Using Instagram in Hospitality – a bit of a No-Brainer!

Many people thought Mark Zuckerberg crazy for spending US$1 billion to buy Instagram back in 2012, but now it has established itself as a leading social media channel.

According to Statista (statista.com) Instagram had more than 700 million active users as of April 2017 and was continuing to grow at a pace. Whilst originally skewed towards the youth demographic it is increasingly garnering mainstream appeal in all age groups.

The hospitality industry (travel, hotels restaurants) has always been a visual medium so when marketing and promoting your restaurant or hotel, Instagram has developed into an ideal channel to promote your business – in fact a bit of a no-brainer.

For years hotels, resorts and restaurants printed expensive glossy brochures showing off their best features, but now all it takes is a smart phone, and a little effort – and if you do it right, you can even get your customers to do some of the work for you.

An internet survey in 2016 noted that less than 30% of hotels & restaurants use Instagram regularly in their marketing, and many of those did a pretty poor job, so there are plenty of opportunities to gain a competitive advantage – all the more important if you don’t have the big marketing dollars of some of your competitors.

Here are a few of the basics to get you started or keep you on track…

Post Consistently
You ideally should post at least once every day as a minimum so follows get used to your posts and engage with you. Less frequent posting can make it more difficult to grow your audience.

Use Geotags and Hashtags
Geotags connect to your location, so if someone searches in your location they will find you, whilst hashtags are important for users to find you – so using your name, location or perhaps linking to an major event helps making you easier to find. Use simple and obvious hashtags for your business and use widely recognised hashtags to grow your reach, eg #traveltuesday or #instatravel

Captions
Like all advertising, your captions need to be interesting and compelling, much like a newspaper headline which encourages people to read on…

Make a plan
Whilst you may want your posts to appear spontaneous, you need to carefully plan what and when to post for maximum exposure.

Encourage Customer Sharing
Encouraging your customers to use your hashtags and reposting user content is a great way to foster engagement and interest from the community you are hoping to build.

Image Selection
There are so many potential images you can use for your property, but make sure you expand outside the obvious shots of the property interior & exterior. Use people, events, and promote your location and things happening in your area to extend your reach.

Photo Tools & Apps
There are plenty of apps out there to change and improve your photo, which can add to the appeal of your posts.

Photos of more than food
Photos of your food are great, but make sure to include other aspects of your outlet to tell a story. This can include people, staff, cocktails, special events & promotions, interiors and more…

Check out the market leaders
Spend some time to check out what others are doing to get ideas and inspiration for your posts.

For more information, inspiration and ideas see the links below and get on Insta…

How the Hospitality Industry Wins on Instagram

10 Great Ways to Use Instagram for Restaurant Marketing

How Instagram has transformed the Restaurant Industry for Millennials

Cool Hotels to follow on Instagram

10 Best Hotels on Instagram

50 Best Food Bloggers on Instagram

71 Instagram Tools to Skyrocket Your Social Media Marketing

Most Popular Restaurants On Instagram

 

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