Traackr Case Studies

Accor: Influencer Program Case Study

How the Accor Group earned a 4.4% engagement rate on corporate content & used its influencer program to recruit and retain talent with Traackr’s influencer marketing platform.
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Traackr Case Studies
Accor: Influencer Program Case Study
How the Accor Group earned a 4.4% engagement rate on corporate content & used its influencer program to recruit and retain talent with Traackr’s influencer marketing platform.

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Accor is a French hospitality group that owns, manages and franchises hotels, resorts and vacation properties. It is Europe’s leading hospitality group and the sixth largest hospitality company worldwide, boasting 140 brands active in 110 countries. Every year, 80,000 new employees join the group. 

Accor’s social media strategy currently centres around Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Twitter is aimed at a very niche audience made up of the media industries, financial communities, and stakeholder partners. LinkedIn is a platform for the group to showcase corporate initiatives, a place where Accor shares its strategic partnerships, big announcements, and CSR (corporate social responsibility) commitments. This last point is key given that the group opens one new hotel every day on average. The other platforms (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube) are meant to highlight the brand’s strengths as an employer. 

The influencers with whom Accor chooses to collaborate on these platforms can be broken down into three types and profiles: 

  • Expert influencers, particularly on LinkedIn and Twitter, who work with Accor to cover highly specific topics such as management practices, and who have a strong presence and credibility on these platforms, 
  • Lifestyle influencers, particularly on Instagram and TikTok, with whom the group regularly collaborates on more corporate topics, but in a fun, upbeat way to engage the target audience, 
  • Accor staff, leaders and members with inside-out knowledge of the group’s values and ways of working, and the potential to influence others around them.  
At Accor, we believe our staff and leaders have the potential to be influencers, too. We’ve come up with an entire tailor-made Leader Advocacy programme for members of the Executive Committee and the group’s C-Levels. We also set ourselves up with a technical solution for an Employee Advocacy programme that now brings together a little over 600 people from across the group.Margaux Bouquet, Social Media & Influence Senior Manager, Accor 

The Opportunity

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the hospitality sector hard, and Accor was also impacted by dynamics in recruitment and the many economic upheavals. The group was forced to shut down two-thirds of its hotels around the world, with 85% of staff furloughed or put on reduced hours. The Accor group had been running its influencer program for a number of years and had built up a strong presence on social media, however it needed to increase its efforts even more in order to keep its business afloat during this unprecedented period. 

The group found itself facing a number of questions: How could it remotivate people who had been out of work for a while? How could it make careers in hospitality appeal again? How could it overcome the recruitment challenges facing the group in such unusual circumstances? 

The Goals

In order to promote careers in hospitality and recruit new staff, Accor needed to address three key challenges:

  1. Continue the recruitment strategy — 80,000 people per year — despite a heavily impacted sector and high competition to recruit within the hospitality industry, 
  2. Restore credibility to the various careers that exist in hospitality, in order to make up for a general lack of attention and recognition of these jobs, 
  3. Promote the added value that Accor has to offer compared to other hospitality groups, while remaining authentic. 

In order to achieve this, the group decided to leverage its influencer program. With the help of Traackr’s influencer marketing platform, the brand decided to roll out an influencer marketing campaign across several social media platforms. Let’s take a closer look at the strategy. 

The Strategy

It’s important to note that Accor has its own group-wide in-house influencer marketing team, with a special focus on corporate initiatives. This team is tasked with: 

  • Establishing and consolidating working methods to implement influencer marketing across the regions Accor currently covers, both from a corporate and brand perspective, 
  • Protecting, supporting and promoting Accor’s strategic communication pillars via influence, in particular with respect to crisis management, a focal point within the hospitality sector, 
  • Creating an environment centred on ethics and responsibility, with a view to maintaining the appeal of influencing and spreading related best practices. 
The group has been working on this last point since 2017 by drawing up one of the very first corporate influence charters. We were also very quick to join the ARPP (France’s advertising regulation authority). Because we knew we were going to partner up with Traackr, we got them involved in our quest for a more responsible influencer marketing practice, too. As a side note, Traackr provided the data for the Best Practices in Influencing and Responsible Influencing Observatory, a report issued by the ARPP every year. Margaux Bouquet, Social Media & Influence Senior Manager Accor 

In a bid to tackle these recruitment challenges and roll out this post-COVID campaign, the group built its influencer program strategy around three key objectives: 

  • Awareness: how could the group raise awareness among a younger audience of the various operational roles available to them, thereby inspiring them to consider hospitality as a career path? 
  • Motivation: how could this same audience be encouraged to apply for jobs? 
  • Visibility: how could visibility of these “corporate” topics be increased so as to ensure they resonate with the target audience? 

Began by identifying influencers and turning them into hospitality insiders 

Accor’s top priority was to collaborate with influencers who share the brand’s values and editorial identity in the context of this campaign. To identify the right profiles, it drew on quantitative criteria and concrete data sourced from Traackr’s influencer marketing platform in order to ensure that each profile was relevant. More specifically, the team evaluated: 

  • Engagement rates and audience quality to make sure the message would resonate with the right audience and that awareness would remain high over time 
  • Editorial and brand fit to confirm whether each influencer truly leads the way in hospitality-related topics, checking whether they travel, whether they had already shared this type of content, and whether the content in question reflects Accor’s brand image, 

Tip: Curious to know how this works? Here’s an article about how Traackr can help you find top influencers for your influencer program.

A pilot of the broader campaign was rolled out in London first. The idea was simple: treat a couple of influencers to an amazing experience so they can rediscover their city and the inner workings of the hospitality industry. Two hotels (Novotel and Sofitel) were selected and asked to show the influencers the different departments and diversity of roles within the hospitality industry, all while giving them a special travel experience. 

The influencers chosen for this were:  @HANDLUGGAGEONLY: A London couple with 177,000 followers on Instagram and 1 million on TikTok. 

These influencers were chosen because they were the right fit in terms of image, editorial feel, and social media metrics (particularly engagement rates). Their audiences follow them for their travel tips and for the added value they bring to their communities through their content. These aspects were key and aligned with Accor’s vision.

To deepen this immersion in the world of hospitality, Accor also put together a full day in which the influencers became true insiders, shadowing hotel members in their day-to-day activities and recounting the experience by video across social media. The goal here was to offer a glimpse behind the scenes and to encourage the couple’s young subscribers and followers to take an interest in these fascinating careers. 

Evolved the campaign to include three distinct channels

To monitor the influencer marketing campaign as efficiently as possible and to ensure it generated the results and performance they were looking for, Accor staggered it in three distinct parts: 

  • Collaborated with relevant, paid influencers, with the latter creating different types of content and in particular multiple stories shedding light on the partnership. This involved four TikTok videos, one Instagram Reel, and one Instagram post that addressed the Accor group’s target audience (potential employees) directly. This part was driven by engagement rate and visibility KPIs, 
  • Used paid content to drive traffic to the Accor Careers website (this is currently ongoing),
  • Ran live events on the brand’s social media accounts throughout the year. These events serve as ways to give influencers unique experiences with Accor’s hotels and restaurants and provide the group’s staff and representatives an opportunity to hear direct feedback from those influencers on their experience (this sequence kicked off at the end of Q1 2023). 

Through these various stages, Accor is aiming to build a lasting campaign underpinned by a common thread of initiatives spearheaded and powered by influencers. Based on the results to come out of the London pilot, the campaign may also be replicated in the other countries and areas where Accor is active. More specifically, this could be the case for Germany and Poland over the coming months. 

Tip: Want to read more success stories? Check out what some of Traackr’s customers have achieved with their influencer programs

How did the Accor group use Traackr’s influencer marketing platform? 

To identify influencers 

Traackr was key in facilitating the process from a strategic and technological perspective, ensuring Accor was able to identify the right influencer profiles for this campaign. The group had made a list of the qualitative and quantitative criteria it was looking for in its influencer partners. Identifying the right people was vital for Accor, and the group was able to draw on the Traackr database to refine and confirm its search criteria for the perfect profiles. Once it had found the potential influencers it was seeking, the brand focused on making sure they aligned with Accor in other specific areas. 

To approve influencers

Because Accor needed to make sure the shortlisted influencers would match its campaign goals (connecting with a young audience, starting conversations about hospitality careers, and encouraging the target audience to apply), the group refined its search by focusing on the influencers’ content, narrative and editorial line. This observational stage made it possible to approve the credibility for each of the profiles they assessed.

To manage and measure campaign activities 

From pinpointing profiles to the initial results, the entire pilot campaign was managed with the help of Traackr. The brand was able to draw on the influencer marketing platform to analyse overall performances, and most importantly, to observe feedback and impact from the campaign’s activities. This intermediary stage allowed the group to tweak its efforts and track its influence KPIs efficiently throughout the pilot campaign.

“By incorporating an intermediary assessment stage into the campaign, we were able to establish corrective action that needed to be taken if the results and feedback we were expecting failed to emerge. This also allowed us to potentially activate other complementary levers alongside influence in order to meet our goals, such as adding an extra paid budget to sit alongside the content created by each influencer. Most importantly of all, this stage allowed us to share insights with all the in-house teams, deepening our understanding of the investments and budgets that go into rolling out a campaign.”Margaux Bouquet - Social Media & Influence Senior Manager Accor 

Initial results for Accor’s influencer program activities

Although only the first leg of the campaign (influencers’ organic content) has been launched, Accor has already been able to identify some promising initial results: 

  • +200K impressions on the influencers’ content on Instagram and TikTok, 
  • This content has resulted in a 4.4% engagement rate (compared to average engagement rates of 2% to 3% for corporate content).

But what really speaks volumes for this promising campaign launch is the quality of the comments and reactions seen under influencers’ published content. The feedback gathered from Accor’s target audience is as positive as expected, particularly in terms of content that aims to introduce hospitality careers and deepen understanding, and “behind the scenes” glimpses of jobs in the sector. 

“We’re pretty proud of this first sequence. The results we’ve been gathering and seeing on Traackr over the course of this campaign also justify the investment that was channelled into this. The London pilot reassured us that we are heading in the right direction, and that it would be possible to replicate the experience in other areas and countries where we are active.”Margaux Bouquet - Social Media & Influence Senior Manager Accor 

Key takeaways

  • A pilot influencer marketing campaign can confirm that the approach is heading in the right direction for wider campaign roll-out. This also gives professionals tasked with deploying it the opportunity to adjust their activities on an as-and-when basis, by regularly tracking influence data. 
  • Brand fit is vital to maximising the results of a campaign, as well as analysing influencer profiles’ social data. Drawing on quantitative information, the brand was able to confirm that activating the London influencer couple made sense and was relevant. It put the brand in perfect symbiosis with its brand image and visibility goals, all while hitting its target figures. 
  • A well-thought-out influencer partnership sequenced over time results in a sustainable campaign that allows the brand to connect with the target audience in other key areas for longer, therefore maximising performance. This can be combined with paid activities, as was the case with Accor’s influencer marketing strategy. 

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