The Basics of Instagram Marketing in Hospitality

Table of contents

You probably already know that Instagram is where it’s at. Whether you’re scrolling for travel inspo or snapping pics of your brunch, this platform is the ultimate playground for visual storytelling. But how can hotels and restaurants make the most out of it? Here are the basics of Instagram marketing to turn those double-taps into actual bookings.

Should My Business Have an Instagram Account?

Wondering if your business should be on Instagram? Absolutely—especially in hospitality! It’s all about showing off your vibe: from mouthwatering dishes and cosy decor to the latest events and specials. Instagram isn’t just for selfies anymore; it’s where your potential customers spend their time, checking out places to go and making plans with friends. It’s a visual menu of what you offer, and a place to build real connections with your community. Whether it’s sharing stories, collaborating with content creators, or just keeping up with trends, Instagram is your go-to for staying relevant and reaching new customers.

Visual Storytelling

Instagram’s visual focus makes it an ideal platform for hotels, restaurants and bars to showcase their unique features, amenities, and experiences. High-quality photos and videos can evoke emotions and inspire potential guests to book a stay or make a reservation.

According to Statista, 75% of travellers turn to social media for travel inspo, making it the ultimate tool for influencing destination choices. Instagram’s visual appeal makes it one of the best and most popular platforms for driving travel purchases. By sharing stunning images of your property, rooms, food, drinks and surroundings, you can capture the attention of potential guests and stand out from competitors. Imagine people researching where to go for a day trip with their friends or family. They aren’t just going to Google to find out where to go, they’re going straight to social media.

This graph by HubSpot shows that using social media for search is on the rise with 28% of millennials and 31% of Gen Z preferring social search. So, make sure you are discoverable on the ‘gram! 

Graph – research conducted by HubSpot

@psamathi_chania (Instagram), a hotel in Crete effectively showcase their essence through stunning visuals that depict the hotel’s quality. Their social media offers an authentic peek into the experience, highlighting intricate details that make you envision yourself there. Added to my travel bucket list!

Instagram Stories and Reels

Besides your usual posts, Instagram Stories and Reels are perfect for getting creative. Hotels can use Stories to give behind-the-scenes peeks, drop special deals, or even let guests take over. Reels are great for quick, fun videos showing your hotel’s personality and charm. It’s great to incorporate various content formats to your instagram marketing strategy.

Instagram reels

Psamathi Living and Taste also diversify their content with engaging short reels, which perform well for an independent hotel and bring their unique offerings to life.

Reaching Travellers in the Planning Stage

How many of us are guilty of scrolling social media for ideas of where to stay, what to do, and where to go—I know we are! We will say it again, social media has become a vital search point for planning trips and inspiration. By regularly posting high-quality content and using the right hashtags, the hospitality industry can catch the eye of potential guests planning their next day out or weekend away. 

Instagram’s explore page and hashtag search make it easy for users to find fresh accounts and content that match their interests. By fine-tuning your profile and posts with the right keywords and hashtags, you can boost your visibility to travellers seeking their next travel inspiration.

Targeted Instagram Advertising

Instagram’s ad platform offers precise targeting capabilities, focusing on demographics, interests, and behaviours. Hotels and restaurants can craft ads that resonate with users interested in travel, luxury experiences, or specific destinations. These tailored campaigns can boost direct bookings and enhance brand visibility among the right audiences.

Building Brand Awareness and Loyalty

Your Instagram marketing strategy should include more than just a way to make sales. Brand awareness and loyalty are just as important. Consistently sharing engaging content on Instagram helps build brand awareness and establish your brand identity. By showcasing your business’s unique features, amenities, and experiences, you can create a strong brand identity that resonates with your target audience. It’s your chance to show off a little! 

Interacting with followers by responding to comments and DMs creates a community feel and boosts loyalty. Customers who feel connected to your brand are more likely to book repeat visits and recommend your business to others.

The Benefits of Content Creator Partnerships

Partnering with Content Creators can expose your brand to fresh, relevant audiences. Content creators in the travel, lifestyle, or food scenes can spotlight your property to their dedicated followers, boosting interest and bookings.

When picking content creators to collaborate with, consider their audience demographics, engagement levels, and how well they gel with your brand. Collaborations can include everything from sponsored stays and posts to social media takeovers and long-term partnerships.

For example, @psamathi_chania would be an ideal match for the travel content creator @lavieestgrecque. This partnership is particularly fitting due to the creator’s deep affinity for Greece and their status as a micro-influencer boasting a strong engagement rate.

Travel content creator

Measuring Success and Adapting Strategies

Don’t ignore the data! It’s all about keeping an eye on the right numbers and tweaking your Instagram marketing strategy as you go. Track your engagement rates, watch your follower count, and see how much traffic Instagram is sending to your site. This will help you figure out what’s working and what’s not.

Use Instagram’s built-in analytics tools, such as Instagram Insights, to gain valuable data on your audience demographics, top-performing posts, and optimal posting times. Regularly review and analyse this data to refine your content strategy and ensure you meet your marketing goals.

You can check your Instagram Insights if your account is a professional or business account.

Instagram Insights


That’s a brief guide to Instagram marketing in the hospitality industry.

To create a brand that clicks, you must get inside your audience’s mind. What do they find entertaining or useful? What’s trending? Does video content or static images perform better? At what time of day do posts perform best?

The best thing to do is start by auditing your current strategy. What’s working, and what’s not working? If things aren’t working out, change it up! Create a content calendar to plan content ahead of time and be bold with fresh ideas and collaborations. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your Instagram account, and make sure you post frequently. Consistency will reel in followers and ramp up engagement—no pun intended!

With focus and a guest-first mindset, Instagram can help you attract new visitors and boost reservation revenue.

Contact us today to see how we can help your business with an excellent social media strategy! For additional tips, subscribe to the Horizon by Hummingbird Podcast on YouTube, where you’ll find discussions on digital marketing and business innovation.

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