Hotel scheme signs up 100,000 members in two months
Social network-based programme targets airline sector to capitalise on rapidfire success
A new social network-based US loyalty scheme that lets travellers earn loyalty points by virtually checking into affiliated hotels has seen 100,000 people register to use its scheme since its launch this summer.
The Topguest programme, where points can be earned at over 4,500 separate locations, now plans to move into other industries including airlines.
The scheme acts as a middleman between hotels and other travel companies, and users of location-based and social networking services such as Twitter, Brightkite, Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook.
CEO Geoffrey Lewis says the scheme has partnered with major companies such as InterContinental Hotels Groups and more niche hotel chains like Standard and Viceroy.
Lewis told USA Today that Topguest will shortly be announcing partnerships with companies including an airline and a financial institution. He added that the company would try and develop its concept of connecting location-based and social networking services with loyalty rewards, whiloe admitting that the jury is still out on whether it will prove a long term success.
The newest application to be added to Facebook’s social networking site is Places. Using the GPS device on an iPhone, users are encouraged to ‘check in’ wherever they go, which then displays their location to their friends and/or other Facebook users. Users who check in to certain partners can now earn real rewards through Topguest.
How to earn points
How to register with Topguest and integrate with your Facebook account:
– Go to www.topguest.com and click the banner that says ‘Become a Topguest Now’
– Click the blue ‘Connect with Facebook’ banner. Enter your Facebook user id and password
– A ‘Request for Permission’ dialogue box will now appear. This explains the information that you are about to allow Facebook to share with Topguest. This includes your basic information, your email address and your check-ins. Click ‘Allow’
– You will now see a list of all the partners on the TopGuest web site, with links for more information
– Click past this stage and you will be presented with a final screen that shows each of the check-in services that can link up to TopGuest. The Facebook link will be set to On, but you should also take the opportunity to link to your accounts on Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla or Brightkite, as appropriate
– Click Next Step. The registration is now complete and every time you check in with a TopGuest partner, you will earn rewards.
– There are four types of reward currently available. Users must be individually registered with each of the schemes to receive the points earned via Topguest. There can be a delay of up to 6 weeks before you receive your reward points. Some of the rewards available include earning 50 Priority Club points every time you check in with a participating hotel. These include Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza.