Many hotels are now on Instagram, using those filters and hashtags to make their brand pop.

Instagram, with its heavy focus on visuals, can be a very strong platform for hotels to define their identity. You can show off rooms, views, grounds and restaurants in a way that you really can’t on, say, Twitter, and with a frequency that would lose you tons of fans on Facebook.

In light of that, today we’re looking at 5 articles – and a little bonus case study – on why Instagram is perfect for the travel industry, the type of engagement you can get with it, a few examples, and a nice little how-to to get you started.

Instagram advertising: what you need to know (infographic)

Instagram, which has more than 400m users, is particularly important for advertisers due to its popularity among disposable-income rich millennials (18-to-29-year-olds).

Here’s an infographic Salesforce’s infographic for key points you need to know to maximise the effectiveness of Instagram advertising.

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Video: Why Instagram Is the New Language of Consumer Travel Engagement

Jeremy Jauncey, founder of Beautiful Destinations, spoke at the Skift Global Forum about the power of visuals to influence consumer behaviour.

Jauncey discussed the opportunity that still remains for travel brands to make better use of Instagram, highlighting the fact that the travel industry has been the second slowest industry after financial services to adopt the medium. It’s a rapidly growing one as well, reaching 400 million users a month who share over 80 million images a day.

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Loews Hotels Ad Campaign Uses Guests’ Instagram Photos to Refresh the Brand

This one’s from July, but it’s one of the most creative examples of a hotel on Instagram out there. Loews Hotels launched a campaign using the hashtag #TravelForReal, where the company used photos taken by guests on the property and posted on Instagram for their print and digital ads.

It broke through the monotony of endless same-same pictures: “So, there’s the lady with the stones on her back at the spa and there’s the couple by the pool with the umbrella with their drinks at the resort. It’s a sea of sameness and [we asked ourselves] how do you break through that stuff,” said Bruce Himelstein, chief marketing officer at Loews.

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Hoteliers: this is how you use Instagram effectively

Let’s face it, we live in a visual world where judging a book by its cover is the norm. With Instagram, you have the ability to control how your “book” is judged.

Instagram should be incorporated as a part of a hotel’s marketing strategy, working in unison with all channels and presenting a brand image that is appealing to your market. Of course, just like any hotel marketing campaign, Instagram requires a thoughtful strategy to ensure that it is used effectively.

Here’s a few tips to help you out.

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Instagram Dos And Don’ts For Hotel Marketers

Visual storytelling is one of the most valuable strategies for today’s hotel marketer, because most humans (40-65%) tend to learn things visually. Right now, one of the most popular visual social media platforms is Instagram.

Instagram has over 200 million monthly active users, and of those users, 41% are between the ages of 16-24. It’s just another great way to connect with millennial travelers, as 30% of U.S. teens consider Instagram the most important social network (Twitter at 27% and Facebook at 23%). Take advantage of the opportunities – here’s a few dos and don’ts to get you started!

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BONUS: This boutique hotel in Sydney is the “world’s first Instagram hotel,” optimised for users of the platform and even offering a free stay to any Ista-user with more than 10,000 followers.