How tourism brands should communicate on Instagram?

What are the best practices on Instagram?

With more than 500 million active users each month, 80 million photos posted each day and more than 3,5 billion likes per day, Instagram has become a major asset for the communication of tourism companies. It is today an essential social media for tourism brands in an era where most of connected travellers are using their mobile phones permanently to photograph and share their activities on social media. Around 64% of the instagramers are posting pictures of their travels, making Instagram the ultimate weapon to increase one’s online community.

As an inspirational platform, Instagram is the most used social media by French people to find their next destination today. To develop the brand image, to create a link with the users or to promote products (destination, services, offers…), tourism actors have to be present on Instagram. Indeed, the platform proved to be more efficient than Facebook, thanks to a higher engagement rate which is about 4 to 5% on average! That engagement rate is the most important indicator to evaluate properly our online presence and our editorial strategy.

What are the good practices to implement on Instagram?


  • Create a hashtag

To encourage users to share content linked to products or experiences offered by the destination (itineraries, activities, hotels, restaurants…), setting up an official hashtag is essential for a tourism brand. This hashtag is a way to affirm the brand identity and to consolidate the community around a key word. The Instagram users can use it to publish some travel pictures and the tourism brand will be better able to track content and eventually repost it on its own social media.

The Singapore Tourism Board (@Singapour.tourisme) has set up two hashtags: #PassionMadePossible and #VisitSingapore

  • Increase engagement

To ensure a proper engagement of the community, it is highly advised to publish often (several times per week) photos or posts which invite the community to participate by posting questions and by encouraging the use of the hashtag that was set up. Also, organizing contests on the Instagram pages of tourism brands represent a well-performing mechanism to generate engagement and it will allow to the destination to gain visibility on a large scale with a low budget. These contests can be declined simultaneously on several social media (Facebook, Twitter…) and thus, rely on multi-channel communication.

Example of contest organised by the tourism office of Ireland (@tourismeirlandais) on Instagram for Christmas

  • Develop stories

Stories have appeared in 2016 and now occupy a major place in the communication on Instagram. In the form of texts, pictures or videos (15 seconds maximum per story), they can be seen as many times as you want for 24 hours. They allow tourism brands to have a much larger reach than with a simple photo publication because they are seen, on average, by 30% of subscribers. These stories can show behind the scenes of a company, relay photos of the subscribers, broadcast live information… In short, they have endless possibilities!

A few examples of Stories created on the Instagram account of Mauritius Island (@mon_ilemaurice)

  • Build partnerships with influencers

Today, in order to generate notoriety for a tourism brand, the easiest way is to call upon influencers on Instagram because they have a strong audience and a real influence on our consumption habits. Partnerships with famous influencers will generally have more impact than an advertising campaign because the consumers trust the influencers reviews more. In the tourism industry, it is interesting to have an influencer discover a destination or a product in exchange of some contents on Instagram, which could in turn also be used on the Instagram account of the brand.

The tourism board of Sweden (@visitswedenfr) sent influencers on an adventure in the country, such as with the influencer Alex Vizeo

Unlike Facebook, Instagram allows to be closer to your community and is particularly well adapted to the tourism industry thanks to the picture format which inspire and inform the users. Advertising is also better perceived by the community because the format is so different from the usual channels. However, the editorial strategy must not be overlooked because it is the key element to get a high engagement rate and to develop the brand image of the tourism actor.

Justine Robert

Content & Community Manager

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