instagramInstagram has quickly grown to be a powerful marketing tool for all types of businesses. Its user base has grown exponentially, and now that Facebook has acquired it, the potential for its use has grown even more.

Hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry are uniquely positioned to use Instagram to market themselves because of the visual and creative nature of the medium. Not sure where to get started? Here are a few ideas for using Instagram to market your hotel:

Share Photos of the Rooms and Amenities

Obviously, the first place to start is to share stunning photos of your hotel and its amenities. Showcase the rooms and suites. Highlight the amenities such as the fitness room and swimming pool. Feature the mouth-watering dishes from your hotel restaurant. Catch the staff in action providing exceptional service for your guests.

The key is to take and share only the very best photos. Be creative and take a unique vantage point that will not only pique your followers’ interest but will also show off your hotel’s best features and make them want to visit.

Create a Virtual Tour

Let’s face it: Guests don’t come to your hotel because they want to stay at your hotel, they come to your hotel because it’s the best one in the region that they want to visit. Show them why they want to come spend a while in your town by creating a virtual tour. Take photos of the landmarks and notable sights in your city and region. If you are located in a big city, create a tour of the “hidden” side of your city — sights and features that most don’t know about.

As always, your focus should also be on creating beautiful pictures that will capture your followers’ attention. Though they may look like snapshots, any photos you share should be taken with the care of a professional.

Create a Virtual Treasure Hunt

Make your guests’ stay at your hotel a fun one by creating a virtual treasure hunt including your hotel and the surrounding area. Leave clues that will take them past little-known parts of the city or that will highlight features of your hotel. Create clues that will be both easy and hard to appeal to players of all ages and all abilities.

Make it fun and competitive by offering an array of prizes. Just for fun, a “prize” could be a guestbook where everyone that completes an easy hunt can sign their name and leave a note. A more competitive prize could be something like a free meal at your restaurant or a free night in your hotel to someone who completes a harder trail.

Hold a Contest

You don’t have to take all the photos on your Instagram account. Hold a contest and ask your visitors to share their best photos of your hotel, their stay at your hotel, or their trip in the surrounding area. Include creative prompts to get the best photos possible. Offer a really great prize to generate a lot of buzz and to get a lot of entries.

The more entries you get, the more photos you’ll have for future marketing endeavors, and the more exposure you are likely to generate for your brand.

Instagram is a great way to market your hotel, and it offers a lot of creative possibilities. These are just a few ways you can get started with the network to market your hotel. Think outside the box, and the sky’s the limit for other marketing possibilities!

How do you use Instagram to market your hotel? Share your tips in the comments!

This post was contributed by Chloe Trogden. Chloe runs www.collegegrant.net, which serves as an up-to-date financial aid guide for thousands of people all over the world. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and playing her guitar.

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