What is this trendy thing called Instagram that all the cool kids seem to be into? It’s been around for a few years, quietly picking up traction mostly thanks to everybody’s obsession with mobile photography. More people are now paying attention to Instagram than ever before, and the impact it’s having on locations is only growing. It is necessary to understanding the importance of Instagram and how the industry can benefit making our locations ‘Instagramable’.
If you search “Instagramable places in Australia” in your search engine there are numerous pages that jump out at you with headlines “Australia Tops the 50 Most Instagrammable Places in the World”. Industries such as adventure tourism, accommodation and real estate post articles on the top insta spots.
Most of us carry a smart phone with us 24/7 and a great deal of us also have an Instagram account where our amateur snaps with a nice filter, accompanied by a relevant hashtag or two note our activities. National landmarks like Uluru-NT, Bondi Beach-Sydney, Cradle Mountain-TAS, Sydney Harbour, Cable Beach-Broome and Brighton Beach Huts-Melbourne are considered to be top quality Insta spots and great for sourcing new ‘content’. Public flock to these locations to create their own Insta memory and deliver both positive and negative economic, environmental and social effects.
However, this Insta trend is not only for iconic locations. On a recent holiday my 12-year-old daughter paused, looking at me with a serious but excited face “mum this is the most perfect Insta photo”. Sure, it’s not a natural wonder of the world I thought to myself, it was an entrance to a pool/club in Bali, but it did have vibrant coloured pots, lush hanging vegetation, fragrant ornamental flowers and a natural boardwalk underfoot.
At that moment I thought “our sport, recreation and open space sector in Australia could really benefit from Instagram”.
Instagram is the second most used platform, so that means it offers plenty of opportunities! The platform is now used by around 9 million Australians, more than one third of the nation’s population. With one report from Forrester Research finding that Instagram generates 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
So, what are the Instagram benefits to our industry?
Free Advertising: You can showcase your products and services in a way that is visually interesting. That old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
Reach new audiences: Discover new content through hashtags. The Australian Open this year promoted the Instagram hashtag #ausopen2019. This provided a two way communication channel. People were able to upload some amazing photos in front of the tennis ball filled AO letters located around the venue.
Reach your target market: If you want to reach the millennials create an Instagram page. It has been reported that more than half (53%) of Australians aged 18-34 had directly purchased something they had seen on Instagram. You can build a community that comes back time and time again.
Brand awareness and presence: The posts are often beautiful and rich in content. Instagram can help create an emotional connection with your audience. Be true to your brand, match your images & videos with your product.
Learn what people like: You may not realise it, but your audience members could already be sharing photos and talking about you on Instagram. People love sharing a variety of images from lots of different locations. And when they tag your location, their friends will see it, giving customers the chance to market your business on your behalf. People share photos of their favourite things, especially sharing photos of food. So, if your centre has a great café, they can share a photo and let their followers know they are enjoying an amazing coffee and protein ball.
Keep track of what your audience is sharing: The best way to see if people have shared photos at your location is to snap a photo yourself and tag your location. After you share the photo, you will see a link above the photo that you can click to see all the photos that have been shared at your location. This is a great way to see what people like about your area, and what they’re sharing about you.
Connecting with the community: With such high engagement, Instagram is the perfect platform to connect with the community, listen to their feedback, and build relationships through the conversations you’re able to spark. You can share a photo of a new trail, sunset, or even a lush green open space area and ask people what they think, you can even give them a sneak peek of a new project and see if they have any input.
Fuel your other marketing channels: One of the great things about the content you create in Instagram is that it can easily be shared across all of your different marketing channels. Within your Instagram settings, you can enable social sharing to Facebook and Twitter, so that your photos will share automatically when you post them to Instagram. Even if you don’t want to share your photos on different networks right away, you can save your photo to your phone’s camera roll and easily access them when you’re ready to post.
Live posts make your location/s relatable: Live stories allows your audience to experience a location as if they were there, it provides them with a more realistic vision of what it would be like to visit. Instagram live posts are also an excellent way to build rapport, trust and credibility with followers.
Even Tredwell has an Instagram page
Now you know a little more about Instagram and how it can benefit your location, make sure you become one of the cool kids and start your Instagram journey today.