Should hotels start investing in their Instagram profiles?

by Alisa Voitika , 20 November 2017

In January 2017, hospitality marketing platform SiteMinder created a survey to construct an impression about hotel budget allocations for the next year. 48% of hoteliers planned high investments in digital marketing. 44% — in social media strategy. In the sea of social media channels, is Instagram worth the investment?

With Airbnb ranking as the most visited accommodation website in the previous year, hotel professionals are putting effort into fighting the accommodation booking giant with the modern weapon at their disposition: personalised, exceptional hotel guest experience, communicated to the high value customers through social media channels.

Does a hotel need a social media profile?

Over 50% of travellers checking social media for travel tips (Nielsen). Facebook has 1.7 billion active monthly users, Twitter stands at 310 million, and Instagram gets over 400 million active users every day. It would be foolish not to use such exposure to the hotel’s advantage.

Although it is nearly impossible to track the correlation between the increasing number of Instagram followers and number of bookings, a solid “fanbase” creates a perception of a higher likelihood of other people purchasing and being satisfied with a product (in this case — an outstanding hotel experience).

Why Instagram?

2 million advertisers chose this social media platform for a reason. Instagram’s visual content drives engagement like no other place on the web, and is, perhaps, becoming the fastest developing digital platform for client acquisition.

Instagram’s existing feature allows to set up a business page, through which one can get access to stats related to the performance of posts. Hoteliers can increase engagement by reposting user generated content. They can create hashtags, find the clients posting about the hotel, answer comments and, eventually, build up a community of appreciators and former visitors. Creating memorable marketing material has never been so easy and effective!

Another great reason for hoteliers to become Instagram-savvy is influencers. Today, 82% hospitality brands work with influencers on Instagram. There is an influencer for every taste, so find one that aligns with the hotel’s marketing goals and a brand story. Influencers can be a powerful supplement to the traditional PR tactics.

Following the teasers for an upcoming restaurant booking Instagram feature, we hope for the same feature coming for digital savvy hoteliers. Instagram could potentially become a serious competitor for Booking.com, making the booking process as easy as seeing a picture on a friend’s feed, clicking on a hotel’s name and booking your stay through its Instagram profile.

While it is still not proven that engagement marketing strategy alone drives purchase decisions, Instagram is a resource that should not be overlooked. Quoting Seth Godin, “People don’t buy services. They buy relations, stories and magic”. Following Facebook and YouTube, this app is the most visited social media platform with an outstanding level of engagement, a platform for telling a brand’s story, and opportunities for businesses worth exploring.

How to have a GREAT Instagram profile?

Your hotel has an Instagram profile now. So what is next?

In my next post, I will share the profiles of the hotels who are “doing it right”. Their Instagram feeds are engaging, their content is memorable, their brand story shines through and the numbers of their followers are growing drastically.

If you have any questions or would like to collaborate, drop a line to Alisa at alisa.voitika@creativesupply.ch

Picture credit: © Le Bristol Paris