If you fancy bringing some of the 700 million Instagram users on an Insta-Holiday to your place, get an account on this extremely visual and exciting platform. You can do wonders, with not too much effort.
700 million monthly active users. 400 million active daily users. 95 million photos shared daily. Next gen, engaged users. Love travel. Seek authentic experiences and local insights.
That in essence is why hoteliers need to be ride the Instagram wagon – it’s a ready audience waiting to be wooed by beautiful visuals and videos of your place and location.
Getting started in Instagram is fairly straightforward
You’ll need to download the app. If you already have a personal Instagram account, you can create and add one for your property via the settings.
Sign up, update your profile information and logo, link to your Facebook account and website, and post away.
PRO TIPS: You will be prompted to login using your Facebook account when you first download the app – DON’T! This will set up an account based on your personal Facebook page. Set up your business account using your business email address.
Try use the same or close usernames and profile pictures as your other social platforms to establish brand identity.
Check out this visual step-by-step set-up guide if you’re lost.
Tips to Insta success
Put together a content strategy
What will you post? Where will you get visuals and videos from? You don’t have to – and should not – create everything yourself. Share content already created.
Get guests to engage
Prompt them to tag you in their posts. Likewise, you should tag them.
Get familiar with hashtags
Branded hashtags. Hashtags to follow. How to use them? When to use them? Where in a post to place them?
Link in bio
You cannot add a web link in your Instagram post. Make sure your website is included in your profile information. It may also pay to create a branded hashtag.
Identify and follow a whole bunch of influencers and guests
In the world of Instagram, more often than not, these people will follow you back. And that’s a key way to build your followers. Always follow your followers back.
Share and repost photos by other users
Including guests, local activity operators, destination marketing companies, travel agents, airlines, etc. Mention their Instagram usernames (e.g. @airnewzealand) to engage them. Remember to post consistently (which is important for Instagram), you need to rely on others to provide content for your feed. Download the free Repost App – it makes reposting content with the right credits very simple.
Do a little bit of ‘social spying’
Know what your competition and operators in your areas are saying. It’s a good content source. There are free ‘listening’ tools available that will help you monitor mentions of your brands or that of your competitors to make spying easy.
Get behind the scenes
This really helps to develop the know, like and trust factor with the hotel. It also looks really cool to see how something like this is made which turns this into a highly engaging and shareable post.
Your Instagram feed should tell a story – a visual one
Language in captions should be friendly, engaging and personable to show brand personality. There’s nothing like pushy sales rhetoric to put off potential guests and push them towards the ‘unfollow’ button.
Show guests your property, the rooms, the views and the facilities. But don’t make the posts only a sales pitch for your hotel.
Show things from a different perspective. It’s quirky and engaging.
Engagement is key
Monitored via the likes, shares and comments your gram gets. Instagram algorithm features posts in feeds based on the likelihood that the user will be interested in the content. So if more people are engaging with your post, the platform pushed it to a larger audience.
Use videos, live stories and Instagram stories
Moving content gets great traction from users. Also pays to embed your Instagram videos into your blog or content – Instagram has an easy feature that allows you to do this.
Harness the power of apps
There are a number of free and paid apps available to help you find, edit and repost images.
It is ok, even important, to treat influencers with a big fan following to a free stay or some pampering in order them to post flattering grams about you.