When it comes to travel and tourism marketing, an engaging Instagram is one thing that any tourism brand can’t do without right now. A beautiful, high-quality photographic profile that attracts an adventurous audience and guests can increase your bookings and sales significantly. Instagram is a place to get followers who love the look of your property, but over time you can cultivate your relationships so they want to come visit to experience for themselves.
To do this, you must stand out and get followers excited about your travel brand or boutique hotel destination. If you’re at a loss of how exactly you can do this, here is a simple, fool-proof guide to an inviting, direct-toward-sales Instagram (that will increase your bottom line if you’re consistent):
Having a signature visual look is one of the most defining factors of a well-curated Instagram or any memorable tourism or hospitality brand. Not only will your Instagram look phenomenal, it will also attract more followers which will eventually increase your sales. How exactly? Because it’s a way to visually sell in travel and tourism marketing. Potential guests get to experience what your property is like from their phones. When a follower sees an image, they will want to be there inside of your photo and make a booking to experience it.
Just like with your brand recognition & representation in your logo, you want to develop a specific look that people will instantly associate with your brand. Pick a great filter to use on all of your images. Select, curate and plan a sensational color story that you always use in your post flow. Share the essence and inviting elements of your destination experience in every image you post and the text with it.
Combine these with consistently scheduled and visually striking pictures and you will leave a strong impression on your followers that converts heads into beds. The stronger your brand clarity is in your Instagram feed, the more its impactful message will sell.
If people are following your Instagram, it’s because they are already interested in your destination. This is where converting leads can get confusing in the travel and hospitality industries. How to visually market your experience or resort in a way that isn’t spammy?
As a travel or hospitality business, marketing your incredible destination is a smart move. However, you have to avoid being spammy and filling your follower’s feed with annoying marketing hype being pushed down their throat. Instead, use images and content that make people excited to see your property and speak ‘volumes’, without too many spammy salesy words. Showcase your destination, post a travel meme, or show your amenities or services in a new light that is what sets you apart. If the picture is breathtaking and intriguing, you can further intrigue your audience by including an engaging description that goes beyond boring details of describing ‘where it is’ or a quote.
One perfect example of this is GoPro’s IG. Incredible pictures are combined with powerful calls to action to join the GoPro movement. It’s not just about selling cameras, they’re marketing the lifestyle of travel and capturing photos of incredible spaces. Instead of annoying their followers, they are genuinely getting them excited about buying their product and more importantly, EXPERIENCING and using their product in real life on their next vacation. You want your followers to begin visualizing the experience of being at your property and planning and booking their next travel adventure.
Instagram can be a great way to create customer/guest loyalty from the very beginning. When you respond to people’s comments regularly, follow back, and ask questions on both profiles and in DMs, they will feel personally connected to your hospitality brand and ultimately, your hotel or resort destination. The more they connect with your brand, the more likely they are to not only book but remain loyal to you. If you can put a face behind your brand, it will be even better. Sharing connection & peaks into the day-to-day of the main team adventures within the business is behind-the-scenes access. Virgin Atlantic’s account has pictures of the company’s founder, Richard Branson, as well as the amazing employees and even happy satisfied customers & their stories. The result? One of the most popular travel airline IG pages out there.
Remember, it’s not about likes, because algorithms change, and on many pages these are disappearing, but it is about the conversations that are started from the content that you create and share. Your hotel content marketing provides inspiration for the travels that people are going to go on and the friends & family that they will invite along. Ideally people are inviting their friends, their partners, or their families to like and interact with your page as well. They will tag these people to share your Instagram account with them! Travel agents are also using social media, and especially Instagram posts & stories, more and more to show properties, tours, and itinerary plans to potential clients and guests. Help them to showcase you at your very best.
The best possible engagement is made possible when you comment back on each and every comment left on your posts. It helps (potential) guests feel taken care of, important, and it makes you look available to take care of them. Once followers begin connecting with other followers you have truly created a community of excited future guests, delighted fans, and those planning their next trip to your destination.
The Experience Experts’ PRO tip: Take a moment to brainstorm, how can you make time to hop on and be present with the engagement with followers this week, this month, this quarter? Just pick at least one way to ENGAGE and implement it now. Or delegate to a responsible team member.
Hashtags are every Instagrammer’s best friend. Seriously, if you’re not utilizing them on every post, you’re missing out! They basically connect you with people who might be interested in your travel and tourism company. Make sure that you use the right hashtags to target followers who can become potential buyers. A bit of research of successful Instagrammers in your marketplace will give you a list of possible & popular hashtags. If you are a luxury travel business, then you want to use words that evoke to mind the pleasures and comforts that you can provide. Needless to say, “luxury” and “travel” should be the first words you tag. The same goes for any type of business within the travel and tourism industry.
Each destination will have specific hashtags that may work best for their needs. Retreat destinations can incorporate more yoga hashtags while spa resorts may need specific hashtags to draw attention to their treatments and special offers. If you are located in an incredible destination, be sure to capitalize on that by including it in your hashtags as well!
Here is an example from our client @havenresorts –
#cancun #mexico #culiacan #yucatan #caribe #vacay #playa #rivieramaya #beautifulhotels #hotelsandresorts #beachesnresorts #luxuryworldtraveler #luxuryhotels #thegoldlist #luxuryhotel #hotels #luxwt #boutiquehotel #luxuryresort #luxurytravel #beautifulmatters #forbestravelguide #resort #beautifuldestinations #travelstoke #theglobewanderer #designhotel #luxuryhotel #luxuryhotels #tripadvisor
Display Purposes is a great website for hashtag recommendations and tips. It can help you find a grouping of the highest performing hashtags related to a specific topic and rank them for you. Instagram currently allows 30 hashtags per post, so it is wise to be sure that you are using the best possible ones. We recommend going in about once per month to update your hashtags and trade those out that are no longer serving to add fresh ones.
The Experience Experts Hashtag recommendations:
#luxury #luxurylife #luxurybrand #luxurylifestyle #lux #luxurystyle #luxuryhotel #luxuryliving
#travel #traveling #travelingram #tourist #travels #aroundtheworld #travelgram #travelling #traveller #travelphoto #travels #travelstoke #travelawesome #traveldeeper #doyoutravel #exploringtheglobe #travelbug #travelphotography #traveltheworld #travelblog #traveldiaries #travelblogger #travelinstyle #spa #beautifulhotels
Make people feel like following your account is exclusive. Your destination and getaways are for a certain level of clientele, treat the high-quality content your share on Instagram the same way. Share premium giveaways, special offers (NEVER use the word discount), and insider tips so that your followers feel like they must keep up with your page. They want to stay in the know and you are just the expert to provide that knowledge. You can tag pictures of a local restaurant most tourists don’t know about, or let them know what the best way to get the best price for a couple with your travel and tourism company. If people see that the exclusive information you post is useful and consistent, they will pay attention to what you say. This will help you increase your bottom line down the road as you attract more premium followers.
If used correctly and with these Experience Experts recommendations, Instagram is one of the most useful travel marketing platforms for a hospitality and tourism business. Take advantage of it by making sure your pictures are always flawless- we love hiring amazing photographers!, your content is engaging, and your strategies are sharp. Just taking an hour out of your busy schedule to create an Instagram strategy will increase your bottom line as time goes by. Having an inviting Instagram with a real personality will not only earn you more followers, but can also turn those followers into loyal customers.
Did you enjoy this article? Did you learn something new? We encourage you to share it, make sure to tag us at The Experience Experts, and if you have any additional tips for building a phenomenal Instagram following comment below!
Be sure to follow us on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/experienceexperts We share tons of tips, beautiful photos, and inspiration along with Lynan’s travels. DM us and say hello, so we can follow your progress implementing these steps over the coming months. And if you get stuck, let’s set up a Strategy Discovery Call to see how The Experience Experts can help you to craft and implement a powerful social media content marketing plan. It’s time for your boutique hotel or retreat center to have a gorgeous, high-converting Instagram account!
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