Instagram Venue

image via Stròlic Furlàn

We've all been there: checking out our competitor's social media pages and wondering how they were able to get so many followers. There is the usual list of social media must-dos. You can do things such as socializing with fellow Instagrammers and linking your venue's page with other similar social media pages. You’ve probably already done the basics, so now it’s time to take your venue’s Instagram page to the next level. Here are several great ways to not only boost your venue's Instagram following, but also create truly engaging content that will inspire and engage your audience.

Number of hashtags

Instagram strategies for your venue

image via David Goehring

Your venue likely has a hashtag that is somehow related to its name (and perhaps its location). One of the best things about Instagram is that there is no limit on how many hashtags you can use in a single post. It has been proven that hashtags are the number one way that users search on Instagram. That said, you should choose your hashtags carefully. Most users would agree that using five or fewer hashtags is ideal. That way your post won’t lose its impact and you won't come off as too desperate. But how can you make sure you choose the right hashtags?

The right hashtags

Insolito Boutique Hotel Brazil 4

Instagram-worthy photo of a venue in Brazil

Knowing which hashtags to use can be tricky if you don’t do your research before posting. Here is an example: imagine that your venue in Brazil hosted a beautiful wedding. There are many hashtags that could be used when posting pictures of the venue on Instagram, but you only want to use hashtags that are specific to your venue. Here is a breakdown of the “trending” hashtags that you could possibly use for your Brazilian wedding posts: #weddings (over 40 million recent posts), #FallWeddings (over 95,000 recent posts) and #DestinationWeddinginBrazil (nearly 3,000 recent posts). The key is to choose the best hashtags that will highlight your pictures without having them get buried under thousands of other images. It would be hard for anyone to find pictures of your event if you only used the #weddings hashtag. If you used #DestinationWeddinginBrazil, your photos would have much more screen time and be much easier for your target audience to find.

Offer an incentive

Instagram wedding photo collection

image via Needle & Awl

The clients that are considering your venue for their next event have many options to consider. Why not make yours a bit more appealing by offering an incentive to would-be guests? All they have to do to get this incentive is use your venue's hashtag when posting photos of the event on Instagram? This incentive could be as simple as an e-coupon code or a personalized photo booth backdrop. This might seem gimmicky, but it could sway would-be clients to choose your venue over another similar property that they are also considering.

Host an Instagram Contest

Memorable event photo ideas

image via Eric Ronald

Your venue probably has a few things to give away. Let’s say, for example, that you want to promote the new villas that you just added to your property. The prize for your contest can be a free night's stay in one of these accommodations. There are several ways your venue could host an Instagram contest, but there are two that have been proven to be the most effective. You could post pictures of the new space and have contestants tag you in the caption when they repost it, or Instagrammers could use your venue’s hashtag on their own images. Either way, your venue will get free (well, almost free) social media publicity. Just make sure your audience knows that the contest is fair. Make it clear how and when the winners will be chosen: by a simple drawing that includes everyone who tagged your venue or by choosing the best original photo that includes your venue's hashtag.

Get the word out early

Venuelust's Instagram page

Venuelust's Instagram page

If you are hosting a conference, encourage the client to include your venue's social media links on any printed or electronic communication. Tell them that they should also include the appropriate hashtags alongside these links. This will give conference goers a chance to visit your page and, hopefully, follow, check-in and post before they even attend the event. This strategy works for weddings as well. If you know that the couple are planning on using a hashtag to archive their special day, remind them to include it somewhere on the invitation, on their wedding website and on the programs. It wouldn't hurt to mention that they can add a little "don't forget to check-in on Instagram" note as well.

Your turn

What are some ways you’ve promoted your business on Instagram? Use the comments section to let us know.