In only a few years, Instagram has become on of the most powerful visual social networks in the world, with users in massive numbers from all demographics. Over the last decade, we’ve slowly seen content turn from articles and written blogs to visual content, and Instagram is only one of the sites that represents this shift. The site can be a great way to connect with not only your visitors, but also potential customers looking for their next getaway. But much like any social network, don’t bother joining unless you’re going to do it properly and dedicate the necessary resources. Doing anything less can do more harm to your business than good.
You no doubt have a large database of photography at your disposal if you’re a hotel or travel destination, but how do you make those photos work for you in a way that creates engagement? It is possible to repurpose some of that photography, but for maximum impact, you should always use content that is engaging, current and relevant to the audience you’re sharing it with. Being overly self-promotional on social media typically backfires more than it helps to achieve your business goals.
The greatest way to create engagement is by posting photos that are actually interesting, and maybe a bit aspirational too. Some examples of this might be a photo of the view from your best rooms, a photo of a gourmet dinner in your on-site restaurant or photos of events taking place in your reception centre. Photos should not only show off the best sides of your physical property, but should also be infused with personality and include people whenever possible. Your photo feed is much more relatable that way.
When you’ve posted your photos and have written an appropriate caption, make sure you’re leveraging hashtags whenever possible. This might require you to do some research to find which hashtags are relevant to your audience. It will exponentially improve the number of eyes that discover your photos. Tagging location and visitors to your photos is also key and helps to not only make your photos more searchable, but also more likely to be re-shared. (Tip: Keep these hashtags in a notepad on your smartphone for easy copying and pasting in a pinch.)
In addition to uploading your own photo and video content, part of your Instagram strategy should also involve interacting with the Instagram community. First, that means responding to any and all comments on your photos in a timely manner, but also searching hashtags and finding prospects. Like other users’ photos and post comments if they sound like a traveller in need of a place to stay.
Like any social network, the potential benefits of creating an account for your brand are endless when a solid strategy is executed correctly. Instagram is a social site full of possibilities to let your creativity shine and give the world a glimpse into what makes your property great.