When we decide to go on vacation, we always long for the best options, regarding prices, locations, accommodation and experiences to be made. Next to honest information provided by brands, agencies, airlines etc. we highly rely on former customers and their reviews. This includes written reviews on websites and such, but now more than ever, it also includes visual inspiration. What better place than Instagram to get what we’re looking for?

Booking flights and accommodations for vacations is rarely an impulsive act. Usually, consumers invest a great deal of time into detailed research. Lots of Instagram users browse the platform to receive inspiration for new places to visit, recommendations for sights to see and beautiful spots apart from typical tourist attractions. They use hashtags, bloggers, locations and brand accounts for their research. Brands and businesses from the tourism sector should not underestimate the relevance and power Instagram has for their marketing. The following tips and tricks can help to attract new customers, provide users with useful information and offer inspiration.

1. Tag locations

In case you offer trips to different countries, cities, continents, make sure to include locations in your posts. This way your followers will know where exactly the pictures or videos were taken. This helps them to research exact locations. Additionally, it gives your account an informational and trustworthy aspect – your share insights into your locations, providing a basis for users to experience the locations themselves.

2. Write interesting and useful captions

Next to visual inspiration, you can share actual helpful and interesting information through your captions. This can include location-based information or insights, but also fun facts, recommendations for restaurants or activities, reminders for regulations to be aware of or to address good causes you support. Be creative and use this format to directly address users and (potentially new) customers. A post’s caption is where you can include any travel advice you would like to share with your followers. They will appreciate the extra time you took to complete your posts.

Airbnb is a great example for the first two points, continuously tagging locations in their posts and offer further information through the caption.


3. Mix up your content

Instagram allows you to share images and videos, boomerangs, layouts and hyperlapses. Make use of this variety of possible types of content. Be creative and try to mix it up. Use videos to share interviews with employees or locals, create boomerangs of beautiful sceneries or take your followers on a little adventure and share the compressed version with Hyperlapse. The possibilities are endless, just be creative and try to create comprehensive insights into different locations or your company’s inner workings.

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4. Share authentic, honest content

While you are a brand promoting your own products, you should keep in mind that Instagram users do not like to feel overwhelmed with advertisements. They are looking for authentic inspiration instead of polished brand content or stock photos. A great way to offer honest imagery is through user-generated content. This includes images and videos taken by real people who have shared their content on the platform. The look and feel of UGC is more trustworthy. Users believe others chose to share their images not to advertise, but to offer real insights. UGC promotes destinations, locations, services and brands through individual but still trustworthy ways.

An impressive example of the integration of UGC is Tourism Australia’s Instagram account @australia. The account continuously shares images taken by other users, travelers or locals. This results in a large variety of different but equally beautiful content.

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5. Promote a hashtag

Following the advice to share UGC, an important factor is the promotion of a brand related hashtag. A branded hashtag will ensure your customers will share content and you will be actually able to receive the content. Pick a hashtag that relates to your brand, it’s image, your slogan or the message you want to convey with your Instagram account. It helps to use the hashtag in your own posts and include it in your account’s bio with a call-to-action that animates followers to share their content with you through the hashtag.


Coverphoto: unsplash.com/jordansanchez