With Valentine's Day fast approaching, hotels, restaurants and pubs and bars are looking for innovative ways to market their business but one hotel believes its campaign is truly unique - it is testing brand new Twitter video app Vine.
The Cavendish London has launched its #ValentineVine competition to win a romantic break for two at the hotel complete with champagne, chocolates, dinner, breakfast (in bed) and late check-out.
Twitter users are asked to download the Vine app, if they don't already have it, and record a romantic video before sending it to the hotel's Twitter account - the one judged to be the most romantic will win the prize.
"We have always tried to be early adopters on social media," said Neil Braude, general manager of the hotel. Speaking to BigHospitality, Braude explained the business was always looking for ways to improve and expand its online presence.
"It is free to purchase, easy to use and promotes creativity," Braude said of the benefits of Vine.
Saw it on the Twitter Vine...
Mobile app Vine was originally launched last year but really took off after Twitter acquired the business behind the service and launched it on the iPhone operating system last month.
Vine allows users to record a six second movie - either with continuous or broken up video clips - and post it to the social networking site.
The service is seen as the true video alternative to the 140 text characters Twitter provides and has been adopted by a growing number of users, in particular marketing and advertising professionals.
However The Cavendish London has become one of the first hospitality businesses to venture into Vine.
Last month, BigHospitality reported from a Hotel Marketing Association (HMA) event where the hospitality industry was told photo and video could help drive visitors to a website, increase customer interaction with a business and ultimately lead to more bookings.
For businesses worried about costs, one of the ways to get the benefits of online multimedia content without blowing the budget can be photo and video created by customers - something Vine could potentially help deliver.
"If people are happy for them (customer-created videos) to go on, we would look to put them on our website because we actually have a specific social media section on our site," Braude revealed.
The section in question pulls together content from all the social media channels the business operates, including TripAdvisor, giving potential guests a reason to visit the hotel's homepage.
However the company does not actively try and translate this interest into revenue and Braude said hospitality businesses looking to use Vine, or other online tools, needed to decide exactly what the benefits and outcomes would be.
"If it (the Vine competition) works, it will give us a few more opportunities in the future to do some more creative things with social media," he explained.
"Even on Facebook we seldom put offers on. It is just another way for people to communicate with us - leave feedback or ask a question - rather than marketing," he added.