Get your hotel up and running in Instagram and Pinterest in 3 easy steps


All hotels sell well with beautifully managed photos. Just imagine yourself lying in a stylish king size bed or lazying into a lobby chair and discussing the next round of golf with your travel friends.

You can help guests to daydream about a hotel stay by joining Instagram & Pinterest, some great tools for building online brand identity waiting to discover the hotel stay they never knew they needed.

Many of the same marketing principles you’re using on your other social media platforms—know your audience, create engaging content, be authentic.


Embrace Hashtags

Start with obvious choices that focus on your brand, such as your actual name and the item you’re promoting (#hotels, #hotelrooms, #getaway, etc), but don’t be afraid to branch out.

Incorporate general tags that are relevant to your photos: a picture of guests drinking in the lobby bar could warrant #craftbeer, #happyhour or #cocktails. This is where you’ll pull in traffic from users browsing general topics. Feel free to jump onto trending hashtags, too, but only if they’re relevant to your message.

Finally, get creative. From #photofriday and #whoeatenallthepies on a dinner photo to #roastinglikelobsters and #pieceofheaven on a beach image, hashtags are an avenue for humorous or ironic additions to enhance your message.


Start a Conversation

You have traffic following your profile and liking your photos—now get them talking! You can ask questions about your brand amenities, such as the must-have option from the pillow menu or favorite breakfast bar item. Post a collage of four hotel pools and ask which one is their favorite, or host a generic, “If you could stay in any of our hotels, which one would you choose?”

If your can, design an Instagram contest or giveaway with prizes. Winners may be chosen from those who respond to a certain post or who publish their own images and use your special contest hashtag.

Don’t forget to browse your follower’s profiles from time to time to comment on and like their photos. Interactive social media accounts lend a feeling of realness and give your brand a more personable appeal.


Post People

Keep that relatable theme going by posting people. Literally. Whether it’s a humorous capture of hotel staff’s Halloween costume contest or your CEO snacking her favorite scone, use Instagram & Pinterest like an open door to let followers see who runs your business.

Also use your followers as a source for content (properly asked for permission and thanked in your re-post, of course). One of my favorite Instagram tips comes from Wishpond’s Krista Bunskoek: “Make your followers famous.” Say “thanks” to your customers by re-posting the brilliant images they take of your hotels, or publish a screenshot of the praise they leave on a review website.

About the author

John Kearney has over 20 years of Hotel Sales and General Hotel Management experience working for both Independent 4 & 5* Hotels & Resorts as well as with Intercontinental (IHG) and Radisson SAS for Hotels based in London as well as across Spain.

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