Holiday accommodation, hotels and B&Bs are sitting empty across the country at the moment, and with this comes the danger of letting your social media accounts gather dust too. Instagram is a great platform for the travel sector, so if you are not currently using it, or want some tips on how to seal those bookings for when it’s safe to open again, then this is the post for you.
Instagram for travel: How the travel sector can use social media to boost summer bookings
Your physical business may be closed at the moment but don’t let that put you off engaging with your audience. Treat your online conversations the same way you would if you were talking to your guests in real life. Remember to engage in wider conversations within your sector too. Use the Maybe* Engage tab to listen to and engage with important hashtags and conversations relevant to your business.
Read more on why engaging is so important here.
Learn from your competitors
The Maybe* Best Post tool should give you some inspiration and show you what works best on social media in your place and sector. By searching the best posts in your area you can get a feel for what makes your target customers tick, and get an idea of what a good post looks like. You can apply those learnings alongside the rest of our tips for Instagram for travel. Read on.
Here you can see the best posts in the travel sector, across the Cotswolds on 15/01/21
Strike the right balance
A common concern for businesses new to Instagram is not wanting to appear too ‘sales-y’. This is a valid point, but don’t be afraid to sell your service - this is what you’re here for after all. The trick is getting the tone right. Think friendly and informative.
If it helps ease the ‘ick-factor’, think of Instagram as the modern-day equivalent of taking out an advert in a magazine. Time spent promoting your business on this platform is an investment well spent, and a little bit each day goes a long way.
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Communicate your COVID policies
It’s not all about seascapes and sun soaked scenery. Instagram for travel content is as much about sharing essential info. It's important to make sure you are effectively communicating your COVID policies on social media. Clear communication will put your guests minds' at rest and lead to more direct bookings.
Show some personality with Stories
If your main feed is your ‘shop front’, then think of Instagram Stories as a place to share ‘behind the scenes’ content. For holiday lets and hotels this could mean sharing polished, high-quality pictures of your accommodation and local beauty spots on the main feed, and sharing more of yourself and your family life on Stories. Pets always go down well, or perhaps you’re doing some renovations you could share as they progress?
Read more about how to use Instagram Stories here.
Don’t sweat over captions
Sometimes it can feel hard to know what to say on social media when your business is currently closed, but don’t overthink your captions too much. Keep it positive and informative and let your pictures do the talking. You could also try getting creative with videos or reels if writing isn’t your thing.
Share your local area
Remember that people are coming to stay with you predominantly to visit your local area, so content showcasing all it has to offer will be well received and valuable to your potential guests. Are there any events scheduled for later in the year that you could share? Perhaps you know of some secret local gems or places of interest?
Galleries, museums and gardens are always popular and their accounts often have content you can re-share. You should add these other local businesses as well as place hashtags to your Maybe* Engage view so that you can re-share the content. Using Instagram for travel content is all about how to show more local love for your place.
We might not be going very far this year, so look to engage those in nearby towns as well as farther afield.
Throw it back
If content feels thin on the ground at the moment then don’t be afraid to post a #Throwback from sunnier times to inspire bookings. If any of your previous guests have tagged you in pictures then this is great user-generated content and a testimonial all in one. Win-win.