The Washington Square Hotel (WSH) is a historic hotel in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village. Marketing a hotel using a unique voice in New York City is very difficult, as there are hundreds of hotels on the Island, many of which are owned by large chains with a nationally known brand.
“The Sleeping Baby” campaign, as we came to call it, sprang from a brainstorming session around this seemingly simple question: why do people choose to stay in a small, boutique hotel in NYC, versus that of a big chain?
Well, there are many reasons why someone chooses to stay in a boutique hotel. Perhaps they wish to get a better sense for the local flavor of a neighborhood; maybe its a particularly unique experience they’re looking for. But the one undeniable reason we kept coming back to is this: people are looking to have a comfortable, homey stay in a place that lets them leave the worries of the world behind while they enjoy an impeccably good night’s sleep.
The Washington Square Hotel wanted to boost its social media following and interactions, as well as increase website visits via social media to their target market.
Our Solution? The Sleeping Baby Facebook Campaign.
Facebook only recently began allowing the use of GIFs in posts, and we thought it would be great to do something unique with that capability. The campaign features a series of 3 GIFs of "sleeping babies," a puppy, an infant, and a kitten. In each case they are either asleep and doing something cute and funny, or in the process of falling asleep.
Since GIFs were new to Facebook and we had not run a similar campaign prior, we limited the total campaign expenditure to $450.
We created a custom demographic for the hotel based on their target personas and planned to launch each subsequent post near the middle of the month, coinciding approximately with when people might be making travel plans for the following month.
We began with the tag line, “For a good night’s rest in the City That Never Sleeps,” and then updated to “A good night’s sleep in the City That Never Sleeps,” believing that the repetition of the word 'sleep' takes on a slightly more poetic feel.
Each GIF was then created as a post and pinned to the top of Washington Square Hotel's Facebook page, beginning on the date they were posted (about the middle of the month) until the end of the month.
Our budget for the campaign was $150 per GIF. GIF #1 was posted, pinned, and boosted for only 7 days (June 22nd - 29th); this means that its daily spend, while higher, delivered in a shorter period of time. While both GIF #2 and GIF #3 were posted, pinned, and boosted for 14 days with the same $150 budget each.
GIF #1 features a sleepy puppy:
GIF #2 features a very sleepy toddler:
GIF #3 features a dreaming kitty:
Breakdown of GIF #1:
Breakdown of GIF #2:
Breakdown of GIF #3:
Social media interactions increased for shares and comments, and boosted the total number of page likes gained.
GIF #1 Net New Likes:
In the days immediately following the post (June 22nd) there was an increase in Facebook page likes; the trend then dropped back to the monthly baseline, steadily increasing in page likes about 5 days after being pinned to the top of the Washington Square Hotel page. It then tappered back down towards the monthly baseline with a sharp drop after the campaign ended on the 29th.
GIF #2 Net New Likes:
The week following, the posting of the GIF (July 13th) we didn't see an immediate increase from the monthly baseline of page likes. However, a week after being pinned to the top of the Washington Square Hotel Facebook page, the post gained traction and we saw a sharp increase in page likes. The campaign ended on the 29th and the post tapered thereafter.
GIF #3 Net New Likes:
Almost immediately after the GIF was posted (September 13th) to the Washington Square Hotel Facebook page, we noticed an increase in page likes. The likes peaked about 6 days after being pinned to the top of the page and continued to stay above the monthly baseline until the end of the month. It was quite unique and showed the strength and popularity of the post.
The campaign ended on September 27th, followed by a taper back to the monthly baseline.
Using the HubSpot reports for traffic sources we tracked the daily number of website views from Facebook specifically. Based off the results, especially from GIF #2 and #3, we were able to draw a positive correlation between increased visits to the Washington Square Hotel website from the campaign. As with the Facebook reach, shares, reactions, and comments results you can also see an increase of success with each proceeding post.
GIF #1 Daily Website Views from Facebook:
Accounting for a separate campagin that ran from approximately June 7th-15th of the month, you can see there is an additional increase to the number of daily views per day during the period of the Sleeping Baby Campaign (June 22nd - 29th).
GIF #2 Daily Website Views from Facebook:
No other strategic campaigns ran during July, but we did some short post boosts a couple of days right before the campaign launched. However, the we observed five distinct traffic spikes directly from the campaign through the end of the month.
GIF #3 Daily Website Views from Facebook:
No other campaigns ran this month. GIF #3 was by far the most successful post of the campaign. It's impact is reflected in the daily views through the end of September.
Results & Impact
The results were extremely positive and exceeded all expectations of the budget. Each subsequent post outperformed those that came before it, as measured by the number of people reached, reactions recorded, comments, and shares.
Total number of people reached: 87,473
Total number of reactions (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry): 10,388
Total number of comments: 271
Total number of shares: 957
The leadership team of the Washington Square Hotel deemed the campaign a great success, and it gained significant attention far surpassing our original suppositions. Over the next few months we may recycle the campaign periodically to attract additional likes, followers and to drive traffic back to their website.