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Why Isn’t Your Hotel on Instagram? 7 reasons to use Instagram

November 26, 2012

One of the biggest challenges in social media marketing is figuring out how to create engaging content on a limited and sometimes non-existent social media marketing budget. And it’s the same story whether you are a 500 room hotel or a 10 room hotel. So when a free tool like Instagram comes along and levels the playing field in terms of generating on-the-fly, trendy and engaging content, get down on your knees and thank the marketing gods, because a large part of your content woes have just been solved.

7 reasons your hotel should be using Instagram:

#1 It’s cool. And never underestimate the value of cool.

It’s super cool. It is. Sorry Instahaters. Snap a photo. Crop it. And apply a cool filter. Don’t ask me to explain the science behind it, but suddenly you’ve got a visually stimulating photo that doesn’t embarrass your brand like those out of date lifestyle photos.

#2 It’s good content. And good content is hard to come by.

Any social media strategist will tell you that the hardest thing about their job is generating good content to represent the brand. And for image centric social platforms like Facebook and Pinterest that call for daily doses of quality imagery, Instagram is a godsend, allowing you to fill out that Pinterest profile with content specific, original photography that that links back to your property.

#3 It’s unique to your hotel. Finally, you can stop sharing that other hotel’s cool content.

Your hotel’s Facebook page should have a steady flow of trendy content showing off your hotel’s unique style, not to mention the many wonders of the surrounding city. Stop admiring that other hotel’s trendy, hip Facebook page. Highlight the unique details of your own property. It’s not just about snapping that generic photo of a guest’s arrival. That’s good. But it could also be about that guest’s vintage luggage, automobile. or a variety of other hotel accouterment: the luxury soaps, the architecture, the stationary, the artwork, the food. The best content is always the content that is specific to your hotel and surrounding city. The more odd and unique, the better. Instagram gives you the tools to show it off.

#4 It’s candid. Okay, maybe it isn’t. But if feels that way.

Instagram photos have a special way of feeling like captured moments, even when they aren’t. Staged lifestyle photography seems to be the last thing fans want in a social platform, because people don’t want to feel that they are being advertised to. They want to feel like you are a part of their culture and speaking their language. In a way, Instagram is a very, very popular language. By Instagraming the photo, you are taking that necessary step away from being glossy and obvious about your social advertising techniques.

#5 It’s available. You don’t have to train anyone to use it. 

Instagram is free and every employee probably has the app installed on their phone. Host employee competitions, guest competitions, or pass the Iphone around at guest events to document the experience. If you don’t have a smart phone, make the investment already. You should have a good cell phone by now anyway.


#6 It’s another opportunity to engage. And right now, engagement is king.

Instagram boasts 30 million plus Registered Users and 5 million plus Photos Uploaded Per Day. Everyday there are people posting photos relevant to your city and in some cases your hotel. Each photo is an opportunity to engage with individuals. Like a photo, comment on a pretty picture, you’ll be surprised to find users far more willing to interact with you. On Instagram you aren’t disrupting a conversation. Instead, you’re paying a compliment. Users might react negatively if a big brand chimes in on a conversation they’re having with their friend on Twitter, but users don’t generally mind if a brand tells them that they took a pretty photo. Dollars to donuts they’ll be flattered you noticed and follow you back.

#7 It’s inspiring conversation about travel. 

Instagram adds an exciting new element to travel, because you don’t have to be a professional photographer to snap a photo that you’re going to be happy with. Every tourist is now a photo-tourist. They’re taking pictures of your property. They’re taking pictures of the destination. And their hashtagging the heck out of them. And because these photos have trendy, cool filters, these photos are going to paint your destination or property in a trendy and cool light. Instagram does to travel photography pretty much everything you want it to do. It inspires travel.

Thomas McDermott is the Social Media Manager at Tambourine.

About Tambourine: Tambourine is an ROI-obsessed marketing agency driving demand, revenue and brand awareness for travel and leisure clients since 1986. The Company creates inspiring digital experiences and engaging campaigns that produce measurable results. Based in South Florida and New York City, Tambourine recently received Gold and Platinum Adrian and Magellan awards, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competitions, representing this year’s top marketing campaigns from across the global hospitality industry.

We are the instrument many of the world’s most advanced marketers use to create a steady beat of traffic and revenue growth. We provide a 360º integrated marketing program that delivers predictable ROI and a sustainable sales and marketing rhythm for your brand.

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