How many times have you scrolled through an IG profile and just admired how perfectly themed the images were, how everything tied to a color palette, and how beautiful and coherent they all looked? Let’s face it, you saw the numbers of followers and wondered how in the world can they have hundreds of thousands of them? We’ve all been there. There are a few IG best practices that will help you create a beautiful profile and increase your followers, and this is not different to a hospitality business.
Instagram is one of the most powerful marketing tools for almost every niche. But don’t just take it from me. I like numbers, so if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate this:
Over 80% of Instagram users follow a business account
60% of users first heard about a product on Instagram
30% of Users Bought Something They Discovered on Instagram
58% of Brands Have Created an Instagram Story
These numbers are a proof that IG is the place to look for pretty much everything! I can tell you first hand, every time I travel, IG is my research platform. I can find where to eat, fun places to see, IG-worthy walls to photograph, and local markets where to shop… and based on these stats, I can assure you I am not the only one.
Being a successful platform for every type of business, why not take advantage of it to market your Airbnb rental? As a host, you are running a hospitality business and to be successful, you need to attract, engage, and book as many people as possible. So, what are my tips for hosts to run a super fruitful IG, and convert followers into guests? Dive in, I’ll give you the deets:
1. Create a theme
Creating a theme might sound scary, but it is actually pretty simple! How to start? Think of where your property is located: is it in a desert, close to the beach, a high-end city apartment, a cabin in the woods? Then think about your decoration: what is the most prominent color and what are the secondary colors? Have two to three colors on your theme, and make sure every photo on your grid has at least one of them. What’s the ambience you want to present in your property: bohemian, beach-y, classy, adventurous? These answers will help you shape the theme for your IG profile.
You also want to have clear goals on why and what you’ll be sharing. As a host, your goals will most likely be to promote your vacation rental, so have these in mind every time you create a post: is it serving my purpose, is it a good representation of what I offer, am I attracting the right people, is it aligned with my theme?
I love using Canva to create my branded posts. Click here to try it!
2. Engage with the right audience
As a business owner, you want (and need) followers. However, it is not about having many followers, but to have the right followers. You reach the right followers by sharing content focused on the hospitality and traveling market, and using hashtags, locations and tags in every post. Set aside some time every day (I take 30 minutes for this) to search for relevant accounts and like photos, and leave comments that can engage in relevant conversations.
3. Create quality content
Creating quality content consists of two main aspects: the quality of the picture, and how the picture contributes to your goal and overall message. A high quality picture does not require of professional photography, although this wouldn’t hurt much. You can take IG-worthy quality pictures with your smartphone. Lightning can make a huge difference in a photo. As a key rule, try to take your photos in similar lightning. Adjusting the brightness can also help your photos look more professional. Be consistent with your edits, and keep a cohesive look throughout your grid.
4. Share consistently
Have you heard of the IG algorithm? If not, I’ll tell you in a snapshot. The algorithm is like a formula that dictates the order of the posts you see when scrolling through your feed by prioritizing them based on the content’s relevancy. For example, if you follow multiple accounts of girls who travel the world and constantly like their posts, 70% of the posts you’ll see in your feed will be of similar accounts or content.
How can you make the Instagram algorithm work for you? There are four ways: 1) post consistently - be present in your followers’ feed by sharing posts or stories daily, 2) post with intention – make your posts meaningful and relevant to your goal and message, 3) understand your audience – what are the posts with more likes or comments? Share more content similar to those, 4) engage with your followers – encourage your followers to comment and share their thoughts.
5. Plan ahead
Have a strategy and a plan to share your content. Remember, you are sharing your property with your followers with the objective of booking guests. You need to create a virtual experience, and this achieved by displaying your beautiful place, and also activities around it, cool and fun places to go, and delicious restaurants, while still maintaining your theme. Take a Sunday to drive around and take pictures, explore your area and plan your posts for the week.
So, are you ready to start creating a killing IG profile? If you’re not already on IG, then it’s time you jump right in the bandwagon. But, hey, if you’re already setting time apart to create and post content, why not do it the optimal way, right?
We’ve covered a lot of helpful info in so little time! I walked you through how to create a theme, engage with your audience, create quality content, share consistently and plan ahead, but there is SO MUCH MORE!
If you are ready to go all in, we’ve created an Airbnb Social Media Strategy Guide with detailed info on how to market your Airbnb property on Instagram, useful app tutorials and a very handy Monthly Content Calendar, for when you’re running out of post ideas.
If you learned something, share this post and keep on hosting. We’re here to help you succeed!