Crossing the 100-million user mark recently, Instagram is becoming the benchmark for capturing, editing, and sharing images across the social web. Here are 10 things you can do today to get your hotel on Instagram.
Reserve your name. Instagram is currently not set up to have business accounts, but that still shouldn’t stop you from having a dedicated account for your hotel.
Setup your profile. Instagram allows you to add a profile image, a small bio, and a link to your hotel’s website. Take advantage of filling these out and be sure to keep your information descriptive and simple. Most importantly, since Instagram is mobile-based, be sure to link to your hotel’s mobile site.
Connect with other social media profiles. Instagram is great when it comes to connecting to other social platforms to share your photos. Be sure to connect your account to Facebook, Twitter and any other third-party social sharing sites where you have an account. You can do this by going to Profile > Edit sharing settings.
Come up with a story. Pictures speak a thousand words and that’s what makes Instagram an ideal platform to tell a story. You’ll have to tell one, actually. Spend time experimenting with photos via your Instagram to see what your guests and potential guests are most interested in seeing. It may be local attractions, it may be the bright faces of your hard-working staff, or it may even be the sunset you see every morning from your general manager’s office. Find a story and tell it so people have a compelling reason to follow you on Instagram.
Come up with a schedule. Categorize your photos in groups and come up with the best time each week to share certain photos. You may decide to share behind-the-scene photos early in the week, photos of local events during the week, and cap off the week by sharing a photo of your top team member on Friday. Over time, your hotel will get a solid idea of what types of images are working well and when they work best.
Integrate with other platforms. Instagram is good on its own but it’s even better when integrated with other social channels such as Pinterest (learn more about my views on Pinterest here), Tumblr, and Facebook. One thing you must be be careful with is making sure you update the text/copy so that it’s more suitable with various platforms. A good call-to-action on Pinterest may not be as effective on Facebook and vice versa.
Involve your staff and employees. A solid social media strategy takes commitment from each person on your staff. Because of the team approach it often takes, it’s a good opportunity to involve staff members and let them unveil their creative side. After all, showing the actual people behind your hotel (and how much fun they have working!) will help put a face to your hotel and make you stand out. Otherwise, you’re just a building with rooms and those are everywhere already!
Engage. Instagram is a community too and making sure you keep the lines of communication open is just as critical as it is on Facebook and Twitter. Reach out to your followers and other Instagram users, especially if they are traveling to your part of the world or talking about your hotel already. If you’re not active, you shouldn’t be there at all.
Tag and Geo-Tag Your Photos. Incorporating hashtags (just like on Twitter) will help increase visibility. A great start can be as simple as using a hashtag for the photo’s subject matter, location, and maybe even additional inspirational descriptions. Instagram now places even more emphasis on geo-located images with their integration of a map function in app so geo-tagging your photos can provide additional visibility.
Use Available Tools To Optimize Your Content. There are a number of different tools such as Statigram or SimplyMeasured that are available for hotels that can shed light into your most engaged times to post during the day, best filter used, and even identifying your hotels advocates who engage with your content the most. Using these tools will help you see what you’re doing well, what you can improve on, what you should continue experimenting with, and finding the most loyal users within your community.
Hope that helps and you share this with your friends and followers! Be sure to share your Instagram URL with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re doing a profile soon on various hotels using Instagram and would love to include you.
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