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