In recent years users have turned to Instagram to share their holiday experiences. Consequently, others use Instagram as a place of inspiration, and a place to gather ideas.
Research shows that one in five travellers turn to social media for inspiration when making travel plans. 23% of these people turn to social for inspiration on accommodation and hotels in particular. A 2013 Nielsen survey found that out of those who used social media to make travel plans, 33% of them switched hotels as a result of what they found.
Facts and figures like these don’t just stress the importance of a social media presence for hospitality and travel brands, but they also emphasis how important it is to stand out; to be ‘Instagramable’.
Millennials are a generation brought up with social media at their fingertips. They have no shame in sharing every ounce of their life with people from all around the world. Forever looking for the next ‘Instagram moment’, Millennials and young people crave sharable experiences. Research has shown that during a holiday, one third of travellers will share at least one photograph on social media.
It is important for hospitality brands to understand the significance of Instagramable moments and shareable experiences. So, what makes things Instagramable? Yes, a view of the Eiffel Tower. Yes, a gold plated Ferrari on the frount drive. Yes, an infinity pool. But, what about when you aren't quite in the right spot for those kind of things. What if those things just aren't in your budget? Instagram moments aren't about spending thousands on brash decor, scenic landscapes and well suited doormen; they’re smaller than that.
Instagram moments are the unexpected. They are ordinary things, made a little less ordinary. They bring a smile to your face and make you say ‘oh, look at that’. They are often personable and almost always quaint. Not too in your face, enough to stand out, worthy of 'the gram', but never decadent or over the top. They are the finishing touches. The unique extras.
The question you should always ask yourself is ‘how can we make this sharable?’. If you can catch your guests off guard and encourage them to share your brand online, the more your visibility and awareness will benefit. Social media is incredibly influential, people trust the experiences of those they know, the reviews of those they follow; it’s a little like word of mouth in that respect.
So, We've done some digging. After spending a fun few hours on Instagram we’ve found some examples of these little Instagramable moments. Examples of when hotels and hospitality brands have approached things just a little differently as a way of encouraging their guests to share online.
Chic and Basic, are hotels in Barcelona and Amsterdam. They present Instagram moments in the form of cute, honest and cheeky bathroom toiletries.
Dean Dublin is a hotel in, well, Dublin. A bit of Irish cheek turns a standard 'do not disturb' sign into a very sharable photograph.
Elan Café in London print inspirational (and extremely Instagramable) quotes on their take out coffee cups...
...While Aida, in Shoreditch, keep their coffee creativity inside the café.
A-boards are an easy one, but an Insta savvy Millennial loves a humorous quote to relate to. The Laslett Hotel in London and Patty & Bun are just two great examples of Instagram's vast collection of quirky A-boards.
Quotes and hand written notes; not only personal, but authentic and touching too. These little touches warrant a superb Instagram opportunity. (Left: The Hoxton, London. Right: Tanya's Cafe, London)
Marketing doesn't all have to be conventional. Of course run your paid media campaigns, distribute your brochures and host your events, but it's important not neglect the simple things.
Think of things a little differently. Make your coffee art, your key cards cute, and your napkins cheeky. Make the ordinary, extraordinary. Create sharable moments and your guests will do the rest.