The initiative is not limited to hotels in China, despite running on Jiepang, and Starwood regulars can earn points and to win free hotel stays by checking into Jiepang at more than 200 of the group’s hotels across Asia-Pacific.
Earlier this year Starwood got together with Foursquare to offer a loyalty-based program to western customers, and is now tapping China’s social media potential, just as Spanish football club Barcelona did earlier this week.
Starwood is incentivising the program by giving the user with the greatest number of check-ins each month a share of the limelight, naming them ‘the SPG Mayor’. Each mayor will be interviewed for a feature on the Starwood-Jiepang webpage, which will also include details of their travel tips.
While it has side-stepped possible issues of fraudulent log-ins but not offering a monthly prizes, customers can earn bonus loyalty points — which can be redeemed against free stays — if they check-in to a hotel on Jiepang using a reservation number. Badge-seekers will be interested to note that they can unlock exclusive Jiepang badges by sharing Starwood hotel log-ins across two or more social networks.
Interested Starwood regulars or those looking to take advantage of the partnership can visit the SPG website (in Chinese), where they can link their Jiepang account to their Starwood membership to get started.
This partnership is the second recent tie-up with a major brand for Jiepang, after the social network hooked up with Starbucks last month to provide a Christmas offer for regular customers of the coffee chain.