How Can Travel And Tourism Businesses Increase Engagement On Instagram?
If there is one way through which you can virtually inspire and evoke your customers it is through photos and video. And, if there is one social platform that makes the best use of visual content, it is definitely Instagram.
Lucky for us, working in travel and tourism gives us a natural competitive edge when it comes to awesome content. Our target audience is also there ready and waiting for us to share their passions for adventure and relaxation on Instagram – more than 71% of users use Instagram while travelling and 74% of travellers get their travel ideas from social media.
Instagram’s algorithm orders the appearance of photos and videos in user’s feeds based on their actions, for example; the likelihood they’ll be interested, their relationship with the poster and the timeliness of the post. This focus on user experience, engagement and relevance means it’s evermore important to take a strategic approach to Instagram and deliver visual value in your posts.
Are you a travel and tourism business looking to leverage Instagram?
Here are some ideas to help you increase engagement on Instagram:
- Share eye-catching photos consistently
Evidently the key to success on Instagram is visually appealing content. Of course we all know this already but what does that mean exactly… ensure your images are high quality and always have great lighting – natural is preferable and go easy on the unrealistic filters. Try shooting from interesting angles to give perception and show and evoke emotion. Be consistent! It’s ok not to be posting constantly as long as your strategy is consistent and adds value to your audience. A few high quality, engaging posts per week that really resonate with your customers is far better than spamming 5 average images a day that won’t gain much traction and quickly become boring to viewers.
If you’re posting with value and people want to see your content they will engage. An amazing photo of your hotel’s pool or a visually emotive photo of a group having the time of their lives on your tour might prompt someone to make a reservation.
- Timing is everything
As eager as you might be to post that gorgeous photo you’re so proud of, think carefully about timing. Experiment with different days and times to see which gain most traction. In general the best times to post on Instagram are 8-9am, 2am and 5pm.
- Geotag your posts where relevant
Geotagging a post makes it appear on the location page with other posts tagged at the same location and are estimated to receive 50% more engagement. This is particularly useful if your business has a physical location and you’re using that location on your Facebook page.
- Leverage relevant and popular hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to find new followers and share your posts with more people, Posts with at least one hashtag have an average of 12.6% more engagement. Don’t be spammy though try 3-10 per post. They’re used to categorise and collect images into themes.Be specific and relevant in your tags to target and reach like-minded people.Using crazy popular hashtags might get you a few likes but with thousands of posts using them you’re unlikely to stand out to your desired audience. See our list of the most popular hashtags for the travel and tourism industry.
If you want to add some more hashtags to your post, you can comment on it afterwards and add a few more, but be careful not to look like you’re just fishing for followers.
Start a hashtag for your brand/business to encourage customers to share their experiences of your products and services, people love to see relatable content so show them real people loving your business; learn how to get people using your hashtags here.
- Promote your Instagram profile
For best success your digital marketing strategy needs to be integrated and multi-channel. No one medium can guarantee results. Make sure your Instagram strategy is aligned with your business objectives and other marketing activities.Promote your Instagram profile and hashtags on your website, Facebook and other social media platforms, your blog, in email marketing and offline too, to direct people to your channel, giving greater exposure to your posts from people who are already interested in you via other media.
- Leave and encourage comments
Activities on Instagram have a reciprocal culture. The more you comment on the posts of others the more they’ll come back to you.
It’s important to keep the 2-way engagement going by responding to comments and conversing. Keep track of your hashtags and brand mentions using a social media management tool to stay on top of it.When asking people to engage with you on your posts, don’t be generic and use ‘leave a comment below’… yawn! Ask a specific question, try “if you agree type…” or “tag your ultimate travel buddy that would do this with you”… encouraging followers to tag others also expands your reach and can help you grow your account.
If you’re getting likes and not comments. Here’s a handy tip: Click on the likes to see who they are and then in your comments @mention them and say “Tell me what you liked about my post. I’d love to know.”
- Show personality and tell stories
Social media is inherently personal. Prove your business is more than just a business and give it personality. Allow users to connect with you on an emotional level by telling your story. People are constantly being bombarded with adverts and sales pitches in every aspect of their lives, they don’t come to Instagram to be sold to they come to escape and be inspired and entertained.
- Use theming
The most successful Instagram accounts use themes in their posting. In doing this they maintain a highly engaged, loyal following that know what to expect from their posts and come to them for their regular dose of inspiration. Maybe you run an underwater camera hire business? Your theme should be consistent with your business and brand whilst delivering value; for example posting photos taken with your cameras to inspire or short video clips of people diving and snorkelling using your cameras to show emotion.
- Run contests and utilise user-generated content
Everyone loves freebies, right? Running competitions on Instagram, is a sure fire way of increasing engagement. Its also a great way to gather content to repost – for example running a photo or video contest will give you lots of awesome user-generated content to share on your profile don’t forget to give credit to the user and create a unique hashtag for your contest so you can track it.Get the terms of your contest right to increase your reach, engagement and followers – for example tell people they must follow you and remain following for a valid entry. Are you a travel agent or tour company? Run a giveaway for a trip for 2 and ask entrants to tag the person they would take with them in the comments, this in turn spreads awareness and helps you gain more followers and engagement.
- Extend your reach with paid Instagram advertising
Consider investing in paid advertising on Instagram to boost your reach and in turn engagement. With the right creative and targeting boosting your posts and running ads can help you increase brand awareness and gain new relevant and engaged followers.
Currently, Instagram has over 400 million users (5 million in Australia) and over 60% of them log in daily to their accounts. It’s clear to see that Instagram, when used tactically can reap rewards for your travel business, I hope these points have given you some #Inspo to improve your Instagram engagement.
Are you using Instagram to market your business? How do you keep your followers engaged?
Need help growing and managing your Instagram profile? Learn more about our social media management services here.