A London hotel has a ‘hashtag kiosk’ to print guests’ Instagram photos

Until now, the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel’s big claim to fame was being featured in the Spice Girls music video for “Wannabe.” But the heritage luxury hotel in London would rather be known for the experience it provides — both offline and online.

The hotel has set up a “Hashtag Kiosk,” a digital podium that automatically picks up Instagram and Twitter photos hashtagged #StPancrasHotel. Users can then access them on the kiosk as well as get free prints with the hotel’s branding by the tap of a button.

“Social media is a huge part of our marketing strategy, and something that is becoming more important as we see more returns,” said Madeleine Duxbury, marketing manager at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London. “The idea behind this is to incentivize our guests to become influencers themselves.”

The #Hashtag kiosk
The #Hashtag kiosk

The kiosk is designed to reward people with a free print of their photos in exchange for a shout-out on social. The hotel hopes that it will appeal to its guests beyond travelers, and become a hit among guests. It hopes to eventually monetize the kiosk for the other events, parties, weddings and conferences that it hosts, upselling it as part of private events and wedding packages. The kiosk has been manufactured in the U.K. by brand experience agency #Hashtag.

“It is a good way to spark conversations, social engagement and build awareness for the brand,” said Duxbury. “It also shows how even in a primarily digital world, an exercise like this can bring the analog to life.”

The hotel had the kiosk on trial for six weeks before introducing it as a feature last month, to see the impact it would have on its social metrics.The hotel brand is active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and wanted to boost its presence in the latter. During the trial, it saw nearly 400 social posts using #StPancrasHotel with a social reach of over 80,000 compared to less than 20 posts the month before which created a reach of less than 350. In addition, during this time, nearly 200 photos were printed.

“While there is an interest in generating revenue through social media, the focus is still very much on engaging with our guests and building brand awareness.”

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