Instagram has been one of the major social media success stories of recent years. Since launching in October 2010, the photo sharing platform has gone from strength to strength.
Today, it enjoys 400 million active users across 25 countries every month, and sees a staggering 80 million images uploaded each day.All of this is great, but where do you come in? Well, Instagram could be a vital tool in your digital hotel marketing armoury. Those incredible user figures show that there is a giant worldwide audience just waiting to be tapped into by businesses.They say that a single picture tells 1,000 words and that is most certainly true when it comes to the hospitality business.You can say all you like on your hotel website about your establishment’s beautiful rooms, lush grounds and well-stocked bar, but without an array of images to back these claims up, they are less likely to be effective forms of marketing.This is where Instagram comes in. Ensuring that you upload your finest selection of shots of your rooms and facilities is vital to your marketing campaign.
This, combined with the huge reach that the flourishing social media platform affords, could attract a slew of guests to your doors.But it is not just your standard room pictures that you should be thinking about when it comes to using Instagram as a marketing tool.
There are many more situations in which utilising social media would be a fantastic option.Get your guests involved Just as asking guests to write reviews of their stay can be key in attracting new business, visitors should also be encouraged to share their own content and pictures to social media. Images taken by guests in and around your hotel can show people at home what a great time is to be had by taking a trip to your establishment.Selfies and food pictures are hugely popular across social media, and these are areas in which you could focus your efforts. Encourage guests to take selfies in your hotel grounds; by the pool, outside of the hotel – and provide them with beautifully prepared meals that they just cannot resist taking a snap of and uploading to show their friends.
This marketing strategy could quickly lead to online and word of mouth recommendations, bringing you future bookings and business.You should play your part here as well, by being sure to like and comment on pictures shared by guests. Doing so will show that you care that your guests are having a good time during their stay.
In turn, this will increase the chance that these guests, and their friends and family, will remember your hotel, again, potentially improving the chance of securing future business.This also applies away from social media on review websites. A short reply thanking an individual giving a positive review and telling them you are pleased that they enjoyed their stay will go a long way.
At the same time, this also gives you an opportunity to nip any negative feedback in the bud and offer a resolution to any disgruntled guests Hashtags Don’t forget those hashtags when it comes to using Instagram. Using a simple, relevant hashtag at the end of your Instagram post is likely to increase engagement and flag your post up to a new audience. With the right image and tagging you might even find that your post goes viral, putting your hotel in front of thousands of new potential guests. Hashtags can also help to add incentives to guests uploading their own user-generated content. This may involve hoteliers providing guests with a hashtag, such as perhaps one hashtag for all pictures taken around the hotel pool. Free gifts or drinks could be offered to encourage guests to share their images using the hotel hashtag, so everyone ends up happy.
Hashtags should also include the hotel name and location, again to get the key details of your accommodation across to the audience with each and every post.InformAnother way of encouraging guests to interact is by using Instagram and other social media sites to keep them up to date with what is going on in the hotel. It could be that you have a major event coming up, or perhaps it is a lunchtime BBQ or a planned trip to the local beach. Use Instagram to alert visitors to such occasions and you will improve attendance numbers, and therefore possibly encourage further guest content.You could also head out into your local area and capture some Instagram images. This will show potential guests that there is plenty to see and do nearby, and could arm them with another excuse to take the plunge a book a room. Not only is this an effective way of increasing awareness of your hotel, but it is also inexpensive, so it really is a win win situation.