5 Instagram Marketing Tips For Your Boutique Hotel.
Any hotel can benefit from Instagram as a marketing tool, as it is a powerful social media platform among users. This makes Instagram the ideal place for hotels and resorts to attract new guests as well as entice existing travellers back. With customers, especially millennials, now snapping pictures of any moment of their day, hospitality brands are jumping on the bandwagon to spruce up their properties in a bid to make them more ‘Instagrammable’, greatly influencing how hotels and resorts design their spaces.
For millennials, Instagram is the first point of reference when deciding on a holiday destination. As such, developing an Instagram marketing strategy becomes a crucial aspect of your marketing plans.
Hospitality is made for Instagram
The bedrock of your hotel’s digital presence comprises your visual content. Photography, videography and user-generated content form the bulk of your online persona, and determines whether a guest decides to book your hotel over a competitor’s. The hospitality industry receives much benefit as it is perfect for a photo-based social media network like Instagram. Guests love to capture images of their holiday destinations to share on social indirectly promoting your property in the process. This method of marketing is free and lends your hotel even more legitimacy as people tend to trust brands that are referred to by friends and family. These snaps, in turn, advertise your hotel and the wonderful experiences that others are having while staying with you, providing your hotel with validation that your guests made an excellent vacation choice.
We have outlined our top 5 Instagram marketing tips that your hotel should be adopting in order to start generating more bookings.
1: Setting your account up for success
Are you leveraging on Instagram business tools to get the most visibility out of your account? Your account needs to be switched to a business profile, providing additional insights and functions for your marketing plans. When setting up your business profile, ensure that you have:
Category: Your category is listed as ‘Hotel’
Name: A simple name for your hotel, eg. ‘Parilio Hotel Paros’
Bio: A short and sweet professional description about your hotel
Location: Input your physical hotel location
Links: Whether you decide to input your website or a list of links (Linktree, Linkin.bio etc.), ensure that users can click on your link to direct them to a booking channel/list of services
Furthermore, your Instagram business account is going to provide you with insights such as the demographics of your visitors, optimal times to post for maximum engagement and reach, which posts, reels or stories performed the best as well as how many accounts followed you within a particular timeframe. All these insights provide you with valuable statistics on how to refine and plan your next Instagram marketing strategy, whether it is to cater to women below the age of 40 based in Southeast Asia, or shifting your posting times to 7pm Pacific Time to obtain the best reach, engagements and account growth.
2: Post relevant content that tells a story
Visually appealing posts of food and travel will naturally captivate any Instagram user. This is a great opportunity to leverage what you know about audience interests and use it to your advantage. Share travel tips especially regarding where your hotel is located, images that tell the story behind your brand, as well as food guides that educate your visitor and keep them well-informed with the sights, sounds and tastes of your hotel. Adding relevant hashtags and using video content are also a great way to gain more traction and allow your content to appear in front of a wider audience.
Be mindful of promotional content that you put out. We do not want to appear as overly spammy and inauthentic, so weave in genuine stories of your hotel, how your brand started, relatable guest experiences and testimonials. Provide a good balance of promotional and educational content, weaving in a narrative when you decide to put out a promotion. Such an example can be sharing your brand story as a post and then dropping a 15% discount code titled ‘OURSTORY15’ at the end of your caption that guests can claim upon making a reservation.
3. Leverage Instagram reels
Want to increase your chances of appearing on Instagram’s explore page? Then you need to be getting onto reels. While posts and stories reach your followers, Instagram reels allow a wider, untapped audience to view your content, allowing your brand to grow faster and secure more hotel bookings with each reel that you post. Reels are also highly engaging, with users preferring video content over static post content. Showcase your hotel’s personality, get creative and make your reels enjoyable to watch. Videos tend to be more authentic, and your potential customers will be sure to pick that out. We live in a digital world starved of authenticity, so producing reels every now and then provides your account with a breath of fresh air (and fresh followers).
4. Actively engage with users
Contrary to popular belief, it is not cool to post content without responding to your comments and DMs. Responding to comments from your followers and potential customers are a great way to show your community that you value their input and are serious about welcoming everyone to your property. It indicates that your brand is active on social media, putting a hospitable and spirited front even before your guest walks through your hotel door.
A great way to further engage with your users is through Instagram stories. Ask questions and create polls on your stories to promote brand awareness and increase audience engagement.
5. Consider influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is another powerful way to increase your brand awareness. Many influencers are millennials themselves, with a follower base filled with millennials as well. Furthermore, when influencers promote your property, it fosters legitimacy toward your business. When deciding on influencers to collaborate with, it is worthy to consider:
How much you want to set aside for influencer marketing. Would you like to pay more for an influencer with >100k followers with a sizable audience, or a micro influencer with fewer followers, cheaper rates and a smaller but possibly more engaged community?
Whether your chosen influencer aligns with your brand’s creative direction
The quality of your influencer’s followers (are they real or fake)
Leveraging Instagram is a tool that every hotelier should learn at some point in their digital marketing journey. Adapting your business to this fast-moving trend is not as difficult as it seems, you just need a few simple steps to move toward the right direction and build momentum for your Instagram account. Remember that consistency is key, and by attracting your customers with high-quality engaging content, emotive brand messaging and consistent effort, you can grow a large following through the platform, generating constant bookings for your hotel.
If you are overwhelmed by the number of considerations necessary to optimise your Instagram for your marketing efforts, our team of experts are ready to help you stand out from your competitors today.