Instagram: a new way to book your stay
Conrad Hotels and Resorts is leveraging Instagram to drive bookings.
The chain from parent company Hilton Worldwide is essentially using Instagram as a starting-off point for travelers. The journey from image to booking begins on a webpage that displays photos of the chain’s 24 properties. Then, by clicking on the Instagram photo of a property, travelers are sent directly to that property’s booking page, via Like2Buy technology by visual marketing firm Curalate.
It’s yet another example of how hospitality companies around the world are using Instagram as a viable means of driving business. The social media platform has become particularly popular among travelers because of its focus on photos and the visual aspect of the journey. Instagram now boasts more than 300 million users, more than Twitter.
“The point of Instagram is to inspire,” said Stuart Foster, vice president of marketing at Conrad, via USA Today. The Like2Buy technology “seamlessly connects you to the booking widget of that property,” he said. “It’s instant gratification for someone looking to truly be inspired to travel.”
Photos on like2b.uy/conradhotels include shots of infinity pools, metropolises, beaches, fire dancers, fancy hotel lobbies, villas suspended above clear blue water, cuisine, a horseback ride through the countryside and even someone blasting above the Maldives with a jetpack.
Instagram has become particularly important for hospitality companies as a marketing tool because it’s very popular with travelers from younger generations such as millennials. Millennials made a splash in the travel industry in 2014 and it doesn’t appear as if that trend is slowing anytime soon. It also just so happens that 50 percent of millennials are now Instagram users, according to Phocuswright.
Social media in general has become a focal point in the hospitality industry. In 2013, Loews Hotels allowed travelers to request a room by tweeting to @Loews_Hotels with the hashtag #BookLoews. Numerous companies today are running contests that offer free trips and prizes to travelers who post the best photos and videos through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
In May 2014, Contiki, a tour company geared toward millennials, asked travelers to rattle off their travel bucket list in six-second Vines, making for some hilarious and entertaining attempts. Travel companies are constantly looking for ways to be more immersive with their marketing campaigns, and it’s no surprise that the multi-dimensional world of social media has caught their eye.
Foster told USA Today that travelers may be able to book at other Hilton properties via Instagram in the future if the Conrad experiment is successful.