23 Examples of How Hotels Use Instagram
While it is interesting to learn from Comcscore that Instagram had more mobile user activity in August of 2012 than Twitter, I’d much rather spend time looking at how this new platform can contribute to the traffic and revenue for a brand. To do this I decided to look at an industry near and dear to my heart, the hospitality industry.
What's great about Instagram is not that you can share photos, but how easy Instagram makes it to extend your brand in a visual way. You’re able to quickly go beyond the stale website-based photo gallery and share your property, amenities and people in an interesting way.
Okay, enough about the platform, here are 23 cool ways the hospitality industry is attracting business through Instagram. I broke them down by 10 properties leading the charge in visual expression on the mobile frontier.
1. Express comfort. It doesn’t matter if someone is traveling for business or pleasure, they want to know they will be comfortable. The Peabody Memphis gets this and has done a great job of conveying to their social media audience that they will go out of their way to make you comfortable.
2. Community involvement. This is something that a lot of brands miss the boat on. We as humans want to connect to brands that connect to people. Show how your brand connects to the people in your local community.
3. Sharing celeb social. Stay on top of how your brand is shared in social and when you see a guest (especially a celebrity) post it through Instagram.
4. Strut your stuff (awards). Like Thompson hotels, every hotel works extremely hard and should be proud of awards won by this hard work. Share your accolades and let future guests know just how good you really are.
5. Show the art. Not only will showing off your décor let guests know how amazing your location is, when they see it in person, they will experience a sense of familiarity even if they have never been there before. Make sure when you share these images, you mention where they can see it on the property. This will also encourage them to expand their stay beyond the lobby and their room to other spaces on the property.
6. Seasonal content. Even though you may not do it up Disney style, you can still show off your seasonal spirit. Stay on top of each big season and let people know that you have a brand with personality they can relate to. Showing off during the winter holidays is a big one.
7. Share your history. Whether you’re property is new or old, there is still a history involved with how you got to where you are today. People enjoy visual history and sharing it on Instagram gives them a sense of the depth in your brand.
El Conquistador Resort
8. Signature Menu Items. I don’t think I’ve been to a hotel/resort that didn’t have a signature drink that was visually enjoyable. Show it off! You could also do a bit of crowd sourcing to get your visitors input on options, showing them a higher level of brand interaction and personal touch.
9. Spa packages. They do a great job of informing users about upcoming deals and packages via Instagram in an amazing visual way.
10. Show off some personality. Sure, everyone has pictures of their rooms, but choose a good shot of something in the room that shows off the personality of the brand that is unique.
Phuket Graceland Resort and Spa
11. Share your culture. It doesn’t matter if you’re in downtown Brooklyn, Thailand or Seattle. You are part of a culture that is unique and deserves to be shared. Phuket Graceland does a great job of sharing this culture through their architecture shots on Instagram.
12. Party promotion. If anyone knows how to throw a party, it’s Grandlife. Not only that, they do an amazing job of showing off what most of us are missing via their Instagram profile. Build user interest in not only staying with you, but attending the events your staff work hard to put on during the year.
13. Nightlife scenes that align with audience. If the nightlife at your location is a big part of your brand (or even a not-so-big part), Instagram is a perfect place to show how like-minded people are enjoying themselves.
14. Behind the scenes. Take your guests behind the scenes with shots of what goes into the amazing experience they are going to have while at your hotel. This will provide depth to your brand that users will appreciate.
15. Guest events. If you have someone important coming to the property for an event and you’re able to promote it, Instagram is a great way to do it.
16. Mix brand with pop culture. Dream does a lot of things really well and this is one of them. They mix pop culture and trends with their brand on social media. While cupcakes may be a small treat, showing that your brand understands and participates in cultural trends will build a connection that is important to your guests.
17. Connecting brand stance with visuals. One of the first things the CitizenM bio says is that they are “a hotel for the urban explorer”. They do a top-notch job of conveying that in just about every single shot they share on Instagram. Put your camera where your words are and show how your brand lives up to its core values and mission statement.
18. Show off collateral. Something else CitizenM does that I like is connect their offline collateral with the online world by sharing it on Instagram. They obviously care about how the print materials look and by showing it off here, it made me want to see it in real-life.
19. Exposing the faces behind the brand. Bring your brand to life by sharing photos of those people behind the counter, kitchen, and phone. Putting a face to the brand is always a good idea and this platform is the perfect place to do it.
20. Food shots. By the time I got done looking at Vintage Hotels’ profile, I was drooling all over my desk. Their food shots are a great example of how to share the amazing prep that goes into their catering services.
21. Property shots. Instagram is a great way to supplement the gallery on your site with unique visuals of your property. Extend beyond the typical room, lobby and meeting room shot here with cool visuals of where your brand calls home.
22. Connect with the community. Ace is one of my favorite hotels in NYC and this is one of the reasons. The Ace Hotels convey what their brand is in exceptional ways and they don’t stop at the sidewalk in front of the hotel. Ace does an amazing job of sharing those things in their community that align with their brand.
23. Share community events that are aligned with the brand. They don’t have to be sponsored by your brand or at your location to convey who you are. Instagram is a great way to acknowledge events in your community that go along with your target audience and the essence of your culture.