One of the most significant ways to increase awareness for your hotel is through social media marketing. If your hotel has a social media presence, you’re already ahead of the curve. However, you can never stop improving your discoverability, engagement, and reach, particularly on Instagram.
Below are a few ways your hotel can improve its social media presence through Instagram SEO.
On the Explore page of Instagram, users typically type in a particular account they are looking for. The search bar is similar to the search bar in Google, in that users can search specific subjects such as ‘Clothing Store’ or narrow their search and write ‘Chicago Clothing Store.’ From there, Instagram crawls through millions of accounts to find the user the most relevant and useful account based on their search.
According to Instagram, most search results are based on posts you interact with and who you follow. However, Instagram also uses keywords.
How can your hotel optimize your Instagram bio?
First, start with what keywords you want to rank for. If your hotel is in New York, consider using the keyword phrase “New York Hotel” in your Username, Name, and Bio. It’s okay if you can’t change your Username to the keyword you’d like to rank for; you can still use it for your Name and Bio Description.
To edit your profile information, click ‘Edit Profile’ and find customizable fields for your Name, Username, Website, and Bio.
Never underestimate the power of a hashtag. One of the most successful ways to get discovered on Instagram is through hashtags. Hashtags increase engagement and reach, and thus help you gain new followers from all over the world.
The hotel industry is one of the sectors that benefit most from hashtags because hotels can reach audiences near and far looking for a hotel to stay.
With hashtags, you have much more flexibility and many more options! You don’t have to stick to just one keyword. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post. We don’t recommend using 30 as it can weaken the quality of your posts. However, we do recommend using 5-10 strategically chosen hashtags that are true to your hotel brand.
How can your hotel create a solid hashtag strategy?
A rule of thumb we always abide by is sticking to a specific volume range. Now, this is entirely up to you, but we recommend a volume of 1,000 – 100,000. The volume refers to the number of posts that contain that hashtag.
Volume is important because too little of a volume means no one searches it, and you most likely won’t be discovered often. Too large of a volume means your account will get mixed in with the posts using that hashtag, meaning once you post, you will likely get flooded by more posts within seconds.
To find out the number, search the hashtag in your Instagram search bar on the Explore page, and the hashtag and volume number will appear. Chose hashtags that will reach your intended target audience.
Once you have a solid strategy in place, test these hashtags. Make sure they’re reaching people, and that they aren’t a waste of hashtags. If you notice low engagement on a post, consider replacing those hashtags with new ones. It’s all about testing, tracking, and improving!
Now that we’ve covered hashtags and bios, let’s talk about the Instagram feature that gives you the most freedom: captions. The great thing about captions is their versatility and creativity. But how can you rank with captions?
Have you ever noticed that your Explore page contains posts that are usually tailored to your interests? Instagram’s algorithm sets your Explore page up that way. The app tracks your behavior to deliver you topically similar accounts that it believes you will enjoy.
With captions, you are now able to rank higher based on the keywords you use. According to Instagram, they determine what kinds of accounts to place in your Explore page using a machine learning method called “word embedding.”
To put it simply, if you’re going on vacation to San Francisco and searching for hotels in that area on Instagram, they will search for topically similar accounts to place in your Explore feed. Instagram looks at keywords on an account you searched and finds more accounts with related keywords.
How can your hotel pop up on the Explore page with captions?
This algorithm uses Bios, Names, and Usernames, but it also uses captions. If your captions are descriptive and related to the hotel industry, Instagram will group you with those similar accounts.
Try to keep most of your captions relative to the hotel industry, your location, and any other general information about your hotel. However, don’t stray away from your brand voice. Stay true to your brand, and get creative with your captions!
Instagram recently came out with a new feature that often goes unnoticed due to the steps it takes to use it, and that’s alt text in posts. This new feature was designed for the visually impaired so that users could hear the photo’s description.
What’s exciting about this feature is that it can also help with SEO. Creating a custom alternative text for your post gives your audience a thorough description of the post’s purpose, same as photos’ alt text in blog posts, website pages, etc.
How can your hotel add alt text to posts?
First, create a post as you usually would on Instagram. Before posting, click on ‘Advanced Settings’ in small letters at the bottom of the screen. Next, towards the bottom, press ‘Write Alt Text.’
From there, type in the alt text of your choosing. Use mostly keywords, and don’t worry about grammar. Alternative text is meant to provide an accurate description of the photo, meaning the voice does not need to be on-brand.
Now that you’re a pro in Instagram SEO, it’s time to put your plan into action. Use these tips to optimize your profile, become more discoverable, and attract new customers!
Once you begin, don’t forget to track your data. Look at the insights. Instagram offers excellent insights per post, including where users discovered you, such as Hashtags, Home Page, Explore Page, Profile, and more. You can also see how many people you reached. If the number is low, improve your strategy. Good luck!