Recently we had the occasion to stay overnight in Toronto and decided to treat ourselves to a boutique hotel. One of Bryan’s longtime Twitter chums works on Mercer Street in the Entertainment District and is a fan of the Hotel Le Germain across the street. Even with a small online discount, it was still a splurge, but definitely worth it.
The Le Germain is unusually situated in an industrial-looking building, surrounded by parking lots, Second City, and the clubs at which legions of indistinguishable suburbanites queue. One doesn’t stay at the Le Germain for the neighbourhood ambiance; rather, for its location and as a destination itself.
The hotel is not so much an oasis from its surroundings as a commentary in contrast. The interior design is modern, simple, effortlessly consistent, and the service is ever so sharp.
Along with other local leaders like the Drake, the Le Germain excels at social media, which is to say that they actually pay attention to what folks say about them online. It seems so obvious, but most hotel chains lack the personal social media touch. By contrast, the Le Germain keeps up with mentions, sends out courteous replies, and (for us, anyway) was kind enough to provide a very tasty and stylish plates of goodies as a “thank you” for our Twitter kudos.
Good for them. Word-of-mouth led us to the Le Germain in the first place, after all.
It does seem that the most effective social media is done by chains or independents that are small enough to focus effectively on quality. Our Le Germain experience is similar to Bryan’s tweeting about books at Nicholas Hoare and getting gracious, real-time feedback from the store’s account. All customer service, online or not, is about making people feel a little bit special.
It’s almost effortless, and it might lead to blog posts just like this.