As we all know, social networks can be a key tool to help market any business, and this even including hostels. As a matter of fact, social networks are such effective marketers because of how well they can broadcast your brand image. The trick is using them to full effectiveness and making sure they properly represent the brand image you are desiring to portray.
So, let's talk about Instagram: this app, according to the masses, "can make a photographer out of anyone". The simplicity comes from it's ability to add filters to the photos to make them look better. The ease of the app and outstanding results with the photos has given Instagram a massive following of more than 200 million users, more than double that of Pinterest.
How to create my hostel's Instagram
First, let's get the program. To do this, we need to make an account and download it. You can download it via your mobile device either in GooglePlay (Andriod) or the AppStore (Apple). Once you have that done you just sign up by using either an existing Facebook or email account. Instagram offers us the possibility to search our contacts in Facebook and find friends we would like to follow in Instagram. You will see that the interface is both simple and intuitive.
How to navigate
You'll see the homepage with updates from your friends and Like the photos or add comments.
Here we actually have a nice feed that shows us the most popular photos on Instagram at that moment. You can also search for photos based either users names or how they are tagged.
In the middle, we finally arrive to the purpose of this app: the camera. You can either take a new photo or find one in your gallery. Then the option of cropping the photo and editting it by adding filters, adjusting brightnesses or contrasts and others. You can also use apps such as SquareInstaPic to make your pictures square, or make collages between several photos. You can download these apps on Google Play or iTunes. But be careful: if your images aren't attractive enough, don't publish them!
The next in line is the news button. Seperated into two tabs, following and news, it will keep you notified on new followers and what your friends who you are following are posting.
At the end is your profile. Here you can see and edit your profile. You can also access your account settings here. Great, now we are ready to begin using Instagram! All that's left is to upload some photos, do some minor editting and share with the goal of creating our own community on this network and, in doing so, help promote the hostel and broadcast our brand image.
Ideas for cool posts
Live action photos: show your followers what is happening in the hostel. Take advantage of a preplanned event or a group getting ready for a tour or excursion. In this aspect, we are showing a lively atmosphere in the hostel and why people enjoy being there.
Although not very long, Instagram allows you to put up 15 seconds videos on your profile. This is a way to capture the best moments in the hostel and share them.
show the warmth and charm of each room.
Photos of guests and tag them: start your hostel community, show your followers the best moments of what is happening in your hostel and give your currect guests the opportunity to remember them and see them later.
Some hostel benefit if they follow you and especially if they tag you and difuse your name and image. This is wonderful advertising: travelers are always meeting new travelers on their journeys, sharing stories and the places where they stayed. Make sure you stay in their mind (in a good way!) and others can see and are recommended to lodge with your hostel.
Take postcard photos of your city. Use these images to tell followers about the climate, events, activities, sports, etc.
You are now ready to go! Happy hostelling!