Instagram is 10-years-old this year, and with nearly 10 million people using it in Australia alone, that’s a huge audience for an independent hotel.

It’s also ridiculously easy to let your Instagram game slip as a hotelier. With so much going on each day, how are you supposed to continually post engaging photos and video to that colossal audience?

The good news is that you really can make use of Instagram as an independent hotelier, and without any need for external assistance.

You just need to follow these four Instagram marketing best practices for hoteliers. Simple!

1. Know your Instagram audience

That Instagram audience might be big, but there’s only a portion of it that will be interested in the stuff you post about your hotel. And while that might sound like bad news, it’s actually a very good thing indeed.

As with all forms of social media marketing, a tightly-defined audience is the key to success. The more targeted your audience is, the more likely you are to gain lots of interaction with your posts.

Think about what type of people your audience is made up of and the kind of hashtags that are likely to get them clicking. If you’re running a hostel operation, for instance, hashtags like #InstaTravel will put you within the right batch of content. The same goes for demographics, interests and, of course, location.

2. Make Instagram a daily habit

Anyone who has ‘cracked’ going to the gym will know it’s all about making the process a habit. You pack your gym bag at the same time every evening, place it in your car every morning and, without fail, head there for an hour each day.

The same goes for social media marketing. It might seem like a mountain to climb at first, but if you approach it with a habitual mindset, it’ll become far more approachable.

Promise yourself that you’ll post something to your hotel’s Instagram account every single day. If it helps, set a reminder on your phone to do so. After a while, it’ll become something you just do, no questions asked.

You won’t be struggling for inspiration, either, because as anyone who works in the hotel industry knows, something is always happening somewhere that your guests (both past and potential) will want to see.

3. Focus on creating great-looking imagery

Thankfully, modern smartphones have made this step far easier, thanks to the powerful cameras they now pack into their diminutive bodies.

This means you don’t need to hire a professional photographer every time you want to take a photo for Instagram, but it doesn’t mean you can forgo quality.

When taking images or recording footage for Instagram, take time to frame the subject correctly and avoid motion blur. You don’t have to take a photography course to do this properly but focusing on taking images that look pleasing on the Instagram preview is what you need to aim for.

If something looks rubbish, scrap it and start again – the effort is worth it.

4. Get your followers and guests involved!

User generated content is a brilliant way to get your hotel noticed by a much wider audience on Instagram.

Encourage guests to share their stay experience with you on their own Instagram feeds and provide them with a hashtag (related to your hotel’s name) to use.

You can encourage them in a number of ways, but there’s certainly no harm in running a monthly ‘free stay’ competition for the best Instagram post taken at your hotel.

The result? Lots of lovely content relating to your hotel and ultimately leading back to your brand on one of the world’s most powerful social networks.

Wrapping up

Have we convinced you to finally log back into Instagram? It is time to show the world what your hotel has to offer in one of the most engaging ways available to you?

The best news? Instagram marketing is incredibly addictive – and fun. The more you make it a habit, the more interaction you’ll get from followers and the stronger your hotel brand will grow.

What’s not to like (if you’ll excuse the pun)?

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. CMS offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at sales@cmshospitality.com. We will be happy to guide you to the CMS Hospitality solution that’s right for you.