Instagram is one of the leading social channels and has the potential to bring revenue to your hotel; however, you could be making common mistakes that can block that potential. Do you post frequently enough? Are you engaged with your audience? Are you using hashtags in your posts? If you answered no to any of these, you may be in danger of losing followers or worse, losing valuable revenue for your hotel.
Instagram is a powerful marketing tool when used correctly. This year it reached 1 billion users worldwide and holds a strong place among the top social channels. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it is so versatile and easy to use, yet there are common mistakes many people make. Remember each engaged follower is a potential guest and these oversights can potentially cost your hotel revenue. We will identify seven mistakes and show you how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Posting Enough
Posting only once a week on Instagram can potentially cause followers to lose interest and drop from your account. You should be posting at least three times a week, though we recommend up to four or five times for optimal visibility and results. It helps to be consistent in your frequency and what days and times you post so followers will know what to expect from your Instagram account.
Posting frequency and consistency is important because, as a brand, you are establishing yourself as a trusted source for your followers, providing them with reasons why they should book a stay with your hotel as opposed to your competitors. If your account’s content is stagnant for days or weeks at a time, you could be in serious danger of followers dropping off and looking elsewhere. It could also deter new users, as a stagnant account would not provide any value to their feed.
Mistake #2: Ignoring Your Audience
You should engage with your audience regularly and when you receive comments on posts, you should respond. This establishes a relationship with your followers. It is also important to engage with other accounts. Liking or leaving comments on content from other Instagram users shows that you are an active presence in the Instaverse and users who may not have been introduced to your account otherwise will now have the opportunity to discover you. Tagging accounts is also crucial to expanding reach. Whenever you have the opportunity, always tag businesses and user-generated content to give credit and see how much of an impact it makes.
In this post, we gave a shout out to the area’s local farmers market, encouraging people to visit during their stay. Because we tagged their account, the farmers market not only liked the post but commented as well. (The post received several likes and comments from other users too.)
Mistake #3: Sharing Poor Quality Photos
Instagram was created to showcase beautiful images, so to play with top Instagrammers, you need to step up your photography game. One way to do this is to ensure the photos you post are of good quality. The two photos below are examples of what to avoid. They are not focused, crisp, or bright enough for viewers to see.
Pro Tip: Utilize Instagram’s built-in editing features to touch up photography. It can make a big difference!
Mistake #4: Not Using Hashtags Properly
Hashtags are a powerful way to get noticed and showcase your content to a wider audience. While it is best practice to avoid hashtags altogether on Facebook and use only two to three on Twitter, Instagram is fair game. Posts with at least one hashtag perform 12.6% better than those without any and while you can use up to 30, we recommend keeping it to around 20 relevant hashtags. Here are some examples of proper and improper hashtag use:
#FunFactFriday is a commonly used hashtag, but many make the mistake of spacing out each word. By doing this, you are only tagging the word “fun” or “fact”. While using underscores are acceptable, you should avoid breaking up words that should be one hashtag.
#Every #Word #Is #Not #A #Hashtag
Not everything should be a hashtag and you should strive to be more creative and purposeful in your hashtag use. For example, instead of using #food, try #foodstagram or #foodgram. Instead of using #sun to describe a photo of a sunny day at the beach, try #funinthesun or #beachday. The reason for this is that even though #food and #sun have millions of uses, you will be in direct competition with millions of photos and videos to get your content seen. By using hashtags that are more specific to your content and that have fewer posts associated with them on Instagram, you are competing against a much smaller group. It also helps your post to look less like spam.
Avoid Special Characters
While it is sometimes acceptable to use numbers, you should never use special characters in your hashtags. Hashtags will not be searchable to users if they contain any special characters.
Mistake #5: Using Lengthy or Uninteresting Copy
A picture is worth a thousand words, literally. When creating copy for your Instagram photos, you only need a few sentences to capture your audience. Remember that the average attention span is only about 8 seconds and paragraphs of copy will quickly make your followers disinterested, so pack as much punch into your copy as you can.
Mistake #6: Not Utilizing Your Bio Link
Many businesses forget to make use of the link in their bio. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase a package, an event, or promote your website.
Refer to the link in your copy with a call to action such as, “Link in bio.” and be sure to change the URL out on a regular basis.
Mistake #7: Ignoring New Instagram Features
Social channels are constantly coming up with new features to enhance the user experience and it would do your hotel a disservice to ignore them. Taking advantage of new features can draw more users’ attention by showing you are innovative and staying on top of the game.
One feature that has been around for a couple years now, but continues to grow in popularity is Instagram Stories. With over 300 million daily users, it is not something to sweep under the rug. Instagram Stories is a feature where users can upload videos or photos in the moment and share with their followers. Similar to Snapchat, Stories are live for 24 hours. You can tag locations and businesses in your Stories, incorporate hashtags, and create animations to enhance your photo or video.
Pay attention to new Instagram features because they provide innovative ways to reach and engage with your audience. Need help staying on top of advancements in social media technology? Blue Magnet is always here to navigate you and keep your hotel’s social media updated.
You Are Now #InstaReady
Maintaining a healthy Instagram account is important if you want to keep followers engaged, gain new followers, and secure bookings from potential guests. Users are eagerly awaiting eye-catching and engaging content and now that you have all the proper tools, these seven dreaded Instagram mistakes will never haunt you again. Here is a recap of what you should do to avoid the seven mistakes we discussed.
- Post frequently
- Engage with your audience
- Share quality photos
- Use hashtags properly
- Create compelling copy
- Utilize your bio link
- Pay attention to new Instagram features