In this post we are going to reveal a super effective strategy that will help you to get more direct bookings from Instagram!
The secret is in hashtags!
What is a hashtag?
The users see the hashtags when they search content on Instagram in photo descriptions or in comments.
When someone clicks on a hashtag, he will be redirected to the special Instagram search page, that is, to the page with the results of all the photos which have hashtags, set chronologically (the latest ones are the first).
Hashtags are actually great filters of Instagram content search and help users in obtaining the content they want in a much faster and easier way.
Hashtags are present for a long time, and most of us are acquainted with them, so there is no need for further explanation of the basic things.
There are hashtags which are frequently used in tourism. Among them are:
#journeys #journey #tourism #hotels #holiday #travel #adventure #trip #tourist #vacation #travelphotography #instatravel #traveltheworld #hotel #hotels
and many others.
Beside these hashtags, hotels, destinations or agencies should also use the branding hashtags. For instance, Marriott hotels use the hashtag #marriott.
If you are using hashtags, you will make your content more visible, and if you use the right hashtags, you will also get better reactions to your content (more likes, comments and followers).
Tools for following hashtags on Instagram
Iconosquare is a tool for search of users or hashtags on Instagram.
Hootsuite allows you to easily follow hashtags, users and also locations. You can, for instance, follow hashtag #SanFrancisco and also a location San Francisco next to each other, which can be very useful.
Hashtracking gives you very useful statistical data for the hashtags you choose. You can get various information, such as:
- Influencers (people with the highest number of followers) who use this hashtag;
- Reach of the posts with this hashtag and a number of appearances of that photo with a particular hashtag
- (People) Accounts which use that hashtag;
- Texts in which this hashtag is used.
Postplanner gives you the possibility to find the most popular photos with the specific hashtag. This gives you the chance to see what is ranked as great with the users, and to possibly share some similar photos, not only on your account but also on Facebook or Twitter, as what is ranked well on Instagram is also ranked well on other social networks.
So, how to use hashtags to get more direct bookings on Instagram?
1. Find your target group and connect to them
Thanks to hashtags, you can find the Instagram users who are interested in what you offer to them. They are your target group. How to reach them? Here is the example…
If you own the apartments somewhere in Chamonix, France, you can suppose that tourists who once visited Chamonix, will come again to this mountains.
They are your target group.
You should follow the hashtag #Chamonix and like all the nice photos of the users who have already visited the place. You can write an appropriate comment on some of them.
Never promote yourself in these comments, be useful and interesting, and not some bothersome person who spams people.
If you don’t have any idea what to write in a comment, just put a like on the photo. Do the same with all the relevant hashtags.
However, your target group are not only the tourists who have visited Chamonix but also the ones who visited other ski centers in the Alps and Europe, since they have shown their affinity towards the mountain destinations.
This is the reason why you should also follow the hashtags #ValThorens, #Alps, #MontBlanc, #Zermatt, #Courchevel, #CortinadAmpezzo, #ValdIsere and others, and repeat the same procedure mentioned above.
Think further about your target group…
Your target group is also the group of skiers, so you should also follow the hashtag #skiing and do the same, as well as other ski-related hashtags.
The members of your target group can be found among the travel lovers in general, so you can also follow the hashtags #travel and #traveling. The list of hashtags is much longer than this, but you get the point. Of course, use all these hashtags when posting your photos.
Restaurant in Rome?
In case you own a restaurant or a cafe in Rome, you will follow the hashtag #Rome. In this case, the target group are not only people from Rome but also the tourists who are currently in Rome.
You can ‘reach’ tourists by searching the location for the word ‘Rome’ and follow only the latest photos, posted during the last day or two (ideally, during the last few hours), as there is a greater possibility that these tourists are still in Rome (if they are tourists at all).
In case you own a restaurant, you should aim to connect with (you have to like at least one, or more than one photo and to put some comments on them) users who post the photos of food, especially food from restaurants.
In case you own a cafe, you will get in touch with people who post photos of coffee, freshly made orange juice, and so on.
Such activities signify your presence, especially to your target group, in a nice, natural and unassuming way.
Some of them will remember the name of your object and Google, some of them will call the telephone number, or visit the website, some of them will follow you on social networks, and some of them will even make a booking.
Potentially, you can make a considerable number of bookings by using this method, and how much money have you invested?
It’s true, nothing.
You just need time, persistence and determination, but it is implied that you already possess this trait, as you decided to engage with social networks, don’t you?
2. Which hashtags use your contenders?
Simply check the hashtags which your contenders use if they have already developed impeccable Instagram accounts, and start searching for and using only those which seem comprehensible and relevant enough.
It does not mean that hashtags which the contenders use are the ones that are good for you, too.
3. Check the most popular hashtags
Some hashtags are being used more often than the others, and this is the reason why they are more visible. Find them and start using them. Of course, it is important to stay focused and use the hashtags which are related to the photo itself and to the field of your work.
4. Check for not so popular hashtags
Do not use a hashtag only because it’s popular.
You shouldn’t only use the most popular hashtags, as your posts are quickly lost with them in the vast number of similar posts. Always use them together with the less popular ones.
5. Write more than just hashtags
There are many photos on Instagram which have only hashtags in their descriptions. That’s a mistake. Before hashtags, always put some description on the photo you post. Try to create an interesting description and to tell a story behind the photo.
Usage of hashtags on Instagram is necessary. The fact that you need to use them does not mean that you should just ‘throw them over’ a photo you post. Usage of hashtags and Instagram overall has to start with the precisely set and developed strategy.
Strategical use of this social network, with the advice I gave you in this post, can significantly help you in increasing the number of guests and tourists, and enhance the visibility of your offer and building up of your brand, which will result in the increased number of guests and profit in the long term.