Have you noticed how during peak vacation times your Instagram feed fills up with pictures of friends' vacations, weekend getaways, and day trips? There's a reason: Instagram's visual format and location tagging feature makes it the perfect platform for showing off travel adventures. In fact, 48% of users rely on Instagram to find a new travel destination, and 35% use it to discover a new place. While this seems like a great foundation for travel brands to build on, it's not a perfect one. Most users are more likely to trust their friends' vacation pictures than those from a company. This is an important consideration - along this line, here are three tips to help travel brands connect with their Instagram audience in an authentic and engaging way.
Consider Your Travellers
There are multiple aspects of traveling, each one with its own appeal. Do your travelers want luxury accommodations or to be in touch with nature? Would they rather see bustling cityscapes or sprawling mountains? Are they interested in the local culture, the nightlife scene or trying new foods? Do your research and find out what attracts your users to travel in the first place.
Aim to Inspire, Not Sell
Travelers aren't impulse buyers. They usually visit over 20 sites before purchasing a ticket somewhere, and they value this process. Your first priority should be to inspire, not to advertise. Subtle call to actions are fine, but make sure you're taking the opportunity to showcase destinations, activities, and culture. Airbnb does a great job with this, by providing educational captions relevant to the local area.
Keep it Real
Vacationers are already posting pictures while traveling, so take advantage of the user generated content. Your users' pictures are real, which other viewers may trust as more credible sources for your content. Travel + Leisure is a good role model in this case, as they post up to 3 user generated photos per day.
Keep these tips in mind, especially as the holidays approach. Your users might be looking for a new travel spot to escape the cold weather.
What travel brands do you turn to when booking a trip and why?
This article was originally published on Likeable Media's blog.