With its focus on beautiful and inspiring images, Instagram seems tailor-made for tourism, explaining why our industry has been able to leverage the platform so successfully to make money and create brand awareness.
To give you an idea of Instagram’s reach, Tourism Australia receives 100 million views a month, has 3.9 million followers and boasts 20% growth year-on-year. While no tourism company can afford to ignore Instagram, the medium is saturated, and it can be difficult to get noticed among the endless feeds of breathtaking photos.
These tips will help you captivate followers and compel them to act:
1. Be Consistent
Instagram marketing is about more than pretty pictures. To foster brand awareness, every image needs to convey your brand story. This is achieved through the mood created by the picture and the written short story that supports it.
To convey the right mood, you need to have a well-defined idea of what you’re trying to achieve. Are you targeting those who want to escape the rat race for romance and indulgence, or do you want to attract adventure-lovers and thrill seekers?
Images for the former should focus largely on atmosphere and intimacy, while the latter would include plenty of images of people engaged in adventure activities.
Use editing style and colour scheme to create consistency. For example, a splash of turquoise in each shot can be used to convey a tropical mood and unite disparate images.
2. Be Selective
Instagram’s algorithms are designed to promote posts that get the most interaction. This means only interesting and engaging posts will reach a lot of people, regardless of how many images you post every day.
It’s far better to upload one great image a day or even a few times a week than several mediocre ones every day. When you post too often, followers might start to see your posts as spam, cheapening your brand and causing people to unfollow you. GIFs and memes are best avoided to maintain an image of quality, except for the Stories feature where you can be more playful.
Consistency is also important when it comes to posting, so whether it's once a day, or a few times a week, work out what’s best for your brand and stick to this schedule.
3. Maximise Engagement
Featuring user-generated content (UGC) has become a prime marketing strategy on social media. Not only does it take the pressure of companies to constantly come up with fresh content, it’s a proven way to engage followers.
Instagram allows brands to repost content from users’ account, leading to increased interaction, comments and sharing. The value of UGC lies in its authenticity. People trust recommendations and content from real people more than companies, and this is particularly true for millennials and Generation Z.
You can foster engagement by asking for submission and running competitions. Just remember to message the author for permission and recognise them in your post story.
4. Use Hashtags
Your brand name hashtag is one of your prime marketing tools on Instagram, and you should have the same hashtag across all social media platforms.
You can expand your reach massively by researching what you target customers search for and by using a mix of specific and general tags. No more than
5 relevant hashtags are recommended for each post. The right hashtags will allow your posts to be seen by users who don’t follow you.
Branded hashtag campaigns are another perfect way to create awareness and foster engagement. Norwegian Cruise Line’s campaign #CruiseLikeANorwegian is an example of how well this can work. 20,000 people posted pictures using the tag, giving the company invaluable exposure for free.