Social media photography is a very valuable element of hotel marketing. The engagement it produces between hotels and prospective guests can increase bookings and hence generate revenue.
Images are processed by the brain so much faster than text, so it goes without saying that the photography on a hotel’s social media feeds (as well as website) need to be both inviting and carefully curated. Social media photography does not have to be the same as the photography on a hotel’s website; there is room for manoeuvre. It can be more spontaneous and provide a real-time, live window into the hotel day by day. Social media photography helps to establish the brand in the mind of travellers, stopping scrollers in their tracks by communicating unique stories and capturing a hotel’s essence
Hotel photographer Michelle Chaplow provides her top tips on social media photography:
1. Portray the essence of your brand. In the photographs, bring out the property’s personality by focusing on the uniqueness of your hotel.
2. Communicate the guest’s experience in the first person. Create images that show what it’s really like to spend time there.
3. Visual storytelling. What better platform for stories than social media? Use the temporary ‘stories’ on your platforms, as well as posting on your main feed, to turn everyday events in your establishment into fun narratives.
4. Share the platform with your hotel family. Not every member of staff will have a good eye, but if a member of your team captures a perfect shot, adding it to your Instagram and telling the story behind the image is a win-win for your team and your audience. The sous chef who arrives at 5am may just capture the first snowfall, or a beautiful sunrise.
5. Curate your cropping. One size does not fit all; the images on a hotel website are will not all translate well into the photo formats of different social media platforms. Adapt the size and orientation of your images for each platform.
6. Post “take me there” images. This is always the priority with hotel photography, but is even more important on social media where grabbing the attention of a quickly scrolling audience is crucial.
7. Identify your ‘Instagramable’ hotspots. Think about which smaller locations in your hotel will grab people’s attention and encourage bookings. It you have a photogenic spot on your doorstep, illustrate it.
8. Post regular and engaging content. Your followers should be consistently engaged and intrigued to learn more.
9. Monitor hashtags and mentions of your hotel on other feeds. A guest’s photo may also be worth retweeting, sharing or posting on your feed or stories. They will love having their post recognised, and this interaction will build a following for your hotel.
10. Be consistent in posting. Regular posts will not only keep your audience up to date, they will encourage engagement, community spirit and followers. Share your news.
11. Be consistent in style your images should convey the “look and feel” of the hotel.
12. Don’t forget the details! The wealth of content on social media accounts means they are ideal for posting the small details. These will often be the things that guests remember, and can encourage new and old guests alike to check in.
Traditional Photography & Social Media Photography
In terms of a hotel’s photography portfolio, some social media images can originate from the products of a formal shoot, however, social media gives hotels another channel that can be more spontaneous and seasonal; a window into what’s happening at that hotel right now. Many hotels are moving towards commissioning formal photoshoots for websites and print, as well as a mini photoshoot with a sole focus on social media. Posting regular content and opening that window onto your property means that old and prospective guests can develop a relationship with your hotel like never before. Hand in hand with a hotel’s website, guests have engaging images populating their feeds – a sure-fire way to encourage them hit ‘book’.
If you would liike to find out more about social media photography for your hotel, just drop us a line.
All images © Michelle Chaplow / Hotel Essence Photography