RMG Networks Blog

Instagram hotelsWith more than 130 million monthly active users, Instagram is a driving force in social media. The now-iconic square images and filters make everyone feel like they are a great photographer. These merits can be debated, but what can’t be is Instagram’s growing role in hospitality marketing. 

According to the 2013 Hotel IQ Index, 8 out of 10 of hotel brands are on Instagram in 2013. This is four times the amount in 2012. Of those on Instagram, a third of brands have both global and property accounts, while 40% of brands have property-only Instagram accounts. These numbers demonstrate the value Instagram brings to hotels and the value of sharing content with the world. 

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what’s video worth?

Like Facebook (Instagram’s owner), hotels have the chance to engage and attract a following while also promoting unique visual content. With the travel industry, it’s all about the visuals. There are several hotels, both chains and independents, who have seen the light and are promoting content on Instagram.

Some of the better uses I’ve seen include:

  • Showcasing the property and restaurants
  • Area attractions and partnerships
  • Employee recognition
  • Customer recognition and interaction
  • Behind the scenes
  • Promoting contests
  • Sourcing user-generated content

And this summer, Instagram added video. Users can now take very simple but effective videos to promote a property. Your video can last up to 15 seconds and can include several shots. Companies are getting very creative and smart with using Instagram video to promote unique business features.

Video presents endless opportunities. Perhaps a hotel is the host for a large conference or event. The GM of the hotel could do a quick video welcoming the guests for that event. And using the hashtag for the event, then promote the video on Facebook and Twitter so that the hotel content gets viewed with the rest of the event updates. The time invested in doing something like this? Less than a minute.

The examples

With so many accounts, there’s a ton of great content out there. I’ve gone out and found a vareity that represent various interests. And take note of the amount of likes and comments these images and videos receive.
Grandlife Hotels recognizes that sometimes travel can be lonely. How great is it that the concierge will bring you a goldfish for your room?!

Thompson Hotels has more than 6500 followers and 800-plus posts, including a few videos. I thought this one in particular was unique. They publish a magazine and flipped through the pages for all to see.

Marriott Hotels is also a very active user, accumulating nearly 200 posts and a few thousand followers. What I noticed that Marriott does well is it interacts with customers posting pictures its hotel properties and will reshare them (while still giving credit to the source). But this photo is definitely more your typical fare, but also a smart way to promote the brand.

Kimpton Hotels of Florida has also provided a nice variety of photos, highlighting everything from hosting events and weddings at their properties to very smartly showcasing room features to potential guests.

W Hotels has one of the largest followings on Instagram (nearly 25k) but I also found a sample promotion of how they used a hashtag – #WMusicInsider – to attract user-generated content as part of a contest promotion. 354 photos were submitted to Instagram using that hashtag.

And to show how brands can work within inside larger brands, W Hotels of Chicago took this great pic to recognize the employees who make the hotel work day in and day out.

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