Instagram is primarily a photo-focused social media platform. For businesses, Instagram is just another way to increase visibility. Especially for tourism companies, Instagram is a no-brainer social media platform to adopt. For those who do it right, the social platform offers huge potential for return on investment (ROI). Here are best practices for tourism companies that include Instagram in their travel marketing initiatives.
Highlight User-Generated Content
Consider the Tourism Australia (@australia) Instagram account who engages their audience in the most cost-effective way. Instead of hiring the best and brightest photographers, Tourism Australia crowd sources their photos. They launched an ongoing campaign that essentially turned their followers into marketers. Now, the Instagram account receives thousands of photo submissions each day and Tourism Australia choses a handful of posts to share on their account. The fans that have their posts shared through Tourism Australia’s account will be shown to over 1.9 million followers. And that isn’t including the use of hashtags.
Utilize Relevant Hashtags
Delta Airline (@delta) is a great example of a company that has found relevant hashtags for their industry that are also trending topics. For example, Delta uses Throwback Thursday (#tbt or #throwbackthursday) to reflect on the nostalgia of a different time. Even though throwback Thursday is general and can be used by anyone, if it makes sense for them to highlight specific and vivid travel memories. Not only was Delta able to show the extensive history of their brand, they are able to highlight innovation over time.
Tourism companies can do the exact same thing to illuminate nostalgia in their past adventurers and excite future potential adventurers. There are always new hashtags popping up all the time, so pay close attention to current trends and seasonal events to leverage your hashtag game.
Capture All Aspects Of Your Brand
You cannot discount the incredible photos that National Geographic (@natgeo) shares on Instagram to their fans. However, National Geographic isn’t about pretty photos, the organization’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet since 1888. They are one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world.
On Instagram, National Geographic uses the platform to raise awareness of inhumane practices that are taking place around the world today. For example, the non-profit posted a photo a few weeks back of a mother Cheetah and her cubs. The caption explained their Big Cat Week, one of National Geographic’s television shows that highlights weekly reports of cheetahs, lions and leopards in Kenya, is an extension of their Big Cats Initiative, a long-term commitment by the National Geographic Society to stop poaching, save habitat and sound the call that big steps need to be taken into order to save big cats around the world.
Education Results In Action
For businesses, social media platforms are a way to grow your audience and generate more customers. Sharing pretty images is a way to showcase destinations and engage future visitors, but if you aren’t nudging them to take action, you are missing out on the ROI that social media can offer. Giving your audience the education that may not know they need but enjoy, will set you apart from the competition.
Although NASA (@nasagoddard) isn’t so much of a tourism company for the general public, it does provide an unparalleled destination experience through the eyes of astronauts. The post below reflects cloud vortices off Heard Island, south Indian Ocean. In the caption they explain what cloud vortices is and how it is formed. NASA does a great job of marrying photos with equally captivating information. Including unique and interesting facts in your captions will nudge fans to move from dreaming of a trip to planning one.