Industry expert, Yvonne Halling, considers how Instagram can get eyeballs to land on your property
When using Instagram, always keep your ideal guests in mind. Instagram is very popular, so to make yours stand out, you must “speak” directly to the hearts and minds of your potential guests. Here are some ways you can do this:
#1 Post with purpose and intention, rathe than just because you think you have to.
#2 Make sure your profile is on brand with your other online profiles, including your website, so that people know it’s you. Consistent branding will help build trust with your followers.
#3 Add a nice, smiling photo of you on all your platforms so you’ll be seen as trustworthy. Don’t hide behind your property; we want to see YOUR FACE!
#4 Research keywords. I recommend using a free tool called all-hashtag.com
When you enter in a keyword such as ‘lakedistrictuk’ it will provide a list of related hashtags. Devise a hierarchy of keywords, starting with a general one such as ‘lakedistrictuk’ and go deeper, one step at a time, like a staircase. So if #lakedistrictuk is your starting point, your next step down could be #bedandbreakfastcumbria or #bedandbreakfastgrasmere.
The next step would then be naming some places near Grasmere, such as #helmscrag or #dunmailrise.
Include the full range of hashtags, from the more general ones down to the much more specific ones. Then go on Instagram and check that those hashtags are being used.
When you hit upon the ones being used by multiple people, and if possible a local influencer, well-known company or Lake District expert, then follow them and comment on their posts. If they’re nice, they’ll follow you back and comment on your posts, helping you to gain some visibility. Here’s a couple of Instagram accounts of properties doing this well:
#5 As with all social media platforms, building a relationship is key, so don’t just promote yourself. Instead, look to promote others in your area too. This “giving” behaviour will return to you, but it does take time, as with all meaningful relationships, so the best time to start is now.
#6 Keep in mind that your content must be engaging, entertaining and educational. Switch it up with images, videos and stories to develop a long-lasting love affair with your followers. Make the most of all the different options within Instagram itself. Remember that it’s about engaging with potential guests and building both trust and goodwill.
There’s no short cut or “hack” to this and neither should there be.