The Most Effective Ways to Reach Potential Guests on Instagram

Instagram is the most engaging social media platform on the market. Are you on it? 

While any social media presence is beneficial to brand awareness, Instagram is the most engaging social media platform on the market. On average, Instagram posts receive 58 times more engagement than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter. These numbers speak volumes as to why you need to add Instagram to your social media strategy. It’s all about brand awareness!

When you have a dedicated team like ours behind you, it’s easy to get started. We’ve crafted an entire strategy specifically to help our clients grow their business using Instagram for hotels and bed and breakfasts. We can’t wait to share it with you!

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5 of the Best Tips for Reaching New Guests Using Instagram for Hotels

First, Ask Yourself: Do I Belong on Instagram? 

Here’s the short answer, yes. Guests come to your property to have an experience. When tech-savvy guests document their stay or post about it when they get back home (whether you’re an inn, bed and breakfast, or vacation rental), they’re sure to boast about the plush towels, beautiful decor, delicious breakfast, and so on. You can also easily post these images on a regular yourself to catch the eye of Instagram users who are looking to book their next unique getaway. Data shows that landing pages accompanied by photos and/or videos earn 94 percent more views than those without. You’re probably thinking “But, Instagram isn’t a landing page.” You’d be correct.If you still need convincing, here’s a checklist of questions to ask before deciding to join the Instagram force. 

  • Are your competitors using Instagram?
    • Most likely, they are! 
  • Is your product visually compelling?
    • Yes! Your inn, bed and breakfast, or vacation rental properties are gorgeous. This is the perfect platform to show them off. 
  • Are your customers on Instagram? 

    “Yes! As of 2018, Instagram had reached 1 billion users worldwide. Of all these Instagram users, more than 60% are millennials. If you’re looking to reach this demographic, this is the platform for you.”

    Am I mobile friendly?

    • Instagram is a mobile social network that is accessed from an app on your phone. Users who want more info about your property will click through to your website, so be sure your website is mobile friendly. If you have a website with Q4Launch, then you are! 

 

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1. Create A Cohesive, Optimized Profile

Before you can start using Instagram to expand your business, your profile needs to be optimized. Having the right profile will set you up for success. Don’t fret about the details, though. When setting up your profile, here is what you need to know: 

The right username. This should be a recognizable username that coincides with your business. The best username is the name of your business. Do not add any numbers to the end of your username. Usernames like this are associated with spam accounts and do not look professional.

Screenshot of Q4Launch Instagram username "q4launch"

An awesome avatar. We recommend using your logo as your avatar, since it’s recognizable to those familiar with your company. Otherwise, you can use a good property photo. Keep in mind that Instagram crops your avatar photo into a circle, so upload the photo in square dimensions to make sure nothing gets cut off. 

 

Screenshot of Q4Launch Instagram avatar reading "Q4Launch"

The perfect bio. You have 150 characters to make an impression. Keep it direct and to the point while standing out in your industry. What is important to your business? Do you host weddings? Are you right outside the city? Do you provide a free breakfast? Let potential guests know what sets your business apart. 

 

We're a hospitality marketing company working to be the trusted partner for independent businesses in the lodging industry.

Your link. You’re allowed one link in your bio. Make it count! We recommend using a service like Link Tree. This takes you to another landing page where users can click on the link they would like to follow. For example, on our Q4Launch page, we have our four most important links: the homepage, our next webinar signup, our blog, and our hiring page. This is a good way to double up using one resource! 

Linktree destination links from Q4Launch Instagram

 

2. Captivate With Quality Content 

Every photo counts on Instagram. After all, it’s an entirely visual platform. Not only does the quality of your photos need to be high, but the quality of your accompanying content also matters. 

Your images need to tell a story and be:

  • Actionable
  • Educational 
  • Entertaining 

Ideally, you should be able to captivate your audience with every post.

“Instagram users act based on emotion. Post photos that make them feel the need to travel and stay at your property.”

Show what you offer. Show why people should book. Your followers should want to have the experience that your photos portray. Make them want to taste your breakfast, cozy up in those sheets, or relax at your property. We’ve already established that photos are engaging, but there’s nothing like the real thing!

There’s a reason people come to your property. Think about it and promote it! 

3. How You Post

At Q4Launch, we developed a social media strategy that’s proven to work. Here are a few of our insights and things to keep in mind when you post:

  • Frequency. Like most things in life, quality is better than quantity on Instagram. You don’t want to post over and over again to clog up someone’s feed. Each post should have a purpose and mean something. If you post over and over again, the engagement on your posts will drop, and Instagram will stop showing your photos to your followers. They will also not show up in the explore page, the randomized feed that is customized based on a user’s interests. 
  • Captions. While the photo is the main focus of each post, your captions still matter. Keep your captions short and sweet; it is rare that someone scrolling through the app would read a long paragraph. Try to evoke comments by including questions in your captions. The more engagements you get on your posts, the more people Instagram will show it to. 
  • Hashtags. Ah, the world of hashtags. It can seem overwhelming at times, but this is a great way to be found. When people search for specific hashtags you have used, your post will come up! Make sure you use relevant hashtags, but don’t use too many. Instagram won’t show your posts if they think you are taking advantage of using hashtags. When choosing which hashtags to use, search popular hashtags and see what Instagram suggests; just make sure they coincide with your brand. We recommend using 5-10. 

 

Wait! There’s more! Request a copy of our complimentary social media guide for even more golden nuggets of information. 

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4. Highlighting Your Property 

Why do people come to stay at your inn, bed and breakfast, hotel, or vacation rental? This may seem obvious, but you need to highlight the key points of your property. Don’t forget that new users come to your profile every day, and your last few posts are the first things they’ll see. 

Do you have a pool? A spa? A restaurant? Showcase anything that makes your property special and unique, including, but not limited to amenities, best-kept-secrets, special toiletries, linens, decor, or anything else you think a potential guest would want to see. 

5. Your Brand’s Story 

Lastly, the most important part of a good Instagram strategy is that you are telling the story of your brand. Think of your profile as a whole, not as individual images. When potential guests look at your profile, they should see a snapshot of your brand. Users will decide whether they are interested or not within the first few seconds of visiting your page. Some possible ways to keep your profile consistent and brand-centered are to: 

  • Use the same filter or edits on every photo. 
  • Choose a color scheme you want constant.
  • Keep your fonts consistent (if you are making graphics). 
  • Try to provoke the same emotion in your posts as a stay at your property would.

Photo collage of tropical resortPhoto collage of spa resort.

 

Think of Instagram as a scrapbook. When putting together a scrapbook, it tells a story and is visually appealing. the most important point to get across in this is that it is a snapshot of your brand. Someone should be able to take one look and know exactly what your brand is.

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Are You Ready for Your Close-Up? 

Let your creativity flourish on this platform; use it as a photo album of your property and area. Show the experience visually and entice the senses! If potential guests are able to visualize themselves having an experience at your property, they’re more likely to want to book. Ideally, every vertical of your business including website, social media, email, etc, would directly lead to bookings. While Instagram might not always generate direct bookings, it’s a great way to permeate the web with your brand, increase engagement/interaction with followers, and just plain show off! We believe in your potential to succeed on Instagram and want to help. Contact us to find out how we can help you, every step of the way.

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