Instagram has become one of the most popular and powerful social tools for hotels to expose their brands to a wider audience. The photo-sharing platform currently boasts 300 million users around the world, with the average Instagram user spending 21 minutes on the platform per day. Even more interesting, Instagram far outperforms Twitter in terms of engagement—by nearly 50 times!
Hotels have it somewhat easy when it comes to Instagram; there’s no shortage of unique things to photograph and share when it comes to travel. But how do hotels take it to the next level when it comes to engagement and followers? We’ve curated the top 10 hotel brands who have upped their Insta-game:
Urban Cowboy BnB
@urbancowboybnb, 23.5k followers
Just a stone’s throw from uber-hip Williamsburg, the Urban Cowboy impeccably captures the brand’s “luxury with a rustic Brooklyn sensibility” ethos through its Instagram account’s aesthetic. Founder Lyon Porter documents both his effortlessly cool guests enjoying the BnB and his own adventures in the countryside, giving the feed a distinctly personalized touch.
Pro Tip: Craft a distinct photographic aesthetic that captures your hotel brand look and feel. (And a little tasteful sex appeal never hurt anyone.)
@thestandard, 75.7k followers
The swanky Standard cements its too-cool-for-school status with the ironic and humorous style it employs in its posts. The brand maximizes engagement by running competitions and promotions on its account and uses the link in bio accordingly, not merely to direct to the hotel site.
Pro Tip: The only way to create a link on Instagram is through the profile. Change it up by linking to different landing pages instead of your hotel website; it’s easier to track metrics and conversions that way. Just mention #linkinbio.
@sixtyhotels, 21.6k followers
This urbane boutique brand based in New York and LA does a particularly good job of using Instagram to promote their #SIXTYguide blog, showcasing sleek imagery shot by professional photographers for posts. The feed features a good mix of the hotels as well as local businesses they recommend.
Pro Tip: You don’t always have to post about your hotel! Get out into the neighborhood and ‘gram great places to eat, drink, and play. Use the location tag to show followers where you are. And give a shoutout to your fellow businesses by mentioning their Instagram handles in the caption.
It’s all in the little details for Firmdale Hotels, the stunning collection of townhouse style properties by famed British interior designer Kit Kemp. Their Instagram account also provides a platform to showcase products designed by Kemp for high-end retailers such as Wedgwood, in use at the hotels in London and New York.
Pro Tip: Inspire your followers by showcasing unique products or designs from your hotel partners.
Mondrian’s feed is jam packed with pretty party people enjoying the sun-kissed good life, poolside and cocktails-in-hand. In line with parent company Morgans’ Back of House blog spotlighting noteworthy “creators,” the account curates many of its images from top influencers.
Pro Tip: When reposting other users’ photos, be sure to credit their Instagram handle so that they are aware of the re-post. And don’t be afraid to be expressive with those emojis!
The global powerhouse promises “the latest in music, fashion, and design” on its Instagram feed, doing so in part by linking to its Tumblr account rather than its official website, demonstrating a commitment to brand creation through storytelling rather than just conversions. Followers can also get occasional behind-the-scenes looks into the company, such as exclusive glimpses into soon-to-be-opened properties.
Pro Tip: Linking your Instagram to other social platforms like Tumblr or Facebook helps to increase shareability of your content and also gives potential guests another opportunity to follow you.
Beverly Hills Hotel
The legendary 90210 property maintains a clear editorial style throughout its feed. Old school Hollywood glamour and the laidback SoCal lifestyle are simultaneously captured through the gorgeous photos, often reposts from guests. The Dorchester Collection hotel also makes sure to tag its brand’s special hashtag, #DCmoments, in many of its shots.
Pro Tip: Part of a bigger hotel group? Make sure to frequently mention your hotel group’s Instagram handle, or create a unique hashtag for all the hotels in your group.
Posts from this luxury hotel collection make particularly clever use of captions, often using kickers such as “SIP” or “DIP INN.” The hotel also includes popular travel hashtags such as #passionpassport and #mytinyatlas to ensure that their photos reach large communities of travel enthusiasts.
Pro Tip: When using hashtags for photo discovery, don’t cram them all into your initial caption, especially if you share the photos on other platforms like Facebook. Instead, include them as a secondary comment.
The Line Hotel
This Los Angeles boutique property in the unassuming Koreatown neighborhood demonstrates that even a relative newcomer can quickly build a thriving Instagram account. Opened in early 2014, the hotel uses a casual voice in captions and encourages additional engagement by actively responding to commenters.
Pro Tip: Don’t just post and bail! Respond to commenters (be sure to include their handle in your response) and get a convo going.
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
The five-star chain that dominates the luxury hotel market in Asia is another brand which effectively uses hashtags to attract followers and cull more content. They go a step further by offering an incentive, a credit to Golden Circle Award Points (their loyalty program) to one lucky winner each month who has posted a photo including “#MyShangrila.”
Pro Tip: Find ways to tie in your loyalty program if you have one. Also want to show a link different from the one in your bio? Use the location tag to display the URL. It won’t link to the website, but can be effective in communicating the URL as long as it’s easy to remember.
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