The Importance Of Instagram For Hotels

Instagram has taken the social sharing world by storm and this visual platform is not about to slow down, so it’s time for you to determine how your hotel can get with the picture, literally.

Pictures are worth a thousand words

Before I get into what you should be doing, I think it’s important to know why you should be doing it. With all of the social media platforms placing such an emphasis on photo sharing it is no wonder Instagram grew in popularity so quickly — it was the fastest social media network to hit 100 million monthly active users! With 8500 likes and 1000 comments a second, it is obvious that this social sharing network can be very influential. When Facebook purchased the photo sharing app in 2012, founder Mark Zuckerberg said, “Providing the best photo-sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook, and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”

Let’s face it, we live in a visual world where judging a book by its cover is the norm. With Instagram, you have the ability to control how your “book” is judged. Therefore, Instagram should be incorporated as a part of a hotel’s marketing strategy, working in unison with all channels and presenting a brand image that is appealing to your market. Yet, just like any hotel marketing campaign, Instagram requires a thoughtful strategy to ensure that it is used effectively.
Follow these 6 tips to ensure that your hotel effectively utilizes Instagram to capture and engage with your target audience.

Snap Your Way to Social Media Success

Where to begin? Start looking at relevant content that is already on “the gram,” which can help you generate your own unique ideas. Take a look at what your competitors are doing. What photos are they posting and what kind of engagement are they getting? Additionally, search your hotel name using a hashtag to see if anyone has already tagged your hotel in a photo on Instagram. For example, although The Emily Morgan Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton does not have its own Instagram account, several guests have documented their stay at the hotel and ensured that it was searchable by using the hashtag #emilymorganhotel in the caption.

Photos of the Hotel
Area Attractions
Hotel Restaurant
Local Flavor

It is important to keep in mind that the photos that your hotel shares should be completely unique and true to your property’s personality. If your hotel is in the middle of downtown Chicago your content is going to be completely different than a hotel that is in the midst of a mountain range. As with all social media outlets, Instagram allows the hotel an opportunity to put a face to the hotel. Based on the content that you are sharing you can enhance your hip and trendy image or confirm your hotel as a peaceful, quiet retreat.

  • Extend your photo gallery – Consider Instagram another outlet for a hotel photo gallery. Highlight your amenities, but make sure to keep content entertaining and constantly changing to show the dynamic life at the hotel!
  • thompsonhotelsbed
    Stay trendy – Instagramming your hotel’s restaurant is another great way to stimulate connections. Not only will you be able to show off another aspect of your hotel, but taking pictures of food is all the rage! Stay on top of the trend by showing off the exceptional food art that your chef’s create.
    Morgans Hotel Group highlights their restaurant by snapping beautiful foodie photos
  • Go behind the scenes – Giving your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your hotel will not only provide for interesting content, but will also humanize your hotel. It shows the hardworking people and dedicated staff that help make a guest’s stay as seamless as possible.
  • morganshotelsbakers
    Share a behind-the-scenes look at your chef preparing a meal
  • Highlight your local area – Engagement through area attractions is another excellent way to increase interest in your hotel and its surroundings. Pictures from around the town, exciting area attractions, and local hidden gems will highlight what your town has to offer and will provide an interesting visual area guide for followers. By showcasing things to do in your city, people may be more inclined to plan their next trip to visit you.
  • thompsonshotelshollywood
    An iconic tourist attraction in Los Angeles
  • Use the users – Stay current with user-generated content. Your guests can be an excellent photo resource for you to tap into, as we saw above for The Emily Morgan Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton. For instance, the image below was taken by a guest staying at Matakauri Lodge in New Zealand. Although this Instagram may not immediately lead to someone staying at the hotel, this picture is so inviting that it will stay in peoples’ minds and provide a likely lead for the future.
  • instagram-thewakingartist
    As with any marketing strategy, staying active on Instagram is key! Instagram should be included as a regular update for social media and requires a proactive strategy as well as daily management. Also, the hashtag is your friend! It will make your content searchable, creating a viral effect that will extend your reach among Instagram users.
    Interact with customers
     – Use Instagram to engage with customers by hosting an Instagram contest or asking users to vote on their favorite Instagram photo. W New York – Times Square recently took Instagramming to a new level by organizing an exhibit in their lobby with only Instagram pictures! Check out their great collection of photos.

    The Instagram Effect

    Social media is a great way to reach your clients on a personal level, so it is important for hotels to stay current with the new social media trends. Although you may not see an immediate increase in revenue, Instagram provides an outlet to enhance the brands personality and a way to better relate to and connect with guests. Instagram should be factored into a hotels overall marketing campaign and with regular attention, interesting content, and a creative mindset, the marketing benefit will be seen in the long run.

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