Think your destination doesn’t need to be on Instagram? Think again.
Twitter and Facebook can be hard enough to keep up with, let alone trying to balance a Pinterest, Tumblr, or Youtube channel. But if there’s one social media your destination absolutely, unequivocally needs, it’s Instagram.
And not an account that you use twice a year with shaky, low-lighting pictures. No, I mean an account filled with GORGEOUS photography of your city, region, or destination. One with perfectly timed shots and stunning views of sweeping landscapes. One that makes your city, county, region or state look like the most beautiful place on earth, because let’s face it, it probably is.
You may say, “But I’m a small town/county/region! I don’t have the budget for professional photography, or the time, or skills to maintain this account!” Fear not; the answer lies in crowdsourcing. Or, as it’s known in the Instagram world, ‘regramming’.
Regramming is the art of reposting something that you saw on someone else’s account onto your Instagram account (while giving credit, of course). One way to do that is by taking a screenshot, cropping the photo, and posting it from your account. But there are also plenty of apps you can use to make it even easier. My suggestions include: Repost for Instagram, InstaRepost, Repost It! or Instasave. Just pick one and go to town, but always remember to ask the user for permission, and give credit where credit is due. Check out I Love New York’s Instagram feed for a perfect example of regramming done right.
Now how do you find content to regram? Using Instagram’s search feature, you can look for photos that are posted from specific accounts, using a certain hashtag, or posted from a set location. For example, searching “Rochester” in the people tab will pull up any account with Rochester in their handle or name. Explore some of these accounts to see attractive shots around Rochester, perfect for regramming. Move over to the tags tab and you’ll see hashtags with “Rochester” in them, including more specific tags like “Rochesterart” or “Rochesterphotographer.” The last tab, places, lets you search for a certain location. If you don’t see many photos from your business, go bigger and search for your town, city, or region.
Another form of crowdsourcing is handing over control of your account to someone else. It may sound scary but who better to run an Instagram account of a destination than the people who know it best- the residents? First, do your research, vet some locals, and ask for examples of their photography. Then, let them show off their favorite spots in town, from a hidden mural to the best spot to grab a slice, and watch the engagement unfold. Visit Ithaca’s Instagram account is run solely by residents of the town, who change from week to week.
Destinations on Instagram
Still not convinced? Check this out:
According to Social Media Today, in 2015 48% percent of Instagram users relied on the platform to help them find a new travel destination. That’s right- nearly half the user base. Thirty-five percent of Instagram users use the platform to help them discover a new place.
All this may be tempting for destinations to flood their newsfeeds with photos of their destination- but proceed with caution. Like any other social media platform, there’s a science behind the prettiness. Despite the photos that you may suddenly want to provide your followers, people still trust each other more than they trust brands. This is where regramming and the takeovers lend credibility to your account.
Couple this with your knowledge of travel hashtags (check out my previous blog), your Instagram will be inspiring travelers all around the world in no time.
Inspired to start posting yet?