Social media is here to stay, and its influence on hotels’ marketing strategies can no longer be discounted. These days, in order to market hotels, knowledge of platforms such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter are practically mandatory.

Instagram, which enables users to share visuals such as photos and graphics, has emerged as one of the most useful social media platforms for the marketing of hospitality businesses. While Facebook and Twitter enable hotels to connect with the community, the oft-overlooked Instagram is now showing that it’s able to market hotels in unprecedented ways, over and above what the other platforms can offer.

Instagram lets users contribute their own visuals and post reviews, all of which can have some serious promotional value and also increase the online visibility of a hotel. It also enables hotels to reach more users, different types of users from those who come through search engines or other types of social media. Instagram fans are intensely aware of their friends’ reviews, comments and ratings, and to many of them these opinions are valued over and above those of the general public.

If you’re not yet convinced, here are some compelling reasons why your hotel needs Instagram, as well as some of the benefits of the new Instagram 6.0.

Visuals

Instagram is hands-down the most effective platform for the sharing of visuals. While Facebook and Twitter are inundated with text and links, Instagram offers the perfect way to showcase the visual aspects of the experience your hotel offers. The decisions of customers in the hospitality industry are heavily influenced by the sorts of visual representations they find online. Photos of beautiful rooms with stunning sunset views can make a hotel seem incredibly enticing to a potential customer.

Stay ahead of the curve

When many of your competitors are still stuck using only conventional websites, getting plugged in to Instagram enables your hotel to position itself as a trendy organization that is active in the community and willing to engage with its audience.

A picture is worth a thousand words

No matter how many rave reviews you garner online, nothing sells hotel reservations quite like beautiful pictures, especially if location is a big part of your hotel’s appeal.

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Don’t just post pictures of your hotel but try to present a holistic experience, including snaps of the surrounding city and choice eats for instance. You’re going to want to not only post your own pictures but also to encourage your customers to post theirs and share them on Instagram.

Snap your way to success

In order to achieve success on Instagram, give your users content to post by snapping away! Provide high quality pictures of your hotel that truly showcase the beauty of your design. Even better, take surprising or noteworthy pictures that have the potential to go viral. For instance, sharing photos of a celebrity at your hotel can be a great way to win new fans.

Free and easy to use

Instagram is free and so easy to use that your marketing team can become proficient in its use in a matter of hours. Conversely, the benefits your hotel can obtain from Instagram are huge, making it a worthwhile investment.

Instagram 6.0

CaptureIf you thought Instagram was useful, Instagram 6.0 has made posting eye-catching photos much easier. 6.0 offers enhanced editing capabilities, meaning that even without using Instagram’s filter effects you’ll be able to customize your photos to your liking. You can now manipulate lighting and exposure, contrast, brightness and shadows using 6.0’s slider.

All this makes it much easier for the layperson to produce stunning photos on Instagram. Your hotel’s marketing team should be able to come up with arresting pictures even without the help of a professional photographer.

Many hotels in the know are reaping the benefits of Instagram 6.0. For instance, the Instagram account of Pier One Sydney Harbour paints a dreamy picture of evenings spent gazing at the stunning harbor.

Apple users can download Instagram 6.0 from the Apple App Store, While Instagram 6.0 for Android is available at the Google Play Store.

This post was contributed by Michala Maly, a PR and Digital Media Analyst for established hotel brands like Hotel Lindrum. She loves all things about digital media and highly believes that the right communication is key to long-term business success.

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