USA Today: In January, the famously glamorous Beverly Wilshire became the first hotel in the Four Seasons chain to hire a full-time social media coordinator.
Today, the Beverly Wilshire's 3,663 followers on Twitter might find a link to some historic photos of the hotel for #FriFotos or learn about a new Mexican restaurant that's opening in the hotel's super swanky neighborhood.
"It just made sense," GM Radha Arora told me the other day over lunch at The BLVD, while Hollywood VIPs such as talent agency mogul Ari Emanuel dined nearby.
Arora runs the Beverly Wilshire - the iconic hotel where Julia Roberts and Richard Gere shot "Pretty Woman" (1990) - and also oversees several other Four Seasons hotels.
Arora's early decision, at least for the Four Seasons system, is an interesting one since most hotels juggle the demands of Twitter, Facebook and other social networks without a full-time expert. But Arora now expects more hotels will follow.
"We didn't think of (the full-time position) as ROI (return on investment). We didn't say, 'Oh no, it's going to cost us' because you can't put value to its success yet," Arora told me. "Its success will come later. Right now, you're building a foundation and you have a voice that tells people that the Beverly Wilshire is a place that is always creative and very youthful."
The hotel hired a Lauren Breuning, who used to work as a concierge so she knows the area well. She's now a member of the hotel's PR department. Her tweets from @BeverlyWilshire range from food promotions at The BLVD restaurant or Wolfgang Puck's critically acclaimed steakhouse CUT, to friendly chatter to would-be customers...
· Celebrate at pool today from 2-7pm. Only decision is to go for the grilled basics or the exotics like steak skewers with chimichuri sauce
· Sometimes it's the International guests that have the most fun with #4thofJuly :)
· We& @WolfgangBuzz want you back too. RT @ingrid_werner: Walking by @BeverlyWilshire reminds me of CUT. I wanna go back
· #braggingrights :) RT @barbdelollis: This is @BeverlyWilshire's $25,000 nt prez suite where Entourage filmed last wk. http://t.co/tawTY7a
One of the Four Seasons hotels that's about to follow the Beverly Wilshire is the Four Seasons Hotel located just a few minutes’ drive away; on the other side of the Beverly Hills-Los Angeles border. Austin Watkins, the hotel's marketing director is in the process of interviewing candidates.
"I was able to prove there's value in it," he told me last week.