Instagram To Give Travel Brands A Boost In 2015

Craig Boehman - Author

Feb. 24 2015, Updated 1:43 a.m. ET

Instagram’s social media presence is increasingly influencing how travel brands market their products to customers. Thanks to Instagram’s rapidly growing popularity, strategists are rushing to develop new ways to incorporate Instagram into their marketing and PR efforts. The goal is to utilize their customers’ Instagram accounts to create the visual buzz that oftentimes come from the public’s own experimentation with social media platforms like Instagram.

The New York Times recently opened eight new Instagram accounts for several of its departments, including one for its travel content. Assistant managing editor for audience development at the Times, Alexandra MacCallum, expressed the pros and cons of using Instagram effectively.

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“It’s not an effort to drive traffic to the site. That’s very hard to do on Instagram,” MacCallum said.

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“It’s much more about building awareness and, hopefully, loyalty for The New York Times broadly, but particularly for the Times‘ incredible visual storytelling.”

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Ibis Styles hotels is making use of Instagram in a contest running from March 13 to May 13. They’re inviting customers to take photos of designer home furnishings on display in 15 participating Ibis Styles locations. Contestants post pictures of what they hope to win to their Instagram accounts and then try to gather the minimum number of likes on their Instagram pictures to be eligible for entry.

But not all Instagram strategies are getting positive feedback, like Tourism Thailand’s “creepy” attempt at a short film about strangers meeting in Thailand. Skift reports Thailand’s integration of technology using Instagram to promote the “unique traditions and attractions of Thailand to locals and international tourists” results in an “uncomfortable finished product.” The films follows a Thai woman who’s traveling in remembrance of her sister, and an American man who practically stalks her in order to win her over, despite her rebuffs.

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Forbes reports that one of the biggest mistakes companies make is overlooking the customer’s point of view when attempting to tap the potential of social media outlets like Instagram. Technology has evolved to the stage where the customers themselves become co-creators and often create content much more compelling than any marketing or PR team.

On the flip side of the coin, the Inquisitr reports that Instagram users with as few as 500 followers can make money when used with apps like Popular Pays. The app rewards users who meet this minimum requirement of Instagram followers and who post photos of targeted brands.

Do you use Instagram? How do you rate Instagram for sharing your content?

[Image via Photobucket]


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