10 tips to boost your Instagram following for tourism operators

It’s no wonder travellers love Instagram. It’s the perfect place to get inspired, daydream and discover a world of possibility. As such, Instagram is probably a big part of your marketing strategy. (If it’s not, it probably should be!) Here’s how you can do it better and attract more followers to your page. 

 

1. Diversify your posts

Everyone knows Instagram is for photos, but posting the same kind of photo will quickly bore your followers. Yes, you want to show off your products and experiences, but you also want to grab people’s attention.  

Work on making your posts interesting. You can do this by diversifying your posts. Share your location’s beautiful landscape, snaps of guests having the time of their lives and close-ups of food and drinks. Consider creating some branded graphics using a free tool like Canva. Keep it fresh!

 

 2. Share seasonally-relevant content

Context plays a big role in social media management. You want to be posting for the here and now, so consider what people want to see in their newsfeed for the specific time of the year.  

Basically, you want your content to be seasonally relevant – it should be aligned with the trends of the season. Depending on your business, that might involve hyping the high season, posting inspo shots in the depths of the low season, or sharing Christmas or New Year greetings.

 

3. Use high-quality images  

Your content reflects your brand; use high-quality images for your content. Photos must be clear and easy to understand. There’s no excuse for not using high-quality photos, most smartphones nowadays come with decent cameras. There are also apps that can help improve your photos, like Adobe Photoshop Express, 1967 or Instagram itself. 

 

4. Get help from influencers  

Social media influencers work like brand representatives – they can help promote your brand in different ways. They can mention your products in their own posts, share your photos to their followersand post photos of their experiences with your business.   

The key to working with influencers is to find the right people to represent your brand. Influencers have their own brand image, so choose ones that reflect your brand’s values and style. Consider the influencer’s reach and following before negotiating a deal. You can offer freebies, famils or even cash in exchange for a shout out, shared post or a larger campaign. 

Don’t forget to reach out to travel media (like websites and magazines), OTAs and local tourism organisations. It can be as simple as tagging their Instagram handle in your posts or stories. These bodies are always on the lookout for content to share on their own platforms. 

 

5. Share authentic experiences 

People are likely to engage with brands if they feel they’re trustworthy and show the reality of the experiences they’re promoting. 

Sure, showcase the beauty of your destination and the excitement of your experiences. But don’t forget to share glimpses of behind the scenes. Be open about the day-to-day running of your business. Being open and honest will help your followers to see your brand as trustworthy and credible.

You can also boost your credibility by encouraging your visitors to share their photos and videos to Instagram and sharing this content on your account. Just make sure you always ask their permission before sharing.

 

6. Find the right hashtags

Hashtags matter. They place your posts in specific categories and locations, making you easier to find and generating more traffic to your page.  

For your tourism business, you need to come up with branded hashtags that best describe or relate to your brand and products. Hashtags should be catchy, short and should quickly remind people of your brand.  

 

8. Space out your posts 

In all honesty, posting too frequently looks a little desperate. Flood your followers’ feed and they are likely to get annoyed and hit unfollow 

The rule of thumb is to post once daily or a few times a week. This ensures your followers see your posts but aren’t overwhelmed with your presence otheir feed. 

 

9. Get people involved

Get your followers involved in your Instagram activities by striking up conversations with them. Ask them questions, answer their questions, and respond to messages 

You can also run contestsSimple competitions like asking them to share their best photos of your tours and activities are a great way to generate buzz.   

You can also ask your followers to promote your brand using your hashtags and tag your name in their relevant posts.  

 

10. Cross-post with different social media platforms  

It’s good practice to tweak your content for the different social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).  But consider sharing special content on Instagram, then promoting this content on other platforms. This could look like a special backstage tour of your premises or an exclusive interview with your head chef. This will encourage your Facebook or Twitter followers to come and follow you on Instagram. 

Lucy Russell Byrne

Lucy Russell Byrne

Lucy is a Marketing Advisor at Tourism Accelerator