At PTS many new start-up tour operators or start-up travel business ask us, “ What is the best social media channel to market a travel business?”

Travel is an emotive industry and as such the power of Instagram and social media for a travel business is fantastic.

Consumer behaviour is led by a want rather than a need in the travel market and to really confirm a booking our job as travel professionals is to bridge the gap between a want and a need. The very second we change the consumer’s mindset from purely wanting to go, to “I need to go there” that’s your sale confirmed. This is absolutely the key to success when selling travel – You must create a need to go to your destinations and packages.

As an emotive industry images and videos allow consumers to follow your business and you can share stunning images, covering a wide variety of destinations, venues, and activities that you cover and show the true beauty of what you are offering.

Why Is Instagram One of The Best Social Media Channels to Market A Travel Business?

Instagram is a platform purely for images and videos and most importantly – It’s free! Travel companies used to rely on brochures to share images and details and now every travel business has access to Instagram. Every day you can share as many scenes, updates, packages, sunsets, hotel bedrooms, views from balconies, infinity pools, safari animals – in essence, anything your company is selling – and truly get consumers to notice you. The better the image the more interest you will have. And, don’t forget the hashtags.

Hash-tags allow you to appear in further searches and reach more people.

For example, #safari #africa #lions #safariholiday #luxury #thebig5 #liveyourbestlife #treatyourself #dreamholiday #namibia #dreamsdocometrue

This list of hash-tags is a perfect example for a Safari company sharing an image of lions on a beautiful Safari holiday in Namibia. You can add as many hashtags as you like, there is no limit. Just make sure the hash-tags are relevant.

Is Instagram the Best Social Media Channel to Market A Travel Business and Sell My Products?

Instagram is owned by Facebook, – common knowledge for most but just for those of you who didn’t know. Both Facebook and Instagram offer outstanding direct marketing tools that are simple to use and remarkably cost-effective. Most importantly Instagram advertising offers a fantastic return on investment for travel companies.

Do make sure your Instagram account is a business account.

A business account gives you access to detailed analytics showing your daily interactions, the demographics of your followers, the most interactive posts and lots of informative information to help you deliver the most effective messages.

How Do I Increase My Instagram Following For My Travel Business?

This is one of the most asked questions so we thought we would set out some simple tips to help you.

  • Don’t Cheat The System – Don’t buy followers and likes. Instagram doesn’t like it and the algorithm will inevitably pick up on shady work and you will be penalised.
  • Improve your photography – your images are the driving force of your Instagram account. Beautiful images don’t need a DSLR, you can just use your smartphone. Try and include members of your team or people that your clients may meet on your trips – make it personable.
  • Develop a Consistent Style – learn about editing. Instagram itself has a great photo editing suite but one of our marketing team’s favourite apps is Colour Style too. Whatever editing suite you choose to use just stay consistent.
  • Interact with the right people – make sure you interact with people who will be interested in your product and have similar interests. If your company specialises in family travel follow other family travel companies and hash-tag # family travel.
  • Change Your Profile Picture – Make yourself and your company look appealing.
  • Optimise your bio – your bio must be fun, snappy and represent you and your company. Include a link to your site. On a business account add the call now button and email now button so you have the consistent call to actions.
  • Use all the hash-tags – There is no limit. So, use as many hashtags as applicable to that image. Take a look at the safari image we used earlier in this blog.
  • Geo-tag Your Images – Images with a location can perform up to 79% better. Tagging the location creates authenticity.
  • Experiment with Captions – There is no limit on caption length. Create a story. Ask questions to encourage interaction.
  • Include A Call To Action – Don’t worry if you are a new starter to Instagram, just stick with this. Ask people to double tap to like. Ask people to share the image. You will be amazed at how many people will start to do this.
  • Tag Other Accounts – If you are In France on a holiday then tag the French Tourism Board. They may well share your image. Tag feature accounts rather than other instagrammers.
  • Stay on Topic – Every Instagram account should have two or three topics MAX. So for a travel firm, cover your products, the team, local food – these are just examples. Whatever you do, don’t suddenly add a picture of your dog that has nothing to do with the topic of your Instagram account.
  • Keep a consistent schedule – posting three times a day is generally the MAX. Some of the most successful accounts only post once a day.
  • Time Your Posts correctly – take a look at your analytics. Think about when most people will be looking at their Instagram account. Would 8pm in the evening result in more people seeing your post? Try and different times and take a look on your Instagram analytics to see when you get most interactions
  • Reply To All Comments – If someone has taken the time to comment on your post then make sure you make the time to reply. This is important. Instagram is social.
  • Use Instagram Stories – If your story is updated you have more chance of staying in the first 5 your followers see at the top of their pages. The stories will create more recognition from followers.
  • Use Instagram Live – Instagram Live is ranked before your posts or stories so will absolutely keep you in the front 5 on your followers accounts. Also, the live facility allows your followers to see you and develop a virtual relationship with you and your company.
  • Promote on Other Social Media Channels – Share on your Facebook, You Tube and Twitter accounts that you have an Instagram Account.

All the tips above should help you to increase your following on Instagram. Be patient and consistent and this will pay off. A huge following will not happen over night.

The best social media channel to market a travel business is one with lots of exposure and many followers.

If you’d like to discuss this further, please get in contact with one of Protected Trust Services’ (PTS) lovely staff members by calling 0207 190 9988. Or, you can visit our member support and travel trust account pages to learn more about how we protect you.

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