Welcome to the world of Trips.
In late 2016, Airbnb expanded beyond the home with the launch of a suite of new products. Chief among them was Airbnb Experiences. Over 700 bookable immersions that let people experience a city through the life of someone that that lives there; from elite running in Nairobi to burlesque dancing in London.
Airbnb launched Experiences with an announcement at Airbnb Open, a gathering of thousands of hosts, guests and employees in downtown LA. Just after the announcement, the news quickly spread across the social web with coverage from major travel and tech publications.
But in order for people to really understand Airbnb experiences, we needed to make them personal. Talking about them wasn't enough. We needed people to actually imagine themselves on an experience, to mentally put themselves in whichever of the 700+ experiences was right for them. So we turned to social to make it happen.
Our objective: to increase buzz around Airbnb Experiences by making as many personal connections as possible.
How do you market a product that the world has never seen?
Airbnb is known for homes. Since its launch in 2008, Airbnb has built a global community of over 3 million hosts with homes in every corner of the world. Experiences represented something completely new to the company. So in order to introduce something so different, we had to rely on something more familiar.
Emojis. Through social listening with tools like Netbase and Crimson Hexagon we found that emojis truly are the language of travel. Whether it's the plane, sunset, swimsuit, palm tree or sunshine, people love to express their travel through emojis.
We tapped into this behavior on Twitter. We made a short video showing how a combination of three emojis matched up with certain Airbnb experiences. Sun + surf + umbrella = the Adventure Man surfing experience in LA. Sunglasses + microphone + music notes = Indie Scenesters music trip in Seoul. We ended the video with a simple call to action: Describe your dream trip in 3 emojis…
As the replies flooded in, we paired 3-emoji answers with the one experience that best matched from the library of over 700. We responded not only with links to the corresponding experiences, but also with movie-poster style images and gifs that brought them to life.
When @Hall_Gabbi replied with we responded with the "Alchemy" mixology experience in Florence. (link)
When @Kzelley replied with we responded with "The Desert Wanderer" stargazing trip in Joshua Tree. (link)
When @AdrienRosier replied with we responded with the "By Night in Havana" a musical trip in Cuba. (link)
Twitter gives brands the power to have 1:1 conversations with an audience. We used that power to make Airbnb experiences relevant by making personalized recommendations in their lives, in their language.
Our objective was to increase buzz around Airbnb Experiences by making as many personal connections as possible.
In the end, with one well-timed tweet with a clear call to action that played into a familiar behavior we: