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Social media marketing for hotels is an area that has not been fully exploited.
The impact of social media on businesses and industry has been huge; very few industries have remained unaffected by the expansion of technology and the implications that it brings for not only operations, but also for marketing.
In fact, marketing for virtually all niches is heavily led by content and social media marketing, meaning that establishing your business on Instagram is a must-do. That said, one of the industries most impacted by social media is the travel and hospitality industry.
Travel and hospitality is one of those things that is best experienced in a visual way; if you can get your audience to feel your property and imagine themselves there, they’re more likely to book their trip and include you as a part of it.
It’s more important than ever to show users not only what your hotel looks like on the outside and what amenities it offers, but also explore it in the way of an experience that people don’t want to miss out on.
There are so many different things that you can feature to make your hotel look like the next must-visit destination on anyone’s travel to-do list. That said, there’s still a lot of competition in travel and hospitality, which is why you have to find ways to set yourself apart.
You have to use your Instagram account as a one-stop shop for everything a traveler wants. This includes practical information, ideas about what to do, nearby surroundings, contact information, and much more.
To make your Instagram content creation more manageable and exciting, we’ve put together this article to bring you 19 awesome tips and tricks that will take your hotel’s Instagram and/or Facebook to new heights.
We’ll also discuss what it takes to attract a millennial through hotel marketing on Instagram, considering they have some of the most spending power of any age group and love to travel.
Let’s get started on the tips on social media marketing for hotels!
Social Media Marketing for Hotels: 19 Post Ideas and Tips
Before we dive into these 19 outstanding content ideas and tips, we want to highlight one of the ultimate rules for hospitality marketing on Instagram and other social networks:
Don’t sell physical appearance, sell personality.
There are over 700,000 hotels on a global scale. That means that you are fighting for business against many other entities, and there is no shortage of astoundingly beautiful properties with incredible, once-in-a-lifetime views.
Ultimately, your target customer has options. There are a variety of factors that play into a final decision on where to stay while traveling, but one of the key things you have to do is set your property apart through personality.
You can still highlight the tremendous physical beauty of your hotel, but don’t focus on that alone— you have to have a personality at your property that provides energy to your guests and also allows them to experience something incredible.
Focus on showing your audience what they can experience while they stay at your property. Travelers want to make memories and they want to stay at places that can meet their needs while also providing them something unique.
There are plenty of ways that you can focus on the personality of your hotel while showcasing its appearance as well, and we’re going to explore 19 of the best ways to boost your hotel marketing on Instagram.
1. Meet the Needs of Modern Travelers
One of the most important things you should do when considering your Instagram and Facebook marketing strategy is to identify the needs of your target audience. When people travel, they have different amenities they look for in a property.
One of the biggest booms these days is to travel and work remotely; the ability to work from any location around the world is a draw for many in terms of traveling these days. Not only do they want a place they can enjoy, they also need a place to work.
Consider some of the different things your travelers may need:
- Lounge area
- Bars and restaurants
- In-room amenities
- Power hookups and outlets
- On-site parking
- Hair styling tools
- Luggage storage
- Late checkout
- And more
These are just a few of the standout features that may set your hotel apart from others. You should feature all that you can in creative ways so that your audience can view the different things you are able to offer them during their stay.
You’ll be more likely to attract the type of guest that will enjoy your property and even recommend it to their friends and family, or return as a repeat guest.
2. Do Some Good Old Fashioned Bragging
It doesn’t hurt to show off your property and be less than modest when it comes to any accolades or special acknowledgements that you’ve achieved.
Got a high rating on trip advisor? Won any awards for being the best in your area? Featured in any publications or travel shows? Have one of the best michelin restaurants on property?
You should use this clout to help your audience see the value in your property and draw them to what your hotel has that others don’t. It’s always nice for people to see that you’ve worked on building a strong reputation and that you take pride in your property.
In addition, work to build out your recommendations so that you can feature them on your profile; you don’t have to post them as in-feed posts, but you can highlight them in your Instagram stories and create a set of them in your story highlights so that people can see what great things other guests had to say about your property.
3. Create a Unified Aesthetic
Instagram is a visual platform, so you’ve got to design content that sticks to one unified aesthetic that not only looks great but also represents your brand. Just like your hotel has a color scheme, you should find your color scheme and post aesthetic for Instagram and stick to it.
For example, if you look at @riuhotels you’ll see beautiful images of blue and creams, representing their many beachfront properties. They also have Instagram story highlight covers that are aligned with one design aesthetic.
If you want to see a great use of multi-tile photos, you can check out @hotelxcaretmexico; they use three of their images to break up incredible panoramic views of the area. They also use complementing borders that brand their images and make them look like a cohesive unit.
All in all, there’s no right or wrong here, but you’ve got to choose an aesthetic that defines your brand and looks professional. You can check out apps like Canva to help you get some ideas and also create some templates for Instagram stories and album covers, as well as for regular content feed as well.
Finally, you may want to choose one particular editing style or filter that you use on all your photos; this also helps give a consistent and unifying look to your content.
4. Think Beyond the Rooms
This is in line with our idea of really showcasing your hotel’s personality, and that, of course, goes beyond showing your potential guests what they can expect in your most beautiful rooms. You’ve got to get creative and show more than just the room.
Hotels that are pros at doing this include virtually every Las Vegas hotel; with giant properties that offer much more than just luxurious rooms, they feature it all.
@wynnlasvegas in particular knows how to show off their luxury resort and experiences; they have one of the most interesting focal points just next to their casino floor, and that is a curving escalator; there are less than 100 of these escalators in the world.
This escalator descends into a beautiful and uniquely designed restaurant, one of which Wynn is happy to emphasize as a resort-favorite photo spot. This is a great way to not only show guests what’s awesome about your property but also prompt engagement on your posts.
Their caption reads at the end: what’s your favorite photo spot? Don’t forget to include calls-to-action in your captions so that your viewers and followers will feel inclined to participate, boosting your engagement levels.
Other things you can focus on are restaurants and food options, since people love to try out local eats when traveling. Show your guests what they want to see— think about why they’re booking at your property in the first place, and that can inform your content offerings.
5. Offer Activity Guides
It’s highly unlikely that your guests are visiting your hotel just to sit in the room and stare at the wall, no matter how beautiful it is. Even if you’re an all-inclusive resort, people want to see activity options and what else there is to do around the destination.
Think about offering local guides through your content— use your employees or social media personnel to offer video guides of the local area, post live content, or even offer a loyal guest the opportunity to take over your Instagram stories for the day.
You can think about what’s going on in the surrounding area, including:
- Shows and events directly at the property
- Events happening in the area
- Farmers markets or bazaars
- Hot tourist locations
- Tours that guests can take (directly through your hotel or with partner companies)
- Concerts or sporting events
- Landmarks or natural parks
These are just some of the things you can explore in your Instagram content. It also shows that your hotel cares about the community, is knowledgeable about what happens around town, and also takes an active role in giving guests the info that they need.
Hashtags are key in any Instagram content strategy, and it’s no different for hotels. You’ve got to have a solid hashtag approach that helps to get your content seen by more people and create visibility for your profile.
There are a few ways that you can do this, and we’re going to tell you about our favorite 2 things to bump up your hashtag game
Use a branded hashtag
When you create a hashtag that is specific to your brand, you can use this in a number of ways. You can post it on your Instagram content to create a distinct feed of photos that users can discover; that way, when people are looking to see what your hotel is all about, you have a stronger presence on Instagram.
You’ll also have a plethora of photos and videos that they can view, coming across your content in multiple areas of Instagram, which helps your overall reputation.
Furthermore, you can create marketing materials or prompts around your property to encourage guests to use your hashtag when they post on Instagram. Guests may just make up their own, but when you tell them your official branded hashtag, they’ll most likely use it.
This not only boosts your visibility but creates a go-to section of user-generated content in your hotel’s hashtag feed. This adds more content that users can see when they search your property.
Going back to @wynnlasvegas, they use the same name, #wynnlasvegas as a hashtag; if you search this hashtag, you’ll see 484,000 posts that have been uploaded using that hashtag! Awesome.
You can then feature this content and actively participate with your community, which builds stronger bonds and shows the human side of your hotel.
Use a Hashtag Generator Tool
Aside from creating a branded hashtag, it can be tough to identify which hashtags are performing well in hotel marketing and which tags users follow; how do you know which ones will get your content seen?
Using a hashtag generator for Instagram can allow you to find out key details and metrics about hashtags, including how many posts have been uploaded with this tag. You can then make strategic decisions about which hashtags you use.
For example, if your hotel is located in New Orleans, but you simply use the hashtag #neworleans, you may not be reaching the optimal audience. You could make your tag more specific, such as #visitneworleans, giving your content a better likelihood of reaching those wanting to travel to your destination.
7. Use a Video for Your Facebook Cover Photo
We’ve focused mostly on Instagram thus far, and most of the tips we’ve gone over for Instagram also apply to Facebook. There’s one tip that’s specifically for Facebook, however, that you should definitely be using.
When someone visits your Facebook profile, they only have a few seconds to take in your profile and see what you’re all about. You have one profile photo, as well as a cover photo, to help them do that.
Consider designing an awesome video for your Facebook cover photo to help give your visitors a moving visual of what your property is like. This is a great way to help them get the feel of your hotel and also keep them engaged.
Videos get more engagement on social media, so implementing video content is a must— using a video cover photo on Facebook is a prime way to do so. Alternatively, you can use a video as your profile photo and keep a still image that represents your brand as the cover photo.
8. Focus on the Details
When we think about hotel photography, we typically think of larger images that show an expansive view of what the hotel, rooms, or property looks like, but we don’t tend to focus in on the details.
This is something that you can do to set your property apart and show some smaller things that make your hotel unique in comparison to other ones in your market.
So, how can you take high-quality, detailed images for your hotel marketing? We’ve got a simple approach for you.
First, choose a room or area of your hotel that you want to photograph. Look at it first from a wide perspective, and then choose an area that you want to “zoom in” on. Once you’ve chosen the area, look closer.
There is always beauty in the details and finding those exquisite, small moments can help people visualize themselves there having the experience as well.
Take The Williamsburg Hotel in NYC for instance— they have some incredible long shots, but they’ve also got some beautiful close-ups, including a sweet little pup walking alongside a teal wall with beautiful floor patterns, or a beautiful tea time with a 3-tiered meal tray.
These are the types of moments that you can zoom in on to highlight the attention to detail that your hotel offers and show guests that you really do care about every moment of their stay.
9. Be Weird and Unique
Every hotel should have it’s own unique personality, and you should be proud of that and willing to show your personality through your Instagram. People love hotels with character, so go all out in showing it via Instagram.
This is especially true if you know your target audience is composed of those travelers that want something a bit different than what’s on the regular beaten path. You can show this through different hotel themes, interesting decor, architecture, or even your fun and quirky staff.
People love eccentric hotels, especially depending on the destination— don’t feel like you have to fit into a perfectly-wrapped box to be successful with your hotel marketing strategy.
10. Use Ads Effectively
If you want to get your content out to more people through sponsored posts and Facebook ads, go for it. You should keep in mind a few key points when designing and selecting content for your ads.
Choose simple and eye-catching images or videos that allow viewers to understand what your property is about and want to see more. The idea is that the ad prompts them to check out your page, follow you, engage with your content, and perhaps convert to a guest.
Write ad copy that also engages users and lets them know why they’re seeing the ad and why they should care. With the ability to now feature videos or carousel posts in ad content, you have a lot of possibilities here.
Don’t forget to include calls-to-action so that your ads will deliver results. You may even want to offer special discounts or deals for those that decide to book through your social media ads.
11. Partner with Related Brand and Businesses
There are plenty of third-party travel apps and companies out there that are also looking for awesome content for their social media efforts; find those opportunities and reach out. It’s not uncommon for hotels and platforms to create partnerships, offering discounts or features on their page.
When working with other brands or business partners, you’ll have to ensure that you come to a partnership that is mutually beneficial, but many users on social media look to companies like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Agoda, and many more to help them with their vacation planning.
These big companies can help to drive a lot of traffic your way and also boost your reputation through being featured. These are some of the bigger partners, but you could keep things local, too.
Look for local Instagram accounts that may consider doing a feature on your property; this can be events that are going to take place in the area, restaurants or bars, or perhaps even local businesses.
You can then feature their account in your content as well, showing that you are connected in your local area and also are knowledgeable about what else is in your hotel’s community.
12. Invite Influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the big highlights of Instagram, and if you can get travel influencers to visit your property, you may be able to leverage a huge following to gain publicity for your niche.
Travel influencers like Nomadic Matt, Jennifer Tuffen, The Blonde Abroad, and many more may just be the perfect influencer to help you get your hotel seen by more people.
There are plenty of influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, or even millions, but you can choose ones with less if they’ve got good engagement levels and top-quality content.
Bonus points for influencers that have a local following or reach many people that are in your target audience. You can then contact them and perhaps you can come to an agreement about how they’ll feature your property and what type of compensation they’ll receive.
If you can find an influencer that will get your content seen by the right people, you may just find your property sold out before you know it. Influencers hold a lot of weight on Instagram, especially in the travel community.
13. Invite Locals
You may think that it’s not beneficial to invite locals to your hotel, especially if you have hardly any locals that end up staying. Keep in mind, though, that locals may need a hotel, especially depending on the location of your property and the makeup of the city.
For instance, if someone lives in Los Angeles county, it’s likely that at some point they may want to find a hotel in DTLA, or even in Santa Monica or Malibu. Leverage your city and surrounding areas to attract locals.
In addition, you should consider that locals often travel to hotels if they’re looking for a fun bar, a restaurant, events held there, or even if they want to host their wedding or other public events they’re putting on.
Locals will also recommend hotels and activities to people that are interested in visiting their city, so there is a real chance to build up your reviews and get some new recommendations. After all, what hotel doesn’t want to say, “even the locals love coming here!?”
14. Create a Seamless and Informative Bio
You want your bio to be a one-stop shop for relevant information about your hotel; people should know who you are after reading or viewing your bio. Include a clickable link that directs your viewers to relevant external sites.
Also include information that makes your property unique or distinguished; if you have accolades, list them. If your hotel is dog friendly, list it.
If there’s something that sets your property apart and people should know it the second they set eyes on your IG, put it in your bio.
Don’t forget to create a professional profile image as well that sets a clear brand image for your hotel.
15. Use Instagram Stories and Story Highlights
You should be actively posting on Instagram stories so that you have a noticeable presence on Instagram that engages your audience; you can also then use your previously-posted stories to create albums that you pin to your profile.
You can categorize these albums by topic, for instance:
- Pool daze
- Activity guide
- And more
You can design the proper albums that offer the most information to your visitors; you could also feature properties that you have in different locations around the globe.
Create album covers that align with your brand (see @selina or @theritzlondon for inspo).
16. Include as Much Information as Possible in Posts
You only have a short time to get the attention of your audience, so you want to include as much information as you can in your social media posts.
You can use the image to highlight your property or different amenities or possibilities while including captions that give more detail about things in general.
For instance, @palmshotelmiami always uses “national days” to feature their guests, employees, or any other fun things about their property in connection with celebration.
Maybe it’s #nationalsmileday and they feature a guest as well as the beautiful scenery.
#nationalhamburgerday? Take a minute to feature your incredible kitchen and chefs so that guests know all of the things you offer them.
Perhaps it’s mother’s day and they participate in wishing mothers the day they deserve while also plugging their incredible spa services.
You want to give as much information about possible services and amenities while featuring your content!
17. Highlight the Surrounding Area
Hotels that are in or around popular tourist spots can definitely leverage this to their advantage.
Location is a key determiner when people are booking hotels, so make sure you highlight the benefits of your hotel’s location.
If you are truly located in a prime spot, awesome. Even if you aren’t, find ways to spin it so that you can offer your guests either (1) awesome alternatives that make your hotel attractive to the main tourist drag, or (2) simple and seamless ways to get to the action with quick transportation options.
You can also give guests a birds-eye view of the area that your hotel is in so that they’ll be interested not just in your property but all of the stuff that’s around it.
18. Feature the Gift Shop
While the gift shop isn’t the first thing people think about when they consider which hotel to stay at, if you have a unique set of offerings or souvenirs at your gift shop, you can show off what you have to offer.
Even if you have a standard gift shop, give your viewers a sneak peek about what kind of stuff you sell there and what they can expect to find.
That will not only offer an inside look at one of your hotel services but it will get people thinking about what cool stuff they want to bring home with them.
19. Don’t Try to Fit a Particular Mold
If your hotel isn’t that beachfront property that showcases people walking around laughing and sipping margaritas, don’t worry!
It doesn’t have to be. While it is a common image that people have of “fun” hotels, there is so much more out there. Embrace your particular niche and property.
Remember, know your guests and their needs— this is going to be the primary key to developing an effective social media marketing strategy.
Use your property and your hotel personality to its advantage and take photos that complement it. This also goes along with finding the right aesthetic and showing off your weird side.
A Note about Instagram Marketing for Millenials
Hopefully you’ve got some new, fresh ideas on how to spice up your hotel’s Instagram or Facebook marketing strategy.
Always be willing to try new things and keep taking a look at your Instagram insights to see how your content performs.
One final thing— millennials are probably going to find their way to your target audience, if they haven’t already.
Millennials are the top traveling age group today, they’re some of the most prominent Instagram users, and they have a lot of spending power.
Millennials want to feel like they are a part of the “in crowd;” they want to show off luxury experiences on their Instagram and create content that makes their lives look incredible and interesting.
You don’t have to totally revamp your hotel to meet this millennial preference, but including some of this marketing strategy and showcasing things that millennials might be a fan of will help your hotel’s Instagram and Facebook efforts go far.
Developing a solid Instagram and Facebook presence for your hotel is vital; most hotel bookings are done online these days, so focus your energy where it matters.
Integrate the two so that you have a strong presence on both and show your potential guests why missing a stay at your property would be a huge mistake!
As you can see, social media marketing for hotels can be the boost you need to get grow your business effectively.