Picture Perfect: The Role of Instagram in Hospitality

Patricia PetrinjakTourism Marketing
4 min read

Available since 2010 and bought by Facebook in 2012, Instagram’s popularity is not waning.

Intended for more than personal use, Instagram promotes, connects with guests, and reaches new ones. It is an excellent tool for creating and empowering an online reputation, selling and building your community based on interactions and communication.

If you doubted at all 😉

Social media are not going anywhere. Moreover, they are there to stay. Hoteliers and vacation rentals cannot in any way ignore social media influence on marketing strategies. Facebook and Instagram are obligatory literature for promotion and reaching your guests today.

Instagram users are highly aware and meticulous regarding reviews, recommendations, comments from other users or close friends. Such suggestions are number one in the final decision for many.

And that’s just one reason why you need Instagram.

If you doubted 😉

Building Your Online Reputation

Online reputation is all information that your guests can find scattered on the Internet.

Today, everything, and all of us, is so connected that an online reputation has an almost decisive influence on the decisions of travellers and guests, positively and negatively. Everyone uses social media for additional information, and we sincerely believe almost everything we read.

Therefore, it is a positive or negative online reputation that affects your guests’ trust. Instagram is another tool for influencing and shaping it.

Improving Sales

Initially, Instagram was not designed as a sales channel but more as a tool to raise awareness.

Still, investments in Instagram have risen dramatically in recent years. According to eMarketer, close to 70% of US retailers used the app for marketing purposes in 2018. That is partly because it is beginning to be understood to what extent it can affect revenue.

As Instagram moves from a discovery phase platform to a transaction-based platform, hospitality and anyone involved will use Instagram to raise awareness and sell. That is, many apartments and hotels are already using it. The starting point is a link that can redirect all interested guests further to your website.

A picture is worth more than a thousand words.

Instagram is the most effective photo-sharing platform. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which are shaped by both texts and links, Instagram offers the perfect way to display the visual aspects of the experience you provide.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Visually attractive photos of hotels, apartments, campgrounds and hostels can do a lot to attract a potential guest. No matter how many complimentary reviews you gather, nothing sells reservations like beautiful pictures, especially if the location is a big part of the appeal.

You will also want to post your pictures and encourage your guests to post and share them on Instagram.

Quality content

Many started using Instagram as a source of travel inspiration to decide what to visit, which bars to drink, and which restaurants to eat.

Therefore, you can benefit significantly from Instagram if you start sharing relevant information, compelling photos, and communicating with users who follow you, improving guest satisfaction.

For something similar, you can take advantage of Facebook opportunities, which we wrote about here.

Building a Community

Instagram is free and easy to use.

The data shows that Instagram has the highest engagement rate between users and brands among all social media.

To build a community, motivate your ambassadors who are willing to share the recommendation with others.

You can do the following:

Hold competitions: Competitions encourage engagement and help you gain new followers. Don’t forget to make Instagram contests unique. Ask people to repost images or use brand hashtags.

Publish user-generated content (UGC):

Sharing photos posted by your guests will encourage others to participate.

Ask questions: What is the best way to get an answer? Ask a question, and in the results, you will see users’ opinions about your offer or services. Don’t forget to respond and thank for participating.

Connected – Instagram

Every brand uses content to persuade individuals to buy their products or services in a highly connected world.

Therefore, it is vital to publish and share high quality, targeted, authentic, and attractive content for your followers. It is also crucial to achieving a constant and active presence by posting content and regularly interacting with your community.

Instagram represent an opportunity to build trust and increase guests’ affinity for the service you offer. It also impacts the overall user experience regardless if your goal is to increase sales or offer customer service.

As Instagram evolves and users become even more attached to this popular app, hospitality will continue to discover its value beyond marketing.

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Although she would love to read all day, Patricia enjoys writing for Rentlio. Constantly trying to adapt to the Dalmatian way of life, you can find her walking her two dogs and/or reading on most evenings 📚