New hotels are being built every day, making it increasingly difficult to stand out. While it is crucial to create dynamic content across your social media channels to compete, utilizing the features offered by these channels has become increasingly important. Instagram Stories, for example, has exploded in popularity because it allows users a seamless way to upload (and view) a series of videos and photos, all of which disappear in twenty-four hours. We will discuss the importance of Stories and how to best utilize the feature to enhance your digital marketing strategy and stand out among competitors.
What are Instagram Stories?
Created in 2016, Instagram Stories enhanced the user experience by allowing a stream of media people could swipe through at their leisure. Today, Instagram has about 1 billion active users, coming in second to Facebook as the most engaged network. Studies show 50% of businesses create at least one Story every month and 20% of Stories posted by a business result in direct interaction with users.
Taking advantage of new features as they arise help you as a brand better connect with your audience in an ever-evolving digital space. If your hotel has an Instagram account, then you should also use Stories. Here are four ways to use Instagram Stories to take your hotel marketing to the next level.
Show Your Audience Who You Are
Implementing Stories in your social media strategy is an excellent way to set your hotel apart from your competition and gives your audience a glimpse into why they should book with you. Showcase your brand’s voice by creating fun Stories of your accommodations, bar, amenities, or unique events taking place at your location.
Interact With Your Audience
There are countless ways to engage your audience using Stories that you cannot accomplish with Instagram posts. Upon entering the Story feature, you can choose between several stickers such as polls, meters, questions, and quizzes.
Here are a few ways to integrate these stickers into your Story to encourage engagement.
In the above examples, the user has the option to answer one of the provided questions. In the example below, followers can swipe the emoji bar to show how much they like the content.
All of these interactions are recorded and, once your Story has run its 24-hour course, you can view how many interactions it received.
Highlight Guest Experiences and Reviews
Reviews and user-generated content are kings in hospitality as they show potential guests what they can expect from your hotel during their stay. Seeing others’ positive experiences can incentivize bookings. An excellent way to highlight these experiences is by sharing them, not only on your social channels, but through Stories. Here are some examples of how to use reviews in Stories.
Instagram users will often tag your hotel in their own Story to share with friends and family, so be sure to watch for these tags so that you can re-share.
Showcase Events at Your Hotel
Give followers a first-hand look at your hotel’s activities to bring a sense of excitement and “fomo” (fear of missing out). There are many events that are perfect for Stories.
- Happy hours
- Live music events
- Grand openings
- Holidays and parties
If you have live music at your hotel, create a series of videos and posts to showcase the event to your guests either before or at the time of the occasion.
Happy hours are a popular amenity. Give your guests the details with a fun image or video.
Is your hotel celebrating its birthday? Let your guests know with a Story!
Once you have begun using Stories, you can sort your photos and videos into “Highlights.” These are special icons located above your Instagram posts that allow your audience to choose the content they wish to see.
For instance, if a guest is interested in your happy hour, they may wish to simply check your “happy hour” highlight for drink specials. If they are curious about other guests’ experiences with your hotel, they could navigate to your “stays” highlight. Highlights are a great way to enhance your followers’ experience as it allows users to peruse content easily. It is also a great way to keep your extra special moments live past the 24-hour cut off period, allowing your followers to revisit their favorite stories.
So Why Should You Use Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories should be integrated into your hotel’s marketing strategy so you can stay one step ahead of your competitors. It is important to always stay on top of any new trends or features in social media because that is where your potential guest may be.
To recap, using Instagram Stories will:
- Show your audience who you are and why they should book with you
- Set you apart from your competitors
- Provide a unique way to interact with your audience
- Showcase the best your hotel has to offer through guest stories and reviews
- Give your audience an inside look at your hotel
With these tools and best practices, you should be ready to begin your journey into creating dynamic and impactful Stories that will ultimately place you above your competitors. You can always reach out to our experienced team of social media marketers to ensure your success and to answer any questions!