Instagram-Inspired Wanderlust Becomes Business Driver

As countless BuzzFeed listicles, Facebook updates, and Instagram feeds would suggest, web-based globetrotter pictorials have become a leading inspiration for travelers all over the world. Regular social media users are easily enticed by engaging photographs of worldly attractions, exotic delicacies, and luxury hotel vacations.

It was with a keen understanding of the opportunities inherent in a strong social media presence that Starwood Hotels & Resorts decided to turn the internet spotlight on its Luxury Collection brand through a partnership with travel influencer Beautiful Destinations. The marriage between the two exposes the hotel brand to the more than 8.6 million travel buffs who actively follow Beautiful Destinations’s Instagram accounts. These accounts are spearheaded by Instagram guru and Beautiful Destinations founder, Jeremy Jauncey. “We created this community to spotlight what we believe are the most beautiful places on Earth,” Jauncey explains. “Now, we’re using our influence to grow the social media profiles of top-tier travel brands and working with them to create social content and activate an audience on Instagram.”

The partnership with Beautiful Destinations allows guests at Luxury Collection hotels to interact with the account and post personal photos with hashtags relevant to their travel experiences. “We want to empower travelers and travel enthusiasts to be curious about their travel experience, to seek out the beauty of the world, and become what Luxury Collection is calling a ‘global explorer,’ all on Instagram,” Jauncey says. “You can really discover the most stunning places online, and there are Luxury Collection properties that have amazing historical value rooted in the indigenous culture of the destination.”


But this partnership isn’t only about making guests feel included or convincing a waffling traveler to commit to staying in a certain hotel. Beautiful Destinations also offers its partners data-driven marketing strategies that lead to actionable insights and measurable results. “Social media lets us measure not only the number of followers, but also the level of engagement and virility of a particular post,” Jauncy describes. “Additionally, at Beautiful Destinations, we have proprietary tools that allow us to see not only what was viewed the most, but what behaviors followed after viewing, which is key to measuring impact. And, once you measure impact, you can determine the return on your investment.”

Senior Vice President and Global Brand Leader of the Luxury Collection, Hoyt Harper, made the decision to partner with Beautiful Destinations to introduce the Luxury Collection to a wider, more socially-connected audience. “We pride ourselves in being a destination authority, and we have these magnificent landmark hotels around the world in very exciting destinations. Our social media accounts can help introduce those destinations to a whole new demographic.” Harper adds that Beautiful Destinations—and the virtual experience the social media outlet creates—will strengthen and amplify his brand’s audience. “We do more than just provide great lodging and great service,” Harper explains. “We help our guests create memorable experiences, and once you’ve created those memorable experiences, sharing them on Instagram is a great channel to inspire our guests.”