Instagram’s meteoric rise to the very top of the social media ladder has made it one of the most powerful marketing platforms in today’s times. More and more businesses from a diverse array of niches are using the platform to connect to their target audiences, and many of them belong to the hospitality sector.
In this post, we’re going to give you some amazing tips on how you can promote your hospitality business on Instagram. So, if you own a hotel or a restaurant, read on.
Why use Instagram to promote your hospitality business?
If you’re serious about running a business and being successful, you simply can’t ignore the potential that Instagram has to offer. Many businesses these days are dedicating a lot of time, money, and effort towards formulating and executing Instagram marketing strategies, and that isn’t really surprising, especially if you consider the number of people who use Instagram.
As of now, Instagram is used by more than a billion people each month and on an average, a user spends 53 minutes on the platform every day. Instagram is also unique in terms of how it allows users to publish their content. Unlike other platforms where text plays an important role, Instagram is mostly about photos – and we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Instagram also offers businesses a diverse array of features that they can use to spice up their posts and connect to their audiences in several exciting ways. In recent years, the addition of features such as IGTV, Live Video, and Stories has also made video-sharing easier. So, it’s clear that Instagram has numerous tools that hospitality businesses can use for promotional purposes. But what are the things that you need to do to take maximum advantage of those features? Read on to find out.
Why use Instagram to promote your hospitality business?
The first tip is not really about promoting your business, but more about knowing who you should ideally promote it to. After all, you wouldn’t want to promote the business to people who aren’t very interested in what you have to offer.
Know your target audience: For example, if you own a pub with a casual ambiance that offers live music to visitors, you wouldn’t want to promote it to people who are more into places with formal and serious vibes. Similarly, if you own a hotel that caters mostly to backpackers traveling on a budget, you can’t expect any engagement from people who prefer upscale lodging facilities. But what can you do to ensure that word about your business spreads to the people who are likely to be takers?
The answer lies in hashtags. Instagram users rely a lot on hashtags to find what they’re looking for and to find out what your target audience is looking for, you should use a hashtag research tool. These research tools can give you great insights into the types of hashtags you should be including across all your posts and the ones you should be avoiding.
Keep all your posts in sync with your brand: Before you take to Instagram to promote your business, your brand identity should be well-established. Your logo along with the captions that you include should clearly reflect what your brand stands for. So if you still haven’t worked out your brand identity, we’d recommend more work on that front before you make any moves on Instagram.
However, if you’ve already established your brand identity, you should ensure that all your posts on Instagram are in sync with it. By including elements of your brand across all your posts, you’ll maintain a connect not just with your target audience but also between your posts. In time, this will only go on to strengthen your brand and make it more memorable for the consumers.
Unless you put in the work to make your brand memorable, you can’t expect any good to come out of your promotional activities on Instagram. And don’t worry! You don’t always need to go down the elaborate route. Sometimes, something as simple as using the same filter for all your published photos can do the trick. Develop consistency: By now, this point is pretty cliche. But surprisingly, even though it has been mentioned across hundreds and thousands of blog posts and articles, many businesses don’t take it seriously.
Posting consistently will result in a gradual increase in the number of people following your business on Instagram. Inconsistency equals disruption and no modern-day consumer has any respect for it. Businesses that haven’t put consistency at the forefront of their marketing strategy on Insta have fallen to the wayside and quite obviously, you wouldn’t want to meet the same fate.
The easiest way to go about developing consistency is to maintain a schedule for all your posts. Post twice daily, or post once every second day – the point of this consistent posting exercise is to create certain expectations in the minds of your target audience and then live up to them. Ultimately, through your real-world services, you’ll have to exceed those expectations, and only then would all your Instagram marketing efforts pay dividends.
Share what you’ve got to offer with the world: Even though Instagram has seen significant additions in terms of its features, at its core, it’s still a photo-sharing app. Why not upload photos of your establishment and show your target audience what you’ve got?
You could upload photos of the best recipes that have been cooked in your kitchens or show your audience the type of interiors you’ve got. If you own a place with a nice view, don’t be afraid to experiment with your camera to get some photos that are sure to wow your target audience.
Even if you don’t own a high-end DSLR camera, don’t worry. Your smartphone camera’s good enough to do the job, as long as you make sure that the photos you upload aren’t blurry . You could also record short interviews with your customers and upload those videos. Doing this will allow your target audience on Instagram to see what your customers have to say about your business.
Respond to queries and comments: You may be uploading high-quality images and videos of your business establishment consistently, but all that effort is destined to go in vain if you don’t engage with your followers.
Take time to go through all the things that your existing customers and prospective customers have to say and be prompt in responding to them. If it’s a comment that praises your efforts, be grateful. If it’s something critical, take note and promise an improvement. If it’s a query, respond to it meaningfully so that the answer doesn’t leave room for any more doubts.
Remember, your followers will be quite observant of how you engage with others on your social media feeds. If they see that you leave queries unanswered or don’t express any gratitude towards people when they praise you, they’ll be disenchanted with your business rapidly.
Add value: If you’re running a hotel in a scenic location with plenty of places for people to explore in the vicinity, you’d be making a mistake if you make all your posts hotel-oriented. Once every now and then, you can post about those places and give away unique information that make your followers compelled to visit your business for real.
You could also make short tutorial videos. For example, if you own a restaurant that’s perfected a particular recipe, why not create a video on how your followers can make that at home? In terms of videos, ‘how to’ tutorials are incredibly popular on not just Instagram, but across every other social media platform where videos can be shared.
Adding value in the form of informative videos will help your business stand out from the rest of the crowd. It will also convey a very important message to your audience – that you aren’t just a business that wants to make money, but one that truly wants to serve its audience.
Get in touch with travel vloggers: Travel vlogging is a big thing in today’s times and many travel vloggers have millions of followers across their social media channels. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with them and ask them to visit your business and make a video about it.
Typically, these vloggers are offered free services by hotels and restaurants and in return, they create and publish a detailed vlog about them. As a reputed travel vlogger would have a pretty big following, taking this route will result in your business getting noticed by an audience that may be totally unaware of its existence.
Of course, you may be met with rejection initially, but don’t let that get you down. Keep trying and if needed, keep things simple by getting in touch with a vlogger who lives near the business location.
So, now that you know what you need to do to promote your hospitality business on Instagram, go ahead and start promoting! There’s no time better than now to get things going on Instagram!