Instagram’s user base is growing constantly, and it’s getting more diverse too! Since Instagram is big on sharing jaw-dropping photos, amazing experiences, and connecting with thousands of people, it’s a great platform for your resort or tourism bureau to dive on in! Here’s what you’ll want to know.
It’s All About the Pictures
It’s because of the beautiful, easily-accessible photos that 48% of Instagrammers use the app to choose their vacation destinations. You don’t have to be a pro to take terrific photos of your resort or the local attractions, but if you post the same palm tree + sunset every day, you’re going to run into problems.
Make it your goal to stay away from the same scenes—mix ‘em up! While you’re at it, get landscapes, still lifes, close-ups and photos of people (with their permission). When you experiment with your photo matter, you’ll find out what resonates with your audience.
When you start out, focus on crisp, colorful photos with complementary lighting that show potential visitors the experiences and feelings they’ll have when they’re staying with you, not just the amenities.
Now About the Captions & Hashtags
Say I sit next to you and silently show you photos from my recent vacation. They’re gorgeous photos, but I tell you none of the stories to go with the photos, give no one’s name, and don’t even tell you where I went. It might be fun for a while, and if you know me, you might have a little context, but it would get old. Fast. Captions matter for interest, and hashtags for findability.
It’s been said that the worst photo caption is the one that tells you what’s in the photo. Unless your picture is really confusing, your caption shouldn’t be a literal description. Instead, try this:
- Neat quotes – Think of an emotion or idea that goes well with your photo, Google it, and check out the image results. That’ll give you short, pretty quotes that appeal to a lot of people. Or you can check out this resource.
- Then, include relevant, interesting hashtags – These hashtags should be popular, but not overused. #Travel is going to be a waste for you—hundreds of millions of people and brands are already using it.
- #Don’t #Use #All #The #Hashtags – The sweet spot is supposed to be around 12 a post, though you can go up to 30 if you need to. If your post looks too cluttered, but you have important hashtags to include, post them as a comment underneath.
Spy on Your Guests (Not Really)
But kinda. If you’re trying to get people to come to your resort or visit your area, you need to know what they’re interested in. There are a few good ways to do this.
- Local Hashtags – It’s not always going to useful to target the whole world with your Instagram account, especially if you see most of your traffic coming from nearby states or even counties. Using local hashtags helps nearby people relate to you and find you.
- Tagging – Make it easy for your guests to tag (or hashtag) your resort; it’s free publicity! Put up a sign in the lobby, add your insta handle to your website. And always respond to people who interact with you online.
- Checking out your competitors – Don’t by a copycat, but it’s never a bad idea to see how similar businesses are using Instagram, and what’s popular for their followers.
Track Your Progress
Results can be a little flighty on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean you should throw data to the wind. Not too long ago, Instagram did open up analytics for business owners, and it’s a good idea to track what kind of photos people are liking, what time your followers are online, how many people are watching your videos, and more.
Getting that basic data can tell you a lot. Do people want to see videos from you, or more photos? Do they like multiple photos, or just one? Do they want to see the food you’re serving, or the sunrise as seen from one of your suites?
Over the months, you can add things up (or use an app like Reports+) to track your total followers, the average likes per post, and even how many posts you’ve put up. This is certain to make you can feel super accomplished, as well as helpful for tracking your growth.
Don’t Fear the Stories
Instagram’s Stories are temporary videos and photos you can share with your followers. Here’s what’s awesome about them.
- They only last 24 hours! If it was less than great, it’ll disappear all by itself.
- Stories increase your brand’s reach! Since Instagram doesn’t show chronologically anyway, your posts will show up a little higher in the feed and search results if you use stories frequently.
- Stories appear at the top of your followers’ feed! That gives them great visibility, and many people like to cruise all the stories that are at the top of their feed, so yours will be fed right in.
- They’re ideal for capturing casual moments. At a beach resort, it could be a quick, amateur video of some surfers enjoying the sunset waves. It could be the new furniture you got in the lobby. It doesn’t have to be a big occasion.
- You can add hashtags and locations, ask questions (with a live question box) hold little polls, and more! Stories are Instagram’s latest and greatest, so new options roll out all the time.
Need a hand with Instagram, or another social media channel? We’ve got your back! Get in touch with Art Unlimited today and we can talk about your options.