Instagram is the fastest social networking site to hit 100 million monthly active users and generate over 8500 likes and 1000 comments a SECOND compared to the other popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn. Results show that Instagram generates up to 50 times more engagement with their posts as compared to Twitter. So, what does Instagram hold for small and mid-sized hoteliers?
Instagram is the most powerful marketing tool for hoteliers to connect and engage with guests (existing and potential) in real-time. Smaller hotels must use Instagram as a part of their hotel’s marketing strategy to present an appealing brand image to the market. Here’s how:
Get started at the earliest: Create an Instagram page and list your location and social media profiles on the page. You must also check for hashtags of your hotel as people who may have visited your hotel could have posted pictures of your property and hashtagged the name of the hotel.
Turn into a spy: Watch out for competitors present on Instagram and see which of their posts are more popular and have received most number of comments. Take cues from them.
Spot and attack: ‘Like’ other pages that complement your hotel’s positioning (local attractions, cuisine, location). This activity will generate more users for your hotel’s Instagram account too. Look up for people who have hashtagged your property and use it as an opportunity to engage with them by commenting on their posts.
Discover your creative self: Instagram should not be used as a brochure or fact sheet of your hotel. Your hotel should get creative with the pictures you post, it may be a special architectural feature, a view from the room, a different angle of your restaurants or signature dishes. Have pictures that would engage the viewers and intrigue them.
Kick-start the selfie rage: Encourage your guests and even the staff to post pictures on Instagram. It may be a behind-the-scenes look of the pastry chef making fresh croissant, or a family enjoying a day by the pool. More posts lead to more viewers being aware of the property. Hold Instagram competitions such as asking guests to take selfies at the hotel and post them on Intagram with hashtags of the hotel’s name, or diners taking pictures of their favourite dishes at the restaurant.
Show-off a bit: Showcase the attractions around your hotel especially if the property has some special views or is located near the beach or mountains. Highlight local attractions or special places around the city. Also, encourage guests to post their favorite locations in the city.
Publish or perish: There is no point in opening an account if your hotel does not intend to stay active. Users expect some kind of response to their posts especially if they have tagged your property. Instagram is a great way to interact with guests but they must feel acknowledged. If your hotel is unable to stay active on Instagram or for that matter any social media platform you should consider removing your account.
So, are you set to join the race of the 100 million?
We would love to hear which Instagram picture worked the best for your property. Let us know in the comment box below.