The importance of Instagram as a social media marketing channel for independent properties is undeniable.
It’s hugely influential among consumers today, especially travelers looking for information and inspiration for trips. It has 1 billion monthly active users, as well as a new booking feature that facilitates direct bookings. And then there’s the fact that creating an Instagram business account is free.
So there’s no question of whether a property should have an Instagram account — it’s a pretty obvious “yes!”. The tougher question is, what photos should independent properties be posting on Instagram?
To help answer that, here are six surefire hotel Instagram photo ideas, as well as some general hotel Instagram tips.
If you’re not already posting these images on your property’s Instagram account, you’re going to want to start asap.
#1 The lifestyle photos – What kind of experiences will your guests live at your property?
What they are: Candid, authentic photos taken at your property that immerse your potential guests in a moment, inspires them, and makes them want to be there.
Why you want to post them on your property’s Instagram: Such images are especially effective with the affluent and influential millennial generation of travelers.
And really, lifestyle photos resonate with virtually all consumers, especially guests looking for memorable experiences while traveling. Which is why you could make all your property’s Instagram photos lifestyle photos.
Example: Hotel Villa Carlotta | @hotelvillacarlottataormina
#2 The property photos – What makes your rooms special? Your premises picturesque? Your amenities unexpected?
What they are: Photos of your rooms, grounds, amenities, and facilities, especially those focused on the unexpected details and unusual design features.
Why you want to post them on your property’s Instagram: When traveling, people don’t want to stay just anywhere; they want to stay someplace special. Of course, they also want to have a detailed and complete picture of what your property looks like before they book.
Photos of creative, unique design elements from all angles of your property hit both requirements.
Example: Boutique Hotel Casa del Poeta | @casadelpoeta
#3 The destination photos – What will your guests discover when they explore the area?
What they are: Photos of points of interests around your property — both the already famous and the hitherto unknown.
Why you want to post them on your property’s Instagram: Experiential travel is a rising travel trend. You want to inspire potential guests by giving them a compelling sense of place through photos of local surroundings, sights, and subjects.
Example: The Diplomat Boutique Hotel | @thehoteldiplomat
#4 The guest photos – What tribe does your property’s vibe attract?
What they are: Photos originally taken by your guests, in which they’re enjoying themselves and posing at your property.
Why you want to post them on your property’s Instagram: This is your chance to show travelers the kind of enviable lifestyle community they’ll be a part of if they book a stay with you.
It’s also a great way to connect with a larger Instagram audience through popular influencers. Remember to ask for your guests’ permission to share their photos.
Example: Das Kronthaler | @daskronthaler
#5 The staff photos – Who are the people who make your guests’ stay unforgettable?
What they are: Photos of the front-of-house and behind-the-scenes heroes who create memorable experiences for your guests.
Why you want to post them on your property’s Instagram: Guests are increasingly looking for personal connections as part of their experiences. Introducing your staff on Instagram gives your property an open, human identify and further showcases its personality.
Example: Traumhotel Alpina @traumhotel_alpina
#6 The food photos – What delectable edibles are served up at your property?
What they are: Artistically arranged shots of the food guests can enjoy at your property, whether that’s a simple breakfast spread or a Michelin-starred dinner.
Why you want to post them on your property’s Instagram: Food tourism is another important travel trend not to be ignored. If your property doesn’t serve food, then a photo of a meal they can enjoy in the vicinity is a fine alternative.
Example: Spicers Vineyards Estate | @spicersretreats
General tips for posting Instagram photos to generate interest in and bookings for your property
- Timing and frequency: Small independent properties should aim to post about three photos per week.
- Good lighting: It’s important that your property’s Instagram photos are taken with the right lighting to make them eye-catching and appealing.
- Improved but not perfected: There’s no shame in editing for your property’s Instagram photos, especially when it improves the image quality. Just don’t overdo it; they still need to look authentic.
- Hashtags: Don’t underestimate the power and importance of using a hashtag unique to your property every time you post.
- Instagram Stories: There are 500 million daily users engaging with this new form of Instagram posting. Here’s a look at what it is, why it’s effective for properties, and how to do it.
- Get inspiration from other hotel Instagram accounts: It’s a great way to keep track of the competition and get ideas for new posts on your own property’s Instagram.
Other online platforms where properties should be posting photos
While Instagram is an important venue for showcasing your property online, it’s by no means the only platform you should be active on.
Facebook and Twitter are two more influential social media platforms where properties can post compelling images to attract guests. Here are some tips for how to use both as an independent property.
And then, of course, there are metasearch platforms — including trivago, a leading global hotel metasearch that attracts millions of monthly users. Properties can claim their trivago profile for free and make it stand out with accurate property details and yes, attractive images.