Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. The popular photo-sharing app amassed 150 million monthly users in about three years—two years faster than Facebook and half the time of Twitter, according to L2 Think Tank. And now, hotels are leveraging Instagram’s easy-to-use interface, mobility, and visual appeal to acquire customers.
Alex Weiss, partner at CA Creative, a New York-based digital media agency, says Instagram is a useful marketing tool for hotel chains because 60 percent of its user base comes from outside the United States. Having a global reach is important to major brands, and they can engage with potential customers from all over the world. “We’ve seen a lot of success with it so far in terms of being able to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to hotels,” Weiss says.
By regularly sharing photos on Instagram, hotels can convey their personalities, surroundings, décor, events, and other unique aspects to their customers, allowing them to get a real feel for the property.
In the hands of CA Creative, Edition Hotels’ Instagram account has grown to nearly 8,000 followers. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase the lifestyle, the amenities, the great design, the culture, the neighborhood, the events, and the brand ethos,” Weiss says. “We think it’s a really great fit for the hospitality industry.”
While there’s no direct correlation between Instagram engagement and sales, it’s a chance for hotels to expand their audience and market specifically to people who show an interest in their brands. “People who do engage are more likely to be consumers,” Weiss says.
Instagram’s analytics tools lag somewhat behind those of other social platforms, Weiss says, so it’s more challenging to figure out the referral traffic. But it still provides valuable insight into demographics and the types of customers who are interacting. “You do get a lot of great data, and you’re still able to strategically see what’s exciting about your hotel, what you can do more of, and how to promote it correctly.”