Social media has become an essential part of any travel brand’s marketing portfolio, and Instagram continues to capture the attention of more and more travel consumers across the globe.
Savvy travel brands are using the popular photo app to share stories and experiences that define their brand and expand their consumer reach. By posting eye-catching photos and short videos, travel companies are promoting their enticing destinations, thrilling activities, mouthwatering cuisine and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Though most of Instagram’s 200 million current users are under 35, the app’s user base continues to grow across various demographics. Travel companies like VirginAmerica, Tourism Australia and Contiki Holidays have tens of thousands of Instagram followers, and with some dedication and creativity, you can too. Here are some top tips on how to use Instagram to promote your brand.
1. Show Your Company in Action
Show the world how amazing your products really are. If you run a tour business, take photos while on the tour. If you have a hotel, take photos of people having fun at the location. Use a mix of destination, portrait and behind-the-scenes photos to get users excited about your products.
2. Interact With Your Followers
One of the best ways to build brand loyalty is by interacting directly with your followers. Instagram makes it easy with simple “like” and comment functions. Follow your clients and potential clients and watch what they post. Did someone share a beautiful photo taken on one of your tours? “Like” it and ask them if you can repost it on your feed. Did someone get engaged at your destination? Ask if you can post a congratulatory photo of them. If that person had a positive experience with your company, you’ll have a customer for life.
3. Run a Contest
Offering an enticing prize to your Instagram followers is a great way to boost engagement and reward your audience. Establish a contest theme that reflects an element of your business, and ask users to enter their photos for a chance to win a prize. Set up a hashtag that followers can use to enter the contest and use it to collect contest entries. Promote the contest on your blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts and watch the entries fly in.
4. Use Hashtags and Geotags
To gain more followers, you’ll need to make your content searchable. Instagram’s geotag and hashtag tools allow users to search for your photos by location. Enable geotagging on your device, and hashtag new photos by location or theme. You can also create your own company hashtag and encourage your followers to tag their photos with it, allowing you to easily find their content.
5. Put Your Best Photo Forward
Your Instagram account, like your website, is a visual representation of your brand. Take the time to source and post professional-looking images and video. If you have access to a photographer or videographer, get them involved in creating content that is optimized for Instagram. Get your staff involved in contributing images, and encourage your clients to share their photos and video. Instagram, like all social media channels, is meant to be interactive. Have fun with it!