Instagram is an excellent tool for agents because it allows them to reach an engaged audience. Follow our tips for a feed that gets results
According to The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, ’83 per cent of consumers are more likely to trust something communicated to them by a friend’. Instagram, the social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone which has 700 million monthly users, is an ideal vehicle for travel agents to reach their audience.
“Instagram allows travel agents to harness the use of image-based social sharing to an engaged audience. With the right imagery and relevant hashtags, one post can go a long way,” says Alex Minchin, Founder of social media marketing company, Zest Digital.
Here are some tips for creating a killer feed:
INSPIRE! Travel trips are excellent opportunities for travel agents: capture plenty of real pictures and short video clips of the destination like these from travel advisor and instagrammer Chelsea Martin, then use them to show your clients what the destination is really like.
HASHTAG! Increasingly clients use a #hashtag search to discover what attractions there are in a destination and what’s worth the detour. Use blogger Taylor Loren’s excellent guide to hashtags and get your brand noticed.
FOLLOW! Want to know how that trip went? Follow your clients on Instagram and ask them to tag you while they are travelling. Not only will you get valuable feedback on their trip, you can also repost some of their best ‘grams to showcase your travel-planning skills and get other clients excited.
FILTER! According to some fascinating research quoted by social media management app, Buffer, using the right filters is the key to gaining more views and engagement. After analysing millions of Instagram images, researchers from Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs discovered that filtered photos are 45 per cent more likely to attract comments than unfiltered images.
PERSONALISE! Top ‘grammers tell us that clients don’t just want to see pretty pictures; they want your expertise, so tell them what’s so hot about the destination and don’t be scared to put your own slant on your feed.
SCHEDULE! “No one likes seeing 11 posts from the same account every day,” Smith of Instagram account Two Nights In was quoted as saying in a recent article for Travel Age West. “On the flip side, make sure you’re regularly posting. One photo a month won’t gain you any traction,” he added.
ENGAGE! The best way to get followers for your account is to seek out similar minded instagrammers and travellers who interest you, then engage with them by liking and commenting on their photos. “It’s that time spent showing and sharing the love that can pay off in new followers,” according to Courtney Seitner in this excellent instagram article for social media sharing app, Buffer.
BRAND! Think hard about your travel agency’s niche. If you specialise in river cruising, your clients probably won’t want to see hardcore images of adrenalin activities, so think about your brand every time you post: in this game consistency really counts.
Follow the feeds of companies like @thesmartflyer and @TravelAgeWest and learn how the top ‘grammers do it. In a recent article for Travel Age West, Erina Pindar, managing director for SmartFlyer stated that they saw a 30 per cent increase in business ‘as a direct result of having a strong social footprint’.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Apps like Buffer allow you to control posting times, while Like2By, the latest piece of software to rock the world of Instagrammers, lets your clients shop directly, via your brand’s Instagram feed.
GO FOR GOLD
Enter your feed for the Shorty Awards, an event that recognises the best use of social media in a marketing campaign by a travel brand.
According to Social Media Today, an online community and resource for professionals involved in content marketing and digital strategy, 48 per cent of users rely on Instagram to find a new travel destination, and 35 per cent use it to discover a new place.