You’ve heard of Instagram. It’s the photo-sharing social media platform that’s taken the Internet by storm over the past few years. Instagram is huge and its star is rising. If you don’t have an account, you’re already missing out!
Remember how important it is to show pictures of your hospitality business on your website and OTA? If you take nothing else away from this blog, take this: your pictures will sell your rooms. That’s why you want to be on Instagram. It’s a worldwide stage for you to show off all of your hospitality’s best angles.
Don’t be intimidated by the technology. Even if all you have is an iPhone and a lot of heart, you, too, can use Instagram effectively! Read on to find out how.
1. Set up your account
It’s OK if you’re not a social media pro. Instagram is quite intuitive. The easiest way to open an account is by downloading the free Instagram app. All mobile devices should support it. You can also navigate to Instagram’s website and set up through your browser, but that will make the process a little more awkward.
If you’re already on Facebook, which you should be, then you’re in luck. By registering through Facebook, you’ll cut out a lot of work for yourself. Instagram will take your information from your Facebook page. Otherwise, you’ll need to enter your name, email, and mobile number after you hit the button labelled “Create New Account.”
2. Optimise your settings
Connecting to your other social media can be a good first step. To do this, open “Settings.” It should look like a little gear located in your profile. There, you’ll see an option labelled “Linked Accounts.” Tap on that to connect Twitter, Facebook, and other services to your Instagram. If you do this, then your Instagram posts will instantly appear on your linked social media. Imagine how much time you’ll save!
Spare a moment for pus notification settings, too. You’ll find this option on the same menu as you found “Linked Accounts.” Push notifications are the little banners that pop up on your phone to alert you that stuff’s going on with your account. This can be a problem for a busy hospitality owner. If you’re smart, you’ll only receive push notifications about comments. It’s a good idea to engage socially with commenters, but you don’t need to know every single time someone likes your post.
3. Post some photos
Here’s the secret to Instagram success: don’t post more than once a day. Unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t use albums. If you spam your followers with endless banal pictures, they’ll stop following you. Instead, focus on getting one awesome picture a day and highlighting that.
Start by highlighting your Unique Selling Point, or USP. If your hospitality has an unbeatable view, take a picture of it and upload it to Instagram.
Once you start using the app, you’ll quickly find that there are many ways to upload a photo. The easiest is simply to open the Instagram app and tap the plus sign. This will give you the option of instantly taking a photo or uploading from your phone’s gallery. Once you choose or take your photo, you’ll also have a chance to apply filters. Don’t fear the filters, but be careful how you use them. Choose a filter that looks natural rather than edgy or silly. A sepia tone version of your hotel might be appropriate for Halloween, but it’ll get old fast if you use it every day.
Instagram’s app also lets you edit contrast and brightness. Play with these setting until you get an ideal result.
Once your photo looks perfect, add tags! These trending keywords are always preceded by a hashtag (#) and help Instagram users find you. If your hotel posts a picture of your famously beloved cat, for example, then you might consider tagging your picture with #hotel, #kitty, and #cat. Add your location, tag any people, and insert a brief caption describing your wonderful business. Then post that perfect image!
One final word to the wise: get permission before you tag other people or businesses in your photos. Tagging is an important part of being social, but you want to start out on the right foot.
There’s a reason they call it social media! The more you engage with your target communities, the better they’ll respond to you. Don’t just talk to other hotels. Follow travel influencers and comment on pictures of local events. Don’t spend all your time advertising. Your presence and pictures will do that for you. Instead, be natural. Enjoy yourself.
Instagram isn’t just a great way to promote your hospitality. It’s a great way to show people your business’s personality. Enjoy it! This is a chance to show the world why your hotel is a great place to stay.
If you’re still confused about Instagram, don’t worry! I’m here to help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.