Instagram isn’t just an online fad or photo-sharing site; the Facebook-owned social networking platform with more than one-billion monthly users has produced businesses and entrepreneurs in terms of social media influence; boosting brand image and promoting products to a wider audience on what is now one of the best free online services available.
If your hotel or resort isn’t on Instagram, it’s time to take that step. With patience and a dedicated marketing strategy, you can shape your Instagram page into a powerful online medium for extending your reach, showcasing what your brand is about and boosting guest bookings in the process.
Pens at the ready - here are the Instagram marketing tips you need to know.
What to Post?
First, what to post - the key here is to know your brand’s selling points, as well as your audience, merging the two to create niche, high-quality content that’s both eye-catching and engaging.
As a hotelier, your Instagram will benefit from pro shots of both your hotel and experience you bring to the table - pre-captured, curated and edited with a keen eye - supported by secondary content that can include special offers and hotel updates, location and local attractions, deals with partnership brands, your best employees in action and guests (with permission) having the time of their life.
Videos are just as important, packing serious punch when it comes to visual/auditory stimulation with the capacity for customers to dive behind-the-scenes and get a feel of the guest experience you’re offering. Also effective are competitions and giveaway posts, styled around a “tag-a-friend” marketing tactic that will instantly pull visitors to your page.
Be Consistent, But Not Repetitive
Like all endeavours, it’s important to set an achievable goal, such as posting two or three times per week and focusing on quality, not quantity. This is where consistency is crucial, at the same time avoiding the pitfall of losing your audience’s interest with repetitive, predictable content by mixing up the above.
Take your Instagram to another level by joining savvy Instagram businesses that colour-coordinate their feed, focusing on warm pastel colours that relax and appeal - ideal for selling your holiday experience. Peak times, such as evenings, lunch breaks and weekends when Instagrammers reach for their phone, are also worth thinking about if you’re eager to get your content seen.
Captions are a whole new area that needs to be mastered, there to complement your visual content with essential information, effective hashtags and ideas that encourage engagement. In a nutshell, captions display your Instagram savviness, your brand’s overall message and the way you relate and engage with social media users.
The general idea here is to keep captions simple and casual, using conversational language, appealing emojis and making sure that each caption provides one clear takeaway message alongside something that encourages a response, such as a light and engaging question.
Hashtags, in addition, are your toolset for linking posts to trending topics, categorising brand content - like competition and giveaways - and, quite simply, for fun: widely used for humour and fashionable internet slogans that show user ingenuity. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags on each post, but you should aim to use under a third.
Instagram Stories - How to Use Effectively
While the main Instagram feed acts as your online canvas of curated brand content, Instagram Stories is an invaluable feature that allows rapid posting of photos, videos, GIFs and stylised text that can be implemented a multitude of ways.
Displayed immediately on both the official site and app, Stories are ideal for grabbing user attention, through which you can provide your followers quick, digestible updates about almost anything: special offers, upcoming events, new local attractions/eateries and fun behind-the-scenes insights.
For your Stories, just get creative, while maintaining a steady stream of updates that gives your followers the feeling that something exciting is going on. Make sure to avoid, however, overwhelming followers with spam content and overloading your Stories with a chain of identical posts that never seems to end.
What’s more, Stories can be crossposted and shared, allowing these to go direct to Facebook Stories, plus giving you the means to share guests’ Stories that your hotel has been tagged in - of course, with their permission.
Get Pro with Instagram
Take the final step on Instagram by upgrading to a Business account - these are free and simple to set up and come with exciting features that include promotional Stories - used for linking products and website pages - as well as Instagram Analytics, which provides insightful data on followers and the audience your Instagram page is attracting.
Lastly, if Instagram eludes you - or you simply don’t have the time - bring in a pro to manage your account; ideally someone who understands your brand, has a knack for engaging online content and can dedicate the time to long-term marketing strategies, replying to customers and keeping your page alive, trending and growing - eTourism is the pro for you!
Is your hotel or resort already on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below!
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