Westin Charlotte Free Starwood Points Offer Dead But Will Be Honored

On Friday I posted that the Westin Charlotte was offering 500 Starwood points to anyone who became of fan of theirs on Facebook.

Unsurprisingly they woke up Monday morning and pulled the offer. But they’re going to honor it. According to their current Facebook status:

Thank you for becoming a fan of the Westin Charlotte! Our “Join Facebook- receive 500 SPG points” promotion has ended (as of Sept. 21 at 9:30 am EST) – but please check back frequently for more offers and promotions in the near future! Due to an enormous response we ask for your patience in receiving your points for those who have fanned before today.

What was surprising to me is that only 1000 people took advantage of the offer (they only currently have about 1000 fans). So perhaps readers of Flyertalk, and of this blog, aren’t Facebook users and didn’t feel it was worth signing up for Facebook just for 500 Starwpoints.

Presumably the hotel figured they would get a few fans here or there from among guests who stayed at the property, since they only advertised the offer on-property. They didn’t figure that any of those guests would spread the offer online. Still, they also likely didn’t foresee any real use to those fans either. What exactly are they going to do with the 1000 fans they’ve paid for in Starpoints?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m pretty surprised as well. I signed up when the FlyerTalk page was still on its first page and right after you posted about it, and I was number 600. So between the FlyerTalk thread, your blog, my blog, and various other sources, only about 400 or so more people signed up. It would seem to me that most people that read blogs and FlyerTalk would have a Facebook account, so I do have to wonder why more didn’t sign up.

    I’m guessing it’s mostly that people assumed the deal wouldn’t work and figured it wasn’t worth their time.

    Like you, I’m not quite sure what they’re trying to accomplish. It’s nice to have “fans,” but at the same time 1,000 Facebook fans isn’t going to make you stand out as the greatest hotel in Charlotte. And that’s assuming people stay “fans” even after the points post (I know I will, just because it seems the “fair” thing to do).

  2. I suspect the Facebook and Flyertalk usergroups don’t intersect by very much. I was already a FB user so fanning was a 5 second operation. No brainer.

  3. Consider the marketing implications. These hotels value 500 starpoints @ ~$5 (base that on the $5 or 500 startpoints voucher for no room cleaning).

    To get 1,000 fans for ~ $5,000 that’s great. The cost to get that number of “fans” from advertising on Facebook would cost around that…

    Now they’ve got an additional 1,000 people to market to and, if done right, they’ll gain some decent revenue back from that. I know that I am going to consider staying there for visits to Charlotte.

  4. I fanned them while it was live and sent them a message. If I ever go to Charlotte will consider them. Chances of me going to Charlotte are slim though.

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