Instagram as a brand promotion tool is beating Facebook in many countries especially among younger audiences (from 25 to 35 yo). Almost every hotel has a profile on Instagram. Most probably you and your competitors are on Instagram already.
The question here is how to turn a typical hotel's Instagram account into a good promotion channel. There are three essential steps:
First of all, set a profile type to “business,” not personal. It’ll provide you with a better appearance and more business options, such as statistics and ads. Plus, it’ll be easier for guests to contact you. Also, make sure to have your account open. Now let's move on to other things.
Fill in the profile
What to look for:
- Your business username;
- A profile photo;
- The "About me" field;
- Contact information.
These elements define the profile style and make it recognizable.
The username should closely match the name of your hotel. The hotel’s name should come first, the word “hotel” or “resort” should go next if you like to keep it. If it’s a hotel’s branch, adding a location name will simplify the search. Separate words with underscores, dots or put it as one word.
Try not to use extra words. The more words your account’s name has, the harder is to memorize and search your account.
As for the account picture, set your hotel logo as your profile image. It’ll work for most cases. Alternatively, take a picture of your reception desk, main entrance, individual interior elements, etc.
Add your unique prepositions to the description. Tell about your offers and other perks that competitive hotels might not have. Here, the main task is to interest the guest at the first glance. A visitor should clearly see what you are offering and where to look for it. To sum it up, your description should include:
- Unique selling proposition (USP);
- Clickable contacts;
- Link to the official website.
Use Calls to Actions (CTA) and motivate guests to book a room now. Add a link to the official website so guests can book directly instead of booking through other channels. If you want to place a special offer, include a direct link to the booking module with this offer.
Add a phone number and email to your profile so people can quickly contact you. If you have a business profile, customize the communication buttons. It’ll be more convenient for a client to address a certain problem. People should be able to reach you on the phone or message you directly from the profile.
After you’ve done setting up and filling out your profile details, it’s time to create some posts. Remember that your goal is not only to attract new customers but also to retain current subscribers.
Publish interesting content
What to post
Put yourself in the shoes of a guest and think about what might interest them. Tell your guests what you offer to make them comfortable at the hotel. For example, show that rooms are properly equipped for the families with children. Alternatively, you can concentrate on the hotel's entertainment.
Which photos to choose?
- Pictures of the interior;
- Attractions nearby;
- Hotel’s staff members;
- Celebrities in your hotel;
- Regular people, toe-to-toe with celebrities.
An average user will evaluate your account in a few seconds and will make a decision whether to look closer on your Instagram profile or go back to the feed. Post pro-level photos to capture attention and present your business respectively. Low-quality images might make viewers feel uncomfortable.
When and how to use stories
Duplicate an important post in your story to increase the number of views. There are Instagram users who only watch stories and skip the feed. Also, Instagram personalizes its feed by views and likes. Some users may not see your post because the app simply won't show it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to duplicate important messages using these both ways.
Use Stories to post content that's relevant here and now. For example, show a story of preparations for an event, or your chef cooking the special dish.
A good question is how many or often to publish. Four to six is an optimal amount. Don’t publish too many stories in one day because people may skip if there’re too many stories.
Pint the most important stories. They’ll appear in circles right below the profile description. A good practice is to design them with your branded colors and use them as headings—like on a website. It is especially important to divide your stories into different channels, such as promotions, room photos, reviews, etc.
How often to post and at what time
Post to Instagram regularly, at least three times a week. The Instagram algorithm shows active user accounts first of all. The time you post is also important. There are peaks of activity in the morning and at the end of the day. Try to post from 9 to 11 am and from 6 to 8 pm. It’ll increase the chances for more people to view this post because it’ll be close to the top of their feed.
Selecting a perfect day of the week is a disputable topic. A Popsters study shows that Sunday is the most active day, while the service team Hootsuit found that hotel accounts are most often searched for on Friday, from 9 am to noon.
We recommend doing your own research. Instagram analytics will tell you which day of the week is the most popular for your particular account. Experiment with a posting time and find the best one too.
While striving for excellence in posting time, remember that the main purpose of your Instagram account is to show benefits to your guests.
Get More Followers
Having a clean and beautiful Instagram account is great. However, you also need to make sure that people see it. Each of your subscribers is a potential guest, and your guests may also be your Instagram followers.
Promote your Instagram account on your other resources (e.g., on a website or on Facebook), and remind your guests who check-in about your Instagram profile. For example, put stickers on a lobby mirror with your Instagram account name.
Tell about your Instagram on your web resources
- Add social media buttons to the official website and include Instagram.
- Ask your other social network users to go and check you out on Instagram.
- Mention your Instagram account during the booking confirmation. Go to your TravelLine account → “Hotel settings” and add “Guest comments” that include hashtags or your profile name. Some guests will follow you right from there.
Promotion and activities
Use these simple techniques to promote your hotel on Instagram.1. Contests and polls
They increase the activity of subscribers, motivate to like your posts, and leave comments. The simplest thing is to invite your guests to post a photo with your hashtag in exchange for a small discount or bonus.2. Likes and subscriptions
Don't skimp on likes to your guests’ posts, especially with your hashtags and location. You may even follow some of your guests, even potential guests who showed their interest in your account. Behave more like a real person, not like some serious business facility.
If you act friendly and post interesting content, people will more likely to follow you back and like your posts.3. Hashtags
Hashtags might serve these useful purposes:
- Unique branded hashtag will show all posts about the hotel. For example, clicking on #SofiaLuxuryResidence will show all posts that include this hashtag.
- Special offer hashtags like #spamassage or #mealfromcheif can attract Instagram users who later might subscribe and become your guests. Use these hashtags in relevant posts.
- Hashtags are great to track what people say about you on Instagram and react to their comments quickly.
Tell guests about your Instagram
Remind the guests at the reception desk or somewhere in hotel to check out your Instagram account. Offer them a bonus for a subscription. For example, a small discount or an additional service for free.
Teach your guests what hashtags it’s best to use when posting photos in your hotel. Put a booklet or a small sticker in the room that shows the account name and a branded hashtag.
Encourage your guests to take and post more pictures. Create photo places like a beautiful branded mirror frame with a good lighting. People will take pictures, post them on Instagram and other social networks, which will give you more presence on the web.
Monitor new photos with the hotel hashtag, repost the best ones to your profile, and mark your guests. When you mark an Instagram user on a picture, their subscribers will see it as well. This is the power of social networks because probably some of your guest’s friends will also follow you and maybe one day stay in your hotel.
We recommend not to use your Instagram profile as a lifeless ad channel. Frequent ads about your services will unlikely to bring you more subscribers. More people will unsubscribe from persistent ads.
Get creative and express your sense of humor while managing your Instagram account. Become a friend to your guest.
To get bookings from the Instagram add the special link to the booking engine at yout profile. The Taplink service and Travelline will help you with this. If you have any questions write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your personal manager.