for assessing what customers are saying, but also for determining what the brand itself should say. For Starwood Hotels and Resorts, social listening is a key component of its relationship with Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Ambassador Program members, the hotel chain’s most loyal customers. Keri La Ra, Starwood’s director of global social media and digital compliance, spoke to eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about how social listening drives engagement with loyalty group clients and informs marketing budgets.
eMarketer: What is the relationship between social listening and marketing for Starwood?
Keri La Ra: Social listening allows us to optimize our marketing efforts. A good example is our ambassador program. Once a guest stays 100 nights with us, they become part of our Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Ambassador Program. These are our most loyal customers, so we employ social listening tactics to follow their sentiment and get granular data. We take these powerful data points and couple them with our marketing efforts.