If you’re not an active Instagram user, you may be wondering what the fuss is all about. You know that Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos but why is it important to your hotel or restaurant? When you consider that Instagram’s social community includes over a billion users globally and is one of the most effective in engaging with customers, it’s hard to ignore this fast-growing social media channel. So, why should Hotels and Restaurants be utilizing Instagram in their marketing efforts?
1. Your Guests Are There - Instagram is a great way to reach your audience where they are - 500 million users log into Instagram daily. In the US, usage is expected to grow to over 100 million by the end of 2018 and projected to reach 130 million by 2022. In addition, 80% of users follow at least one business on Instagram. Your future guests are on Instagram and using the social network to research businesses they want to connect with. Instagram is a great way to not only promote your offerings, but also engage with current and future guests.
2. It’s Gaining Popularity Rapidly – Instagram is growing fast and as mentioned previously, isn’t expected to stop any time soon. Instagram is changing the way users travel and purchase goods and services and will continue to change as the platform grows. 76% of travelers (97% of millennials) post photos of their trips to social media, and 60% of users discover products and services on Instagram. As Instagram is becoming more popular, the platform design is changing to make it easier for consumers to experience their entire purchase journey completely within the app. Through the use of new “Book” or “Reserve” action buttons, people can now book a hotel room or make a restaurant reservation without having to leave Instagram.
3. Guest Engagement - Instagram engagement - what does that mean? It refers to a person’s degree of social involvement or activities as defined by “Likes”, “Comments”, clicking videos/stories, etc. on a post. Engagement is any interaction with content. Instagram Engagement is the highest for all social media platforms at 2.2% interaction rate. While that may not seem significant, compare that to Facebook with a .22% interaction rate. The more engagement guests have with your Instagram profiles and posts, the more likely they would be to choose your property for a future stay or meal.
4. Ideal Platform for Hotels and Restaurants – Instagram is the ideal platform for Hotels and Restaurants because it allows you to showcase the uniqueness of your properties through beautiful visuals. You can show future guests what it is like to stay at your hotel -- by highlighting your staff and amenities and sharing videos of special events. In addition, Instagram is the perfect channel to showcase User-Generated Content (UGC). UCG refers to content that guests share about your property that you can then re-share (with permission) on your hotel or restaurant Instagram profile. This allows potential bookers to see what the guest experience is like at your property.
5. A Competitive Edge – Your competition is using Instagram to their advantage so why aren’t you? Airbnb is very active on Instagram and is using it well. Airbnb thrives by utilizing User-Generated Content. Millions of people are posting their Airbnb stays and experiences thus giving Airbnb ample UGC. Their profile is filled with beautiful envy-invoking photos that entice travelers to want to stay at their locations. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this platform to show the uniqueness of your property and its services?
6. A Partner Can Help - Hiring an in-house social media specialist or doing social media on your own is not your only option. Many hotels choose to outsource their social media to a partner such as iResponze to create and implement a crafted strategy specific to their hotel. We collaborate with you to create custom content, post it on social media and promote it with paid ads if you desire. This frees up your hotel staff’s time, so they can focus on what they do best – build lasting relationships with guests. We are experienced hospitality professionals and would consider it a privilege to be a trusted extension of your team. Check out our plans or contact us to learn more.
See the latest statistics on Instagram and user engagement below. Download PDF.
For more information on this topic, watch our webinar Six Reasons Hotels & Restaurants Should Use Instagram.