The photo-sharing social network Instagram started out as an app and is loved by users worldwide. The platform's popularity now means that having a profile on Instagram is becoming increasingly important. Users can now see different Instagram web profiles and can follow, comment and like images of different organisations or individual users. Throughout last year, more and more tourist boards started to tap into using Instagram for their campaigns and discovered the benefits of the social platform. However, as the network introduced web profiles, many tourism organisations still seem to struggle with getting their profiles right and using them in the best way possible. Maximising opportunities on Instagram is key for organisations’ success on this channel (Social Media Examiner 2013).
INSTAGRAM WEB PROFILES
Instagram really showcases images well, in a collage-like cover on top of organisations' profiles. This can be a true inspiration for travellers, especially as the images rotate, giving users a very good idea of the type of experiences travellers can have within a destination. All Instagram images can also be linked in Twitter posts or through Facebook, and consumers can comment and like the images directly on the Instagram site.
It is fairly easy for tourism organisations and destinations to have an Instagram account. However, having an account or just using Instagram is not enough. Integrating Instagram into a company’s overall social media strategy is crucial. On an organisation’s web profile, a website link can be added to trigger click-throughs to their website. To establish Instagram as another channel on which users can share images of a tourism brand or destination, an Instagram badge can be installed on websites. This is a win-win situation as Instagram aims to promote their site and increase their membership and general engagement rates. For destinations and tourism organisations, it is important to make sure that travellers know about the existence of an Instagram account in order to follow the site and engage with them.
INSTAGRAM AND MOBILE
Instagram is quite mobile driven, using hashtags and geo-tagging, which is only available on mobile. With more than 100 million users, it is a great channel for visual marketing and with the start of Instagram web profiles, the tourism industry can get a lot more out of an Instagram presence than before. Make sure you are making the most out of Instagram and using it in a creative and engaging way as part of your overall strategy.
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