Integrating Instagram into Hotel Marketing Strategies
By Tyler Cameron Public Relations Account Manager, Slice Communications | February 07, 2016
In 1888, George Eastman introduced the world to the first Kodak camera. Eastman's patented box and roll camera revolutionized photography by providing individuals the ability to capture everyday moments with relative ease. Fast forward to 2010, when Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom co-founded the modern version of the Kodak camera - Instagram. Within a week of launching, the app drew in 100,000 users. Two years later, Krieger and Systrom sold it to Facebook for $1 billion.
Its popularity has continued to skyrocket, having over 30 billion photos shared in its five years of existence. According to DMR, 400 million people actively use Instagram each month - almost a million more users than Twitter. A study published by research and advisory firm Forrester last year reported that Instagram produces 58 times the engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times the engagement per follower than Twitter. Furthermore, as recently as September of 2015, Forrester reiterated that Instagram is still the "king of social engagement."
There has always been an intrinsic connection between photography and traveling, so it makes perfect sense that Instagram has become such an asset for the tourism industry. From keeping up with the location of one's favorite travel bloggers to posting an obligatory city skyline picture on Instagram, modern day travelers want to take images wherever they go and share them with their followers.
Contemporary luxury brands that have begun to transform the hospitality industry, such as Kimpton Hotels or Starwood Hotels and Resorts' Aloft chain, provide a modern aesthetic ideal for Instagram. This has forced luxury brands with traditional spaces to stay relevant by revitalizing their marketing campaigns. Thus, it has become imperative for brands and companies to consistently produce content for the platform. Hotels and hospitality brands can take advantage of this trend by creating branded photo opportunities, incorporating hashtags and engaging actively with Instagram users.
The 1888 Hotel, aptly named as an homage to Eastman's Kodak camera, is a perfect example of how prominent Instagram has become in the hospitality industry. The management company behind the 1888 Hotel in Sydney, Australia spent two years and $30 million to create the space to cater to modern travellers.
The boutique hotel regards itself as the "world's first Instagram hotel," a reference to its ability to provide guests with endless opportunities to effortlessly interact and take photos. By inspiring photo opportunities in and around a hotel, initiating interactivity between guests and the hotel itself, and hiring and compensating Instagram influencers, marketing teams for hotels and travel brands can easily replicate the success of the 1888 Hotel.