banner type: None
thistemplate: template_content_hubs.php
Instagram for hotels: What to post, features to use, and examples to inspire
Instagram for hotels: What to post, features to use, and examples to inspire

Instagram for hotels: What to post,
features, and examples to inspire

You’ve spent countless hours creating a space where travelers can come and relax and escape the realities of their everyday lives. This hard work must be displayed — and the best place to do that is on one of the most visual platforms, Instagram.

Instagram is one of the largest and most influential social networks, with over two billion monthly active users – of which 61% are 18-34 years old. It’s a great place to build your hotel’s brand and promote it to Gen-Zs and Millennials looking for new travel experiences.

Instagram is no longer just about posting pretty photos to your feed. It is a powerful marketing tool for the hospitality industry. Read on to learn how to use Instagram at your hotel, what to post, and examples to inspire your strategy.

But first, listen to a clip from The Turndown to hear Jennifer Barnwell, President at Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, discuss why Instagram has been a “wonder” for her business. 



Full episode: Empowering independent hotels in a brand-centric market.


Why Instagram is an important part of a hotel marketing strategy

While running an Instagram account can seem like just another thing to add to your already jam-packed list, it’s a crucial digital marketing channel to help drive awareness and bookings.

Here are a few reasons why Instagram is integral to a hotel’s social media marketing strategy.

  • Improve visual appeal. Instagram is a highly visual platform where lodging operators can showcase their properties and amenities in unique ways. Using eye-catching imagery and short-form videos, hoteliers can spark travel inspiration, build trust, and encourage travelers to book.
  • Increase user engagement. Studies show that Instagram users spend an average of 33 minutes a day on Instagram, putting it in the top five most-used social media platforms. By creating high-quality “Instagrammable” content, hoteliers can engage with past and potential guests.
  • Utilize influencer marketing. Instagram is one of the most-used influencer marketing platforms in the world. Partnering with influencers (especially micro-influencers with targeted Instagram followers) can be an excellent way for lodging operators to reach a broader audience for increased visibility and bookings.
  • Build brand awareness. Your Instagram is an extension of your brand and should match your hotel website and other marketing assets to amplify your brand voice and image. Consistent branding and messaging across platforms will help build brand awareness.
  • Drive direct bookings. Another benefit? Instagram can be a great source of direct bookings. Hoteliers can add a link to their booking engine in their Instagram bio, making it easy for travelers to get inspired on your page and book direct.


Elevate your property’s Instagram with ‘How Hotels Win on Social Media.’


Set up your hotel’s business profile 

Before diving into Instagram’s features, ensure your profile is set up for success.

  1. Upload a clear profile photo that is easily recognizable. For most properties, your profile photo should be your logo.
  2. Add the name of your property as it is listed on your website and OTAs (this is different than your username).
  3. Add a link – we suggest linking directly to your booking engine or your website’s homepage.
  4. Add a bio to inform your audience who you are. Include where you’re located, what type of accommodation you are, and even the type of traveler you want to attract. This information helps people discover your profile in searches.


Instagram Business Profile


Instagram’s different features explained

Instagram has changed significantly over the past few years and added many new features. Here’s a breakdown of the different features and how they can be used in your Instagram marketing strategy.


Feed posts

Instagram’s main feature is the Feed located on the account’s profile page. These posts show up in the feeds of your followers. Instagram feed posts can be photos, videos, or Reels. They do not expire and remain on your profile unless you delete or archive them.

How properties can leverage feed posts: Your feed is where you should focus on posting your best content. Each property will be different in what they post but should follow a consistent theme. You’re using social media to solidify your brand, attract new customers, interact with current guests, and maintain relationships with former guests.

Post Instagram photos of your property, content your current and past customers have tagged you in, promotions, and timely information. Remember, your feed content lives forever, so make sure the content delivers a consistent brand image.

For most properties, we suggest creating content that matches the tone of your website. Are you informative, wishful, comedic, or boastful? Your Instagram feed and captions can reflect that. Take advantage of carousels where you can post multiple photos in one post.

Lastly, don´t forget to use popular hashtags in your posts to reach the right Instagram audience. Hashtags work as keywords; they make it easier for your target audience to find you.


Instagram feed example



Instagram stories are photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. They appear in the circles at the top of the main feed and allow you to take pictures and videos within the app or upload them from your saved library. There are many different options inside stories to engage your audience, like location tags, mentions (tag local businesses or Instagram influencers), hashtags, gifs, music, polls, questions, countdowns, quizzes, stickers, and more.

How properties can leverage stories: Stories are great for sharing content more regularly (we suggest at least once a day). Stories can help remind your guests about something happening soon or in real-time – whether it’s a live event, your restaurant’s happy hour, a night-time activity, or just a gorgeous day at your hotel.

It is also quite common for Instagram users to tag businesses when they visit – when they’re checking in, enjoying their room, or checking out. Instagram allows you to repost these moments, and it is a good idea to publish these as stories. It shows you’re engaged with your audience and keeps your property top-of-mind for future and past guests.


Instagram story example



Although your stories only remain active for 24 hours, you can save them as highlights as a permanent fixture. Highlights are displayed on your profile page underneath your description and above your feed. Many people create highlights to showcase stories that follow a specific theme or category. For example, you can add different highlight groups for your property, guests, employees, or amenities.

How properties can leverage highlights: Since highlights last more than 24 hours, we suggest creating highlights to showcase specific themes. For example, you could have a “Guests” highlight where you save interesting stories your customers have tagged you in. Or a “What to know before you come” highlight with essential details like check-in times, parking information, and where to purchase add-ons.


Instagram highlights example



Reels are one of Instagram’s newest features, similar to TikTok videos. They are multi-clip videos that can be up to 90 seconds and have proven to be one of the most creative ways to add new content.

Reels include many features to simplify video creation, like built-in text editors, AR filters, video editing, and audio, including popular music. Once you upload your first Reel, a new tab will appear above your feed on your profile page, where all additional videos will appear.

How properties can leverage reels: We suggest using Reels to create fun content that attracts a younger audience. The main difference between Reels and other posting features is the ability to add sounds and effects easily. If you’re going to try out Reels, we strongly recommend you play around with the in-app filters and controls. Take inspiration from other hotel Instagram accounts to see how they’re creating Reels and the different types of trends they’re taking part in. As a start, try filming mini-tours of your property.


Instagram reel example



Messenger allows you to send messages, images, and videos to accounts on Instagram or Facebook. When Facebook acquired Instagram, they combined Facebook Messenger and Instagram Messenger so that brands could manage them from one place in the Facebook Business Suite to streamline their efforts. This is especially helpful for customer service-related requests.

How properties can leverage Messenger: Hotels should use Messenger to interact with travelers and guests. Many properties will use Messenger to help people book, answer questions, or handle requests while a guest is on site. To make your life easier, we suggest using a guest engagement solution like Whistle for Cloudbeds that allows lodging businesses to message guests across platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp, and SMS, all within a single platform. 


Instagram Messenger Example


Explore Page

The Explore Page is Instagram’s algorithmic real-time news feed – sometimes called Instagram’s “front page.” You can see the Explore Page by clicking on the magnifying glass on the main tab. The Explore Page is unique to each account and is populated based on who you follow, who follows you, and the accounts you interact with.

How properties can leverage the explore page: Everyone on Instagram is searching for a community to engage with. While it would be amazing if all your potential guests could discover your account right from the start, it’s not likely. We suggest interacting with accounts related to your property and guest type. As you begin to post on your account, the Explore Page will become a powerful discovery engine. People will start to notice your property when you take the time to engage (like, comment, and share) with related accounts – whether it’s another hotel, travel blog, travel company, or hospitality provider.


Instagram explore page example



Instagram Live is a live broadcast that other users can tune into in real time. When you go live, a push notification will be sent to your followers, appearing in the same place as Stories on the main feed screen.

How properties can leverage lives: Hotels can use Instagram Live to make announcements or launch a new offering. You can also go live with another user and do a Q&A session or conduct an interview.


Instagram live example


Types of content to post on Instagram (+examples)

You can post various types of content on your property’s Instagram, and contrary to popular belief, aren’t constrained to picture-perfect scenes. A survey from Social Media Today found that 86% of people say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.

Utilize stories to showcase the people behind your brand, where you do behind-the-scenes videos, room walk-throughs, and Q&A videos. On your feed, stick to a theme that uses a consistent color palette and imagery that matches your brand.

High-quality Instagram posts evoke emotions, whether nostalgia, desire, passion, surprise, or endless possibilities. For every piece of content you post, you should define what type of emotion you are trying to convey and the action you want someone to take. Not every post should have a sales-focused call to action, but it should have a goal. That could be as simple as brand awareness or driving direct bookings for an upcoming holiday.

Here’s a quick list of content your property can publish:


Informational content about the property.

Inspire travelers by posting images and videos of your hotel rooms and amenities. Pictures can be professionally done or taken on your phone, just ensure that they accurately represent your property (but also inspire travelers to want to learn more and visit your hotel website).


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Marlton Hotel (@marltonhotel)


User-generated content.

Guests love to share photos while traveling and, if given the chance, want to interact with you – whether tagging you in stories or on their feeds. Reshare their posts and provide context. For example, if someone adds a picture of their meal at the restaurant, you can reshare it with the night’s specials or the hours for the rest of the week.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Meliá Hotels & Resorts (@meliahtlresorts)


Testimonials or reviews from guests.

Reviews directly sent to you or posted on third-party websites are a great place to source content. Use positive reviews to showcase what people love about your property. You can share their reviews in a caption with a photo they provided or add one of your own.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gulf Court Hotel Business Bay (@gulfhotelbusinessbay)


Promotional content for sales, booking windows, and beyond.

The ultimate goal of any social media strategy is to generate bookings – both directly and indirectly. Post anytime you have promotions, special events, or upcoming booking windows.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Ritz-Carlton, Abama (@ritzcarltonabama)


Partner with Instagram influencers.

Work with influencers or micro-influencers with engaged followings to help increase brand awareness and sell more rooms online. Choose influencers that align with your brand values and goals and come to an agreement on a compensation structure. You can use a booking link or code and pay a commission to the influencer or else comp their stay in exchange for a post on their feed.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The June Motel (@thejunemotel)


Do mini-tours.

When researching, travelers love to use Instagram to see what they can expect from different properties. Do mini-tours to show what your rooms and amenities look like in person. Consider doing tours of different rooms and amenities and keeping them as highlights on your feed.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Spruce Lodge (@the_sprucelodge)


Highlight local attractions and businesses.

Don’t feel the need to just post about your property on your feed and stories! Share your favorite local spots to visit (especially those in walking distance to you) to entice guests to visit the area. Tag other businesses on Instagram and consider reaching out to inquire about possible partnership opportunities.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pillows Hotels (@pillowshotels)


Introduce the faces behind the brand.

Your team is essential and should be included on your Instagram page. See if anyone is passionate about social media and wants to participate in Instagram stories or take pictures for your feed. Involving your team and putting a face behind your brand will make travelers feel more connected to you.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The PAD (@thepadsilverthorne)


9 tips to stand out on Instagram 

1. Create a plan. Choose which features to take advantage of and how many times you will post. For example, if you’re just starting, focus on your feed and stories. Make it easier on yourself and decide which days and what time of day you’re going to post. If you already have an Instagram business account, you can use the analytics dashboard to tell you which days and times your users are online.

2. Post high-quality images. While your pictures and videos don’t have to be professionally done, they should be high-resolution and visually appealing.

3. Use stories to feature your hotel more authentically. Authenticity matters online today. Use stories to connect with travelers and show a more personal, behind-the-scenes look at your property.

4. Engage with followers. Respond to comments and direct messages in a timely and friendly manner to connect with travelers and former guests.

5. Use relevant hashtags. Broaden your reach and increase visibility with hashtags related to your hotel and brand.

6. Create your own hashtags! Create your own branded hashtag that guests can use in their posts. Encourage guests to use your branded hashtag by offering simple incentives like a free drink. From here, you can easily find photos guests took at your property and reshare them on your profile.

7. Run Instagram contests. People love contests, and it’s a great way for brands to increase visibility and reach. Run contests and giveaways and have users enter by liking and tagging friends in the comments.

8. Use Instagram’s booking feature. Increase direct bookings by utilizing Instagram’s booking feature to allow users to book a room directly from your page.

9. Use paid advertising. If you know your target demographics, use Instagram’s niche targeting options to reach your audience. Paid advertisements can be used to drive direct bookings, increase your follower count, or encourage engagement.


Creating ‘Instagrammable’ moments

Your Instagram profile presents a fantastic opportunity to build brand awareness, increase visibility, and engage with potential and past guests. Your profile should be authentic to your brand — giving travelers a real look into what you offer. Showcase your rooms, amenities, and local attractions and provide a space that inspires travelers on the hunt for new and exciting destinations to add to their list.


Discover strategies to increase your property’s online visibility this year.

An exhaustive guide to boosting your property’s online presence & driving more reservations

Uncover key marketing tactics to turn lookers into bookers
Web Beacon
“Hi there, I’m the Cloudbeds assistant. I can help with any questions or schedule a demo. Ready to chat?“
Chat with Sales
Chat live with one of our expert hospitality consultants to discuss your specific needs.
Live Chat
Questions, Support?
Get Support or use our automated system to easily search for answers to your questions.
Ask a question
Schedule a Demo
Schedule a live demo and see for yourself how Cloudbeds can grow revenue, streamline operations, and enable memorable guest experiences.
Request a Demo
3033 5th Ave. Ste 100
San Diego, CA 92103
Contact Us