You’ve spent countless hours creating a space where travelers can come and relax and escape the realities of their everyday life.
This hard work must be displayed — and the best place to do that is on one of the most visual platforms, Instagram. Cloudbeds’ 2023 State of Independent Lodging Report found that the ways that people find travel inspiration are changing, and younger generations are leading the charge.
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Eye-catching images and videos are becoming increasingly important in travel search and inspiration.
Instagram is one of the largest and most influential social networks, with over two billion monthly active users – of which two-third are 18-34 years old. It’s a great place to build your hotel’s brand and promote to Gen-Zs and Millennials looking for new travel experiences.
Instagram is no longer just about posting pretty photos to your feed. It is a powerful marketing tool for the hospitality industry. Read on to learn how to use Instagram at your hotel, what to post, and examples to inspire your strategy.
Why Instagram is an important part of a hotel marketing strategy
While running an Instagram account can seem like just another thing to add to your already jam-packed list, it’s a crucial digital marketing channel to help drive awareness and bookings.
Here are a few reasons why Instagram is integral to a hotel’s social media marketing strategy.
- Improve visual appeal. Instagram is a highly visual platform where lodging operators can showcase their properties and amenities in unique ways. Using eye-catching imagery and short-form videos, hoteliers can spark travel inspiration, build trust, and encourage travelers to book.
- Increase user engagement. Studies show that in 2022, Instagram accounted for 17% of the time Americans spent on social media platforms, the second-highest behind Facebook. By creating high-quality “Instagrammable” content, hoteliers can engage with past and potential guests.
- Utilize influencer marketing. Instagram is one of the most-used influencer marketing platforms in the world. Partnering with influencers (especially micro-influencers) can be an excellent way for lodging operators to reach a broader audience for increased visibility and bookings.
- Build brand awareness. Your Instagram is an extension of your brand and should match your hotel website and other marketing assets to amplify your brand voice and image. Consistent branding and messaging across platforms will help build brand awareness.
- Drive direct bookings. Another benefit? Instagram can be a great source of direct bookings. Hoteliers can add a link to their booking engine in their Instagram bio, making it easy for travelers to get inspired on your page and book direct.
Set up your hotel’s business profile
Before diving into Instagram’s features, ensure your profile is set up for success.
- Upload a clear profile photo that is easily recognizable. For most properties, your profile photo should be your logo.
- Add the name of your property as it is listed on your website and OTAs (this is different than your username).
- Add a link – we suggest linking directly to your booking engine or your website’s homepage.
- Add a bio to inform your audience who you are. Include where you’re located, what type of accommodation you are, and even the type of traveler you want to attract. This information helps people discover your profile in searches.
Instagram’s different features explained (+how to use them)
Instagram has changed significantly over the past few years and added many new features. Here’s a breakdown of the different features and how they can be used in your Instagram marketing strategy.