If your hotel isn’t using Instagram yet, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Founded in 2010, Instagram now has over 400 million users including your competitors and more importantly your next guests. No longer is it just the cool, hip way to show your photo editing skills, it’s now a major social media network and excellent marketing tool.
A picture is worth a thousand words and Instagram is an awesome vehicle for this. Nothing gets us more excited about our holiday than some gorgeous pictures of a destination. We want to imagine ourselves sunbathing on a lounger or curled up in an armchair by the fire in the hotel snug. Entice prospective guests with a gallery of stunning pictures on Instagram.
Your first step is to set up an Instagram account. You need to do this on your smartphone; it’s available on IOS from the App store or Android from Google Play. Set up an account with your hotel or company name as the username and add your company logo as the profile picture. Make sure to include your hotel website and a tempting bio about your hotel too.
Start snapping. Be sure to include a range of photos to show the ethos of your hotel. It should be a snap shot of hotel life showing the hotel, guests and staff alike. Display your arty professional photos of rooms alongside your staff dressed up for the Christmas party and guests enjoying a cocktail on the terrace.
Promote your destination. Sharing pics of your local area will help your future guests get a feel for the place and also engages your local community.
Hashtag away. No need to overdo this, three or four hashtags for each photos is plenty and helps to keep a personal touch. Try to create your own hashtag which guests can also use, this is most likely to be your company name. Don’t make your guests guess which hashtag to use it should be obvious and directly related to you.
Then add hashtags of the local area and a description of the photo. So you might end up with a photo of your guests relaxing on the terrace with #hotelname #hotellocation #cocktails these last tags will help generate traffic from people doing a general search. You can also get creative and add a little humour to your hashtags to keep a personal touch #whoateallthepies on a pic of your barman indulging in a slice of homemade cake from your kitchens.
Build a community. Search people, places and topics related to your hotel and start liking and commenting on their pictures. Before long you’ll find they’re following you back. Be sure to comment on guests’ pictures too as a little thank you for posting about your hotel.
Encourage guests to post with your hashtag. Try running a hashtag competition or using a tool such as AwesomeWall to show your guests’ posts on your website or on a big screen in the lobby.