Getting Started on Instagram for Travel Agents
Written by: Michelle on September 04, 2018
Over the last 11 years, Instagram has evolved into a powerful marketing platform for businesses to interact with leads and clients. It’s important to know what to post and how you can use this tool to interact with your clients. Here’s a short guide to help launch your Instagram or revamp it into a more effective marketing tool.
Setting Up Your Account
- Download the Instagram App on your mobile device.
- When asked to sign up, use your business email. This will ensure you are not connecting your personal Facebook or email account to your business Instagram.
- Use your business’s name for the Name.
- If possible, use your business’s name for your Username as well. If it is too long or already taken, make your username as easy to remember as possible. This way people can search for and tag your business in their posts.
- For your profile photo, choose your logo or your headshot. If you already have a business page for Facebook, using the same profile photo for your Instagram will make it easy for people who want to follow you on both platforms to find you.
- If you have a Facebook Business Page, you can have an Instagram Business profile. Once you have your account set up, use the options menu to switch to a Business profile. It will then prompt you to connect your Facebook Business Page.
- Once your Instagram Business profile is set up, you can add your contact information so that users can email or call you.
- Add a link to your website so people can find out more information on your business.
Remember, keep your business account set to public, so users can preview your content and follow you.
Types of Instagram Posts
When the platform first launched, it only allowed square photos. As it has grown and added more features, you can now post rectangular photos, but square photos are still popular and preferred by many users.
You can post video to Instagram, so long as the clip is under one minute. Keep in mind that users have the sound muted as they are scrolling unless they opt to listen. It is important to add a caption below video posts to highlight what is happening and encourage users to turn the sound on.
Boomerang is a feature that allows you to take a short video that then functions similar to a GIF. The clip plays on a loop, and there is no sound. These are great for adding movement to your posts without having it be a formal video.
You can select multiple images, videos, and boomerangs to post in a carousel. These can hold up to ten images but show up as one post that allows users to swipe through the collection. These are great for posting multiple images of an event without cluttering the feed of your followers.
Instagram also allows users to post in-the-moment stories. Similar to Snapchat stories, these brief video clips or images stay active for 24 hours, and then disappear after that.
How to Use Hashtags
Use a custom hashtag for your brand. For example, KHM Travel Group uses the hashtag, #KHMRocks. Make sure to share your hashtag with your clients so that they can use it when posting pictures of their trips. This helps to build your brand in the eyes of Instagram and makes your business searchable.
Use popular but relevant hashtags, like #Adventure, #Travel, #Getaway, #VacationMode, or #Wanderlust. Find out if the destination, resort, cruise line, or event you are posting about has a custom hashtag. Aim to include at least 2 or 3 hashtags per post and to add as many as are relevant.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Instagram users say they use the app to explore new places and cultures as well as to revisit their own travel photos. To intrigue and gain followers, focus on posts that help to establish you as a travel expert. Use images that will make people curious about the destination or subject of the post.
- Let those who follow you on other social media platforms know that you now have an Instagram account, so they can follow you. Include social buttons in your emails, and ask clients to follow you.
- Stay engaged with your followers. If people comment on your posts, you should respond to them, even if it’s just with a quick, “Thanks!”
- Follow industry leaders and other businesses. Stay on top of what others in the travel industry are posting and how other businesses are marketing to clients. These may help you develop your own ideas by seeing what works for others.
KHM Travel Group is also on Instagram as @KHMTravel! Follow us to see what it’s like to be an independent travel agent with our host agency. If you would like to learn more about joining us, fill out the form to the right or give us a call at 1-888-611-1220.