Hotel Marketing: What do Instagram’s new features mean for advertising?

It is no secret that social media has become a major tool for hotel-targeted marketing because it gives hotels/ venues the opportunity to capture the attention of any potential clients.

It is also known that 1 out of 5 minutes spent online is on Facebook or Instagram so the chances of potential customers seeing your feed are higher on these two social media networks than any others. Hoteliers can benefit from the power Instagram gives them as the first two stages of travel consist of the dreaming phase and the planning phase.

MDG Advertising have found that social media is the main platform that begins the dreaming stage of the travel, with 42% of consumers using it for travel inspiration.

So what could you, as a hotel, do if you want to benefit from the dreaming phase of travel and make customers interested in booking your hotel?

Simple. Just post on your social media channels photos of your hotel, your hotel’s location and any other local attractions that would make the customers even more interested in your business. Make sure to always have content ready for posting as this allows you to create more engagement from your audience.

Likewise, do not forget to put a direct link to your hotel’s website on your Instagram description box as this will help increase direct booking sales. Track it as well using trackable links with UTM codes via Google Analytics.

Why Instagram?

Instagram is the fastest growing social media site worldwide. It now has over one billion users and it has created various passionate communities. A popular community revolves around travel: travel couples, travel friends, travel girls, travel men, luxury travel, etc. From amazing beach views to breath-taking snowy mountains, Instagram has visual content provided by travellers/ content creators all over the world, every season of the year.

Instagram captions are short, attention-grabbing and provide instant gratifications which help Instagram influencers or content creators to promote your hotel/ venue to their loyal and engaged followers who are there to read their opinions and listen to their recommendations.

The Instagram Industry Report states how 90% of the top brands worldwide have a presence on Instagram. Instagram is a great fit for hotel and hospitality businesses seeking a way to advertise more organically, with the help of Instagram influencers.

There is good news for hoteliers as Instagram seems to be a popular platform for them with Marriott Hotels’ Instagram page(@marriotthotels) having 361,000 followers, Hilton Hotels (@hiltonhotels) 266,000 followers or The Savoy London(@thesavoylondon) 92,300 followers. These three hotels are just an example of hotels that have proved to have an amazing online presence.

What are Instagram’s new features and what do they mean?

  1. 1. It helps you advertise your hotel or venue

If you have been using Instagram for some time now, you might know about the Business profiles having the action buttons “Call”, “Email”, and “Get directions”. However, what Instagram decided to add as some new action buttons are “Book”, “Get Tickets”, “Reserve” and “Start Order”.

You could see how beneficial these new action buttons are for your business if you are a hotelier. It allows you to give the customer the option of simply booking a trip with you, on their favourite social media channel by only clicking a button.

  1. 2. DMs changed (that’s Direct Message’s to you and me)

The pending folder no longer exists which makes it easier for businesses to see their messages directly in the inbox folder. Also, there is a new method that can make it easier for you to follow up with different enquiries- the star marker. By simply clicking the star button, it will become easier to find particular messages or conversations.

  1. 3. A new algorithm

Instagram came up with a new algorithm which is not purely based on chronological order anymore. Instagram wants you to see the posts you care about first, and the rest of them will follow. The new algorithm shows the posts based on three things: the possibility you would be interested in the content, the relationship you have with the person posting and lastly, timeliness of the post.

This means that if a hotel only posts high-quality visual content that will surely seem attractive to Instagram users, this new feature may be highly beneficial.

Who said there are only young people on Instagram?

Do not assume you cannot reach your target audience by posting on platforms like Instagram. Even though the majority of the app’s users are teenagers and young adults, Instagram is growing its popularity among older users as well, allowing you to reach a wider audience.

Now that you know about the new features…

There are certain things to keep in mind while using Instagram as a way of promoting your hotel or venue. Likewise, you want to make the best out of these features, right?

Firstly, use Instagram stories to highlight your hotel’s facilities or surroundings. For example, your hotel’s restaurant may look better on a Friday night when there is a live band playing than on a Sunday morning when it is all quiet. Make sure to capture the ambience you want people to see.

Secondly, follow as many similar accounts as possible as this will grow your social media presence in no time. Make sure to use hashtags as they will help your profile and posts be seen in the Tags section as well as making easier for similar accounts to find your posts. You can read more on How to Use Hashtags like a Pro here.


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