Instagram is the perfect platform for destination marketers to showcase authentic perspectives of the destinations they represent. As of June 2016, Instagram surpassed over 500 million monthly active users, and is particularly popular with the key Millennial demographic. Instagram’s visual nature and high user engagement rate make it a valuable storytelling tool, and we’ve successfully integrated it into the marketing strategies of several clients in the tourism and hospitality industry. To help you succeed in this space, here are a few things we’ve learned:
Hashtags, Community Development, and Content Curation
Instagram is a weapon of mass seduction, allowing Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) to leverage authentic user-generated content (UGC) and beautiful imagery to inspire travellers to visit a destination. The credibility and extended reach that comes with sharing photos and videos from your most loyal fans offers a higher promotional value than the same types of brand-designed asset content. For that reason, it’s important to increase your collection of user-generated photos and videos through strategic community development tactics. Establishing a community-focused hashtag for the DMO brand is an important part of this process. This hashtag will help your community explore content from other Instagrammers and will build your UGC collection in a meaningful way.
Content can be curated by first searching for photos based upon the locations and hashtags of the places you want to showcase, then commenting on them and encouraging users to tag their content with your branded hashtag for an opportunity to be featured on your official Instagram feed. Awareness can be increased by promoting the branded hashtag throughout your social media channels.
Instameets and Influencers
Instameets provide another great opportunity to encourage Instagrammers to share their content using your branded hashtag. Organizing an Instameet can be as simple as inviting influencers/micro-influencers and amazing Instagrammers to meet at specific locations to collectively take photos and share ideas. The location of these Instameets should ideally be strategically chosen based on the perceived gaps in UGC and asset photo content, or to coincide with existing campaigns.
Leveraging the power of influencers on Instagram can be a great way for DMO’s to increase brand awareness, cultivate new followers, and curate UGC. Having an industry influencer stage a takeover of your Instagram channel can attract a new audience and breathe fresh life into the feed.
Copywriting: Dare to be Different
T4G Kick places a strategic focus on writing entertaining, eccentric photo captions that encourage followers to comment and engage in conversations within the Instagram channel. The most successful brands on Instagram have mastered the art of the fun and quirky caption. This, paired with stunning UGC imagery, is a formula for establishing a strong online community and core group of channel influencers.