Is Instagram Worth The Time And Effort?
Instagram is an investment.
For the most part, growing an account on Instagram requires time, effort, and consistent posting of quality content. Without experience, you will get frustrated learning how to use the app, discovering what content works best, and how to gain followers.
And although the Instagram “growth gurus” of the world want you to believe that building an Instagram audience is simple and quick, it’s not.
It took about a year to get @Best_Airbnb to 40,000 followers. A year and a half after that, it’s up to around 450,000 followers.
This is an exceptional growth rate.
And thankfully, it’s given us a dose of lessons and learnings that we’re excited to share.
But unfortunately, when marketing your own Airbnb, things will likely be different for you.
You should expect a much slower growth rate.
Now, the above statements are a bit depressing, but if you’re running an Airbnb, you are running a business — your time is valuable and you need to spend it where it counts.
By that token, marketing your Airbnb on Instagram can provide incredible results. And there are countless examples of hosts making a killing through marketing their homes on Instagram.
But how do you know if that could be you?
Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- Can I commit to posting regularly on Instagram?
- Is my home unique and beautiful?
- Do I have enough quality content about my home to post regularly on Instagram?
If you answered yes to all three, then you should give Instagram a try. You’ll find it quite rewarding to market your Airbnb on Instagram.
But, if you’re a little uncertain about these questions, then continue reading on, and we’ll help you decide.
Post At Least 3x A Week
For optimal growth results on Instagram, one thing is absolutely clear: you need to post consistently.
Posting consistently means different things to different accounts. If you’re an account with hundreds of thousands of followers, then you need to constantly feed your hungry followers with new content.
This might require posting 2 or 3 times per day.
But as an Airbnb host just getting started on Instagram, you may not have the same access to consistent content. And posting 2 to 3 times per day is a challenge.
So what should you set as your goal?
If possible, you should try to post at least 1 time per day. This is a great benchmark to unlocking solid growth on Instagram.
But if that’s too difficult, then aim for 2 to 3 times per week.
And if you’re the type of person that would rather load up a bunch of content, schedule it, and have the content post automatically — then check out Later.
This website lets you schedule Instagram photos, then automatically posts them. It’s a service we’ve used and loved.
Instagram is all about staying relevant.
If you post more, your content will appear to your followers more often, and your Airbnb will stay relevant to your audience on Instagram.
Essentially, you want to post as much quality content as consistently as you can on Instagram. The more quality content you can post, the more you’ll be able to promote your Airbnb on Instagram.
But, how can you ensure a steady stream of content?
That leads us into our next point.
Is My Home Unique & Beautiful?
Photography, like all art, is subjective.
A photo that looks beautiful to me might not look good to you. That can make things a bit tricky when trying to make prevailing statements about quality photography for Instagram.
With that in mind, there is one key truth about photography: the subject of your photos is critical.
What is the subject?
The subject is simply the focus of the photo. The object that the photo is about.
The above example showcases the interior of a home. And the subject of this inviting photo is the bathtub, located in a chic bathroom.
For you, as an Airbnb host, the subject of your photos will be the different parts of your vacation rental. Such as the pool, views, or different elements of interior design.
And how beautiful your vacation rental looks is absolutely critical.
So you need to ask yourself with honesty: does my home look beautiful?
From growing @Best_Airbnb on Instagram to close to half a million followers, a few lessons have become abundantly clear. These subjects perform the best on Instagram:
If you think you have a beautiful home, but it’s missing all of the above components, then you can still find some success on Instagram.
But if you have any — or all — of the above items, you’re going to find that growing an account on Instagram will be a lot easier. And your content should heavily revolve around those subjects.
Another key component for Instagram is the “wow” factor. Put another way, how unique is your vacation rental?
If you have a trendy Airstream, a treehouse on a mountainside, a cozy cabin in the woods, or a Hobbit House (to name some examples), then you have a unique offering.
Instagram loves content that is unique, different, and exciting. And similarly, you will likely find growing an Instagram audience to be a bit easier.
On the other hand, should you have a suburban home with outdated interiors, no views, a regular backyard, and standard architecture, then nice work.
Owning and/or managing a home as an investment property is an achievement.
However, this home probably won’t be a great fit for marketing on Instagram. You’re probably better off sticking to other marketing efforts.
So, if you have a home with stunning views, a beautiful pool or courtyard, excellent design, and/or a unique stay, congratulations. We can jumpstart your growth on Instagram.
All we have to do is commit to a consistent and sustainable posting schedule.
Commit To Posting Quality Content, Regularly
While posting frequently on Instagram is important, sticking to a sustainable posting schedule is likely even more critical.
A sustainable posting schedule is simply the number of times you can commit to posting each week, over the long-term.
As mentioned earlier in this article, posting once per day is ideal. But 2 to 3x per week is the minimum.
If you have a beautiful home, and you post each day for 3 months, you will likely notice some great results on Instagram.
But if you post 15 photos in one week, then only one or two the next week, you’re going to find your followers less-engaged. Similarly, if you post for a few months in a row, then take a few weeks off, you’ll probably lose some followers and engagement, and have to jumpstart your growth again.
Instead, try to make a realistic assessment about how many times you’ll be able to post, each week. Then commit to it.
- Can you get enough quality photos of your home to post every day for 3 months or more?
Then do it. You’ll see encouraging results by the end of it.
- Can you only get enough content of your Airbnb to post 2 or 3 times a week?
No problem. Give it a try for a few months and see where your results stand.
If you can’t commit to anything more than that, though, you may find it difficult to grow and sustain an Instagram following. Remember, Instagram is an investment — and it requires time and effort.
By posting often, you’re also more likely to keep your followers liking your content. Instagram is all about staying relevant. Consistently posting will help keep you relevant to your followers.
Another benefit of posting more often is that your photos will be seen by more people, helping to expand your audience. Using hashtags is an example of how to expose your Airbnb to people that don’t follow you on Instagram.
All you have to do is choose a sustainable posting schedule that works for you. Then commit to this over the longterm and evaluate your results.
Wrapping It All Up
There are always exceptions.
There will be hosts that do not have beautiful homes (as defined by this article) that find success on Instagram. And that is something to celebrate.
But you are running a business.
Don’t consider yourself the exception, be practical and consider yourself the norm.
From spending two and a half years on Instagram, posting about thousands of different Airbnbs and hotels, and growing a hospitality-specific account to hundreds of thousands of followers, it’s become pretty clear:
- Homes with beautiful pools and courtyards perform well.
- Stunning views and gorgeous vistas draw tons of likes and views on Instagram.
- And of course, excellent design always helps.
There’s also some data to back this up. Airbnb homes with pools are a most sought after keyword on Google. Vacation rentals with views are also commonly searched.
As for excellent interior design and unique stays?
People want a unique and differentiated experience. Compelling design and accommodations like treehouses, cabins, and retro RVs offer just that.
So, make an honest assessment of your home. If you find that it might not be best for Instagram, don’t fear — you can market your home through tons of different mediums. You’ve also just saved time, and potentially money, that you can dedicated elsewhere.
But if you do have an Airbnb with Instagram potential, then kudos. You’re ready to learn how to promote your Airbnb on Instagram.
Cheers to steady growth ahead.