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Launched in 2010, Instagram is the fastest-growing social network in the world, with over 300 million active users who share an average of 70 million photos and post 2.5 billion likes per day.
Instagram offers unique opportunities for hotels to build awareness and engage travelers.
1. Instagram is perfect for travel marketing
Instagram combines the two most powerful aspects of social media—imagery and sharing—and is particularly popular with travelers. Great photos grab attention, inspire people to travel, and don’t require translation.
2. It’s uncluttered
Whereas Facebook shuts out most organic posts and Twitter is so cluttered it’s hard to be heard, Instagram offers a simple, clean feed, with no links and minimal advertising. A study from Forrester Research found that Instagram delivers 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more than Twitter.
3. It’s easy and low maintenance
Setting up an Instagram account is simple. Download the app to your smart phone, choose an account name (ideally your hotel name), and add a short description and profile photo (your logo or a great shot of your hotel; keep in mind it will appear very small). Even if you’re not active, it’s a good idea to claim your brand name before someone else does. After that, it’s a matter of snapping great photos, adding a comment and hashtags, and sharing.
4. Hashtags help to promote your hotel
Instagram users are #hashtag-centric. A hashtag is a word or phrase identified by the # sign used in social media to identify topics, themes and brands. They are important on Instagram because you can’t add links to posts. Create hashtags for your hotel and campaigns and include them in posts along with other popular and relevant hashtags.
5. Track mentions and performance
Use the “tags” and “places” filters to search for images tagged with your hotel name and related brands. If an image is inappropriate or unflattering, use the “Report Inappropriate” feature and click “Photo Options” to hide it from your profile. Instagram doesn’t yet offer analytics, but you can track performance using applications like Iconosquare and Hootsuite.