If you’re a travel blogger, an Instagram account should be among the social media tools you’re utilizing. Instagram gives you a chance to interact with your followers in a way that Facebook can’t (or chooses not to allow you to). Your images show up on your followers’ feeds unimpeded. There is no mysterious algorithm at work in the background determining whether or not your latest update is worthy of your followers’ attention. You post your image and seconds later it shows up where it’s supposed to – on the feed of all (yes, ALL) of the people who follow your account. And though Twitter also allows your posts to show up when and where they’re supposed to, it doesn’t highlight beautiful images like Instagram does. Pull up any travel blogger’s Instagram profile and front and center are their amazing pictures taken from all over the world. People love pretty pictures. That’s why every analytics articles on social media advises you to include an image in your post. It reaches out to your readers and helps to separate your posts from the myriad of others trying to grab the attention of the social media community members. You have a split second to make an impression and you’re much more apt to do that with a spectacular image than a wordy post (like this one).
Instagram communities are also generally smaller and more intimate than other social media sites. Not only do your followers get to see your pictures and commentary, you also get a glimpse into their everyday lives if you choose to follow them in return. While Twitter offers the same reciprocal exposure, trying to wade through the number of tweets in someone’s feed can be daunting. Instagram users tend to be more judicious with their posts which results in a lot less cluttered feed to sift through. This gives you unfettered access into the daily lives of your followers and can let you know what they’re interested in. If you’re smarter than I am, you can take that knowledge and use it to help build your online presence.
This smaller and more intimate community can also help you get your work in front of people in the travel and tourism business. Tourism authorities all over the world have Instagram accounts because they know people love pretty pictures. This gives you an opportunity to virtually put your work on their desk (or the desk of the PR company handling their account) by using the appropriate hash tags and tagging them in your posts. There is no need for a media kit when you have a direct line to their office.
Another reason travel bloggers should be using Instagram is that it’s insanely easy to cross post to other social media sites. Once your account is properly set up, it’s just a matter of clicking on which social media sites you want to share your awesome images with and bam, your post is going viral.
Last but not least, the Instagram crowd is younger and hipper and that’s just a fact, jack. If you want to fill in the gap of that population you’re not reaching on Facebook, Instagram is the place to be. They’re dreamers, those youngins, but if a traveler isn’t a dreamer, what are they? After all, aren’t we always dreaming of the next destination, the next opportunity to explore somewhere we’ve never been?
These are just a few of the advantages I’ve discovered from using Instagram and while my experience might not be the same as everyone else’s, I encourage any travel blogger to give Instagram a go and see what happens. I’ll be sharing some tips in a future article that have been beneficial to me and hopefully you find them helpful as well. Who knows? Before long, we may be double tapping each other to our hearts’ content. That’s just what the cool kids do on Instagram.