Indian OTAs are missing out on Instagram, here is why they shouldn’t

By on June 18, 2015 | Opinions

Images communicate a lot better than text. Even as kids, we learn to interpret visual cues way before we can make any sense of words. Researches indicate that our brain takes a fraction of the time in processing images as compared to text. Instagram, the photo sharing app, makes good use of this in connecting people in a very simplified manner. It grew much faster than other social platforms and has got a very high rate of engagement. The marketers are taking this platform seriously and that is why a large number of brands, including travel brands, are adopting Instagram.

Instagram

Considering the importance of this platform, we thought it would be a good idea to find the Instagram accounts of some popular OTAs in India and compare their Instagram strategies. To our surprise, we found that a large number of them had skipped the platform altogether while some of them weren’t very active. Among those we looked up, we could find MakeMyTrip and Cox&Kings with occasional activity, Yatra.com building up its community and some inactive ones which aren’t worth a mention really. So instead we decided to discuss the importance of bringing your brand to audience, one square picture at a time.

Visibility

You must be well aware of how Facebook keeps changing its algorithms every once in a while and brands have to work even harder (or pay more) to find a spot on users’ timelines. So even with a large fan base, it is possible that a very small number of people are able to see your posts and if they don’t like or comment, the reach will further drop. In case of Instagram, you don’t have to fight a war to be visible. Your posts will reach all your followers (and non followers with the use of right hashtags). This makes it easier for your brand to get noticed and your quality content reaches the audience.

Product showcase

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(Image: By Wholtone (Own work) CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Unlike the online retailers, OTAs aren’t selling something tangible. They are selling experiences and a large volume of quality visuals will help the cause. Well staged marketing images are used by almost everyone but authentic visual content works better in increasing awareness and inspiring confidence.

Crowdsourced content

It is much easier to source excellent visual content on Instagram as compared to any other platform. Creating a large volume of content is resource intensive and would still have its limitation. Brands can use their community to bring interesting images and videos which can be shared via the brand account with credits. Various international destinations and OTAs are doing this to build an engaging community.

Rate of engagement

According to a research report by L2 for 249 brands, the rate of engagement on Instagram is 15 times of Facebook. Higher engagement is a good reason to put efforts on this platform.

comparison facebook and instagram engagement

Same post by Lonely Planet India generated a much higher engagement on Instagram as compared to their Facebook account.

More personal

Instagram manages a more personal connect with the audience and that is why a wide variety of content can be used. The Youtube channel of a brand might need a well directed high quality video but the Instagram account can do well with short and simple videos, maybe even captured using a smartphone.

If you have recently taken up Instagram, we will soon be publishing a guide with inputs from our social media experts on how your brand can make the most of it.

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