According to its press page, Instagram has over 300 million monthly users. And those users are uploading 70 million photos per day and those photos along with all the others on the app are acquiring 2.5 billion likes per day.
In a relatively short period of time, Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular applications on the web. People use it all the time to look at photos and to even share their own photos. In a version of the visual sense, you can travel the world by following the right people and brands on Instagram.
And that’s why Instagram is one of the most important web networks for travel brands. Your target customers are likely using the app and they’re looking for appealing photos.
Here are the strategies you can use to build engagement (followers, likes and more) on Instagram.
1. Commit To Posting Regularly In The Mornings And Evenings
According to one study, the best time to post photos on Instagram is during the morning and in the evening. In the study, one brand specifically posts in the evenings to capture the evening engagement presumably when people are done with work and settling into their nighttime routine.
Also mentioned is the important fact that there aren’t hard numbers on the number of times you should post each day. But it was found that you will lose followers if you’re not posting often.
How much is often?
A good rule of thumb to start is to post at least once each day. Go up from there if you can. Assign one person on your team to be in charge of the company’s Instagram and make it part of their routine to post once starting out and then more than once throughout the day and especially in the morning and evening.
2. Use Less Color In Photos
Perhaps surprisingly, a study found that cool colors like blues and grays do well on Instagram. And when you tone down the colors to focus on a single vibrant color you’re more likely to get more likes.
The study also found that light is better than dark in images. So taking an image in a dark room won’t do as well as an image taken outside when the sun is shining or in a room where there is sufficient light.
Also, those close up images you sometimes see where you can’t really make out what’s going on: they don’t do as well as images with backgrounds. People apparently like to know what’s going on in an image. So instead of taking a close up of the sand on the beach where your company is based, take a complete image of the sand, water and sky so people can see everything.
And here is a funny one: images of people making the duck face actually do better than images where people are smiling like regular human beings.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing the duck face in your Instagram images, but maybe once in a while will get you more likes and follows. Maybe it’ll show off your brand’s fun side.
3. Use Hashtags On Just About Every Photo
Hashtags are incredibly useful. And I’m not talking about the ironic and fun hashtags like #ifonlyihadknownthen. I’m talking about the hashtags people actually follow on Instagram and the hashtags that relate to travel.
Here is what one person said about using the #travel hashtag:
It’s also easy for people to find you if you use the right hashtags. For example, if I’m tweeting a travel photo, I use the hashtag #travel, and people who don’t follow me but are interested in travel come out of the woodwork to like the photo — sometimes they become followers as well. This may be the most hashtag-friendly social platform out there.
That’s exactly right. Using hashtags brings people to your photos that aren’t following you. They can discover your feed and fall in love.
I did some research on travel hashtags. You can find the best 10 to use in this post:
Fall in #love with those hashtags and you’ll get more engagement on the photos you share. Stick to using 1 to 3 hashtags with each photo. You don’t want to go overboard. Try all of those and a few others and see which work best.
Bonus Strategy: Take Advantage Of User-Generated Content (UGC)
I’m a fan of golf. I love traveling to play golf or staying right in my area to play.
A few years ago I stumbled upon something Golf Digest was doing with Instagram.
It’s cool for golfers to see their image on the site or even in the magazine.
You can try the same strategy for your brand. You can use a hashtag that uses your brand name or you could use a more general hashtag like your city, state or area.
Of all the social networks you could use to promote your travel brand I definitely would recommend Instagram as one of the top or the top one to use. There are hundreds of millions of people all over the world using it.
And being in the travel industry, you’re in the perfect position to share all kinds of great photos that people want to see. They can see your photos, fall in love and book their trip. Okay, that might not happen for everyone, but you get the idea.
Get started today and use the strategies above to make the most out of your Instagram strategy.