Move over, Snapchat. Instagram’s latest development, Instagram Stories, may have the potential to take over Facebook Live and Snapchat in one fell swoop. If your tourism company hasn’t taken a look at the ways it can utilize Instagram Stories for its social media marketing strategy, you could be missing out on a vital new way to reach potential guests and increase direct bookings. Don’t be left in the dust as cutting-edge tourism brands get ahead; instead, stay up-to-date on the latest social media trends to optimize your ROI today. This time, we’re taking a close look at Instagram Stories.

 

Engaging Videos Are Crucial To Travel Marketing

Instagram Stories For Tourism Marketing
Photo via Paul Hammerton on Flickr
 

Videos, especially live streams, are the perfect avenue to connect with your audience on a more personal level while also building an excellent rapport with potential customers. Today, anyone with a smartphone or webcam can capture the attention of promising clientele in a matter of minutes.

 

Youtube set the stage in 2005, quickly climbing the ranks to become the leading platform for video sharing. Since this powerhouse introduced the concept of mass-sharing personally made videos, social media platforms have popped up all over the place attempting to gain steam in a similar fashion. Vine had a fleeting debut in 2013, skyrocketing with popularity and fizzling out with the takeover of Snapchat. Facebook recently jumped into the world of video streaming with their debut of live Facebook streams, and apps like Periscope and Meerkat have their own dedicated users and fan base.

 

With each new platform’s attempt at optimizing video sharing experiences, the same idea is reiterated: potential customers don’t just want to read or see photos about your destination or offering—they want the full immersion that videos and live streams offer.

 

What’s more, marketing your brand through videos allows your audience to communicate with you in an informal way, essentially giving customers the chance to build trust in your company as they meet the faces behind the brand.

 

What’s The Difference Between Instagram Stories and Snapchat?

Understanding The Difference Between Instagram Stories and Snapchat
Photo via Esther Vargas on Flickr

Snapchat, once called the most important social network among millennials, changed the face of video networking by creating a system of 10-second or less videos that automatically delete after being opened. In addition, Snapchat offered a ‘Snapchat Stories’ feature where users could post unlimited pictures and videos that would remain online for all followers to see for 24-hours before they were automatically deleted from the account.

 

Now Instagram Stories has taken a similar concept and brought it to a platform already in use by 500 million people around the globe.

 

Reach Your Instagram Audience In A Whole New Way

Instagram Stories For Your Tourism Marketing Strategy
Photo via Virginia State Parks On Flickr 
 

Instagram’s genius addition of IG Stories gives you a fresh new way to engage with your current Instagram following all within the same platform. Instagram Stories is similar to Snapchat’s Stories in that it allows you to upload streams of photos and videos of 10 seconds (or less) per video. This collection of videos will remain on your profile for 24-hours before automatically being taken down.

 

Does Your Tourism Business Need To Get On Instagram Stories?

Do You Need Instagram Stories In Your Tourism Marketing Strategy?
Photo via Rosaura Ochoa on Flickr
 

As with virtually every social media platform, the answer to this question will depend largely on who your target audience is and what social platforms they are active on.

 

The Instagram community is perhaps its greatest advantage over Snapchat, with an estimated five times as many active users as Snapchat. The Next Web puts it well, saying: “Most powerful of all is Instagram’s current perch in the social world – it’s already got a network full of people actively using the app to make friends, follow new people and discover different parts of the world. That’s the killer feature Snapchat doesn’t have; the sense of community.”

 

For the tourism industry in particular, we already know that Instagram holds huge power in its ability to reach travelers and impact their buying decisions.

 

When engaging with top business brands, Instagram boasts a per-follower engagement rate that is 58 times higher than Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter. Rather than invest time in a new video sharing platform, IG stories is the perfect way to engage travelers via a medium that is only growing in importance. IG stories can save you time while increasing engagement with followers and offering important snapshots into the personality behind your brand, without the extra effort of building a fresh following from the ground up.

 

The Do’s & Don’ts Of Instagram Stories:

The Dos and Don'ts of Instagram Stories
Photo via Alan O’Rourke on Flickr
 

DO utilize Instagram Stories to build trust with your audience and reveal the personality behind your brand. These tips will enhance your Instagram Story and maximize your audience interaction.

 

DO Share candid moments! Instagram Stories isn’t supposed to be purely professional. Your audience wants to see the character and personality behind your brand. Showing your followers that you’re ‘just like them’ will build new levels of trust and increase ROI.

 

DO Feature Your Staff: A little time in the limelight will make your employees more excited to support your brand and go the extra mile. Additionally, this will reveal the ‘faces behind the machine’ to your IG followers.

 

DO Share Special Events & Community Happenings: Is it your star-employees’ birthday? Did your company reach their latest goal? Share these moments and special events on your story. Remember, this isn’t pure professionalism. IG Stories are meant to showcase personality.

 

DO Post Consistently: To maximize the potential of IG Stories, your followers need to see your brand at the top of their page every day.

 

DON’T Only Share Ads & Discounts: While it’s okay to throw in a couple special deals here and there, you don’t want to take away from the personal aspect of IG Stories by inundating your followers with seemingly automated stories.

 

DON’T Over Post: While consistency is key, updating your Instagram Story just a few times a day is typically enough to generate engagement and brand awareness.

 

DON’T Share The Same Thing: Diversify your content to keep engagement rising! Make sure to mix it up each time you post so that your audience stays interested.

 

It might be time to rethink your Instagram marketing strategy to make the most of this powerful new tool.

 

Have questions about Instagram Stories or how to get real ROI from your social media marketing strategy? Leave your questions in the comments below!

 

Learn How To Take Stunning Instagram Photos

Now that you know the importance of a rock solid Instagram, it’s time to take charge of yours! We’ve created a free guide to help you get started taking amazing Instagram images today!

 

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