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Don’t leave Instagram out of your hotel’s social media strategy – Facebook & Twitter are no longer enough!

Prabhash Bhatnagar
Prabhash Bhatnagar

Hotel Instagram, hotel occupancy Instagram

The fastest growing social media network in the world? Facebook and Twitter are probably the first names to come to mind – but it’s actually Instagram that tops this list! The platform was the quickest to get to 100 million active monthly users and now has over 300 million profiles sharing an average of 70 million photos a day.

But the best thing about Instagram is that the platform seems specifically tailored for hospitality businesses – people love sharing pictures of themselves, all the more so when they’re on holiday!

Mobile platforms are growing

An increasing number of people are placing a greater emphasis on the mobile network. With frequent travel becoming a norm for a number of industries today, smartphones have evolved to enable businessmen and consumers alike to make the most of their time on the go. Being a mobile dedicated platform, Instagram is a brilliant way to wedge your hotel’s brand deep within this environment.

Millennials are on their way to becoming the dominant spending majority and it’s no secret that they love smartphone tech. With the image sharing app gaining massive popularity within this age group, it provides hotels with a great way to reach their primary target audience – which also happens to be millennials!

Instagram is clean & effective

Facebook and Twitter have billions of users – but as many as 130 million accounts on Facebook alone belong to fake profiles and this is extremely counterproductive for businesses trying to grow an organic following. Instagram on the other hand requires a mobile device for each user to create an account, and this hardware requirement goes a long way in filtering out fake accounts. Moreover, the interface itself wasn’t optimized for link sharing and advertising, making it a lot more user friendly. Forrester Research conducted a study which discovered that Instagram’s posts drive 58 times the engagement per follower as compared to Facebook, and 120 times the engagement you’d see on Twitter.

But perhaps the Instagram’s biggest advantage for hoteliers is the fact that it provides them with a free platform to share and encourage their guests to share photos. Syncing with Facebook opens up a world of possibilities and gives hotels global exposure to an audience that they can’t reach otherwise even through OTAs – friends and family!

Here are some simple measures your hotel can implement in order to build a robust following on Instagram and drive more engagement –

Come up with contests:

Host lucky draws or photo sharing activities on Facebook, encouraging guests to engage with your post through Instagram. You can do this by offering a complimentary beverage or coupon for winners of a particular contest – say, an activity where guests share their favorite images of your property where the winner is decided by the number of likes their photo gathers. The cost of the complimentary service is miniscule compared to the widespread exposure your hotel gets – your guests are effectively doing the marketing for you by asking their friends to ‘like’ the image!

Promote the destination:

Do your part in attracting more guests to your local region by regularly uploading images of the sights and points of interest. Not only does this give your gallery more diversity, your hotel gets to feed off the interest generated by local hotspots for free! It also gives guests more reasons to visit your property. Try linking up with other businesses on Instagram such as popular restaurants and pubs to organize some sort of mutual cross-sharing campaign where you occasionally post pictures of each other’s store.

Keep uploading images:

People can spend ages just going through endless lists of images so make sure you hotel’s Instagram profile obliges. Avoid uploading only photos of your property, ensure that you share a variety of pictures – give people a reason to follow your profile. Use hashtags to ensure that everything that happens in your hotel is automatically categorized under the corresponding section – this ensures that your images show up not just on Instagram, but all over the internet!

Remember, building a robust social media following isn’t an overnight process, it can take weeks to months to begin reaping the rewards of your Instagram profile. Moreover, it’s not always possible to gauge the benefits of your social media following. However, the harvest is always worth it.

Coupled with a property management system, a good social media strategy improves your hotel’s management, distribution and marketing!

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