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One of the best ways to engage your bed & breakfast’s audience on social media is to host a contest.  With its photo-centric platform, Instagram is a great portal for your bed & breakfast to create a social media contest.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some ideas of the types of contests you can run on Instagram.

 

Hashtag contests

 

On Instagram, like many other social networking platforms, has an entirely different language that it’s users rely on.  Hashtags, are phrases that begin with the # symbol.  It’s how Instagram users can tag a specific topic, and make a statement or denote a brand.

All bed & breakfasts should create their own hashtags to use on Instagram, and you should encourage your guests to use this designated hashtag when they post about your property on Instagram.

That being said, you can take a specific hashtag and create an Instagram contest out of it. This allows you to significantly increase the number of people using the hashtag, as well as gain exposure on the site.

With a hashtag contest, you should create a hashtag that is related to your brand and tell users that by incorporating that hashtag into their posts, they will be entered into the contest.

You might make the contest about holiday memories, and ask your previous guests to share a photo of their favorite memory from your property using the designated hashtag.

The winner might receive a free gift during their next day, or earn a discount towards a subsequent stay.

Here’s an example from the Combsberry Inn.

Their #InnThanksOf contest asks for a follow on Instagram along with a post with their designated hashtag, to ask what you are thankful for. Winners get $100 off their next stay.

 

Like-to-win campaigns

 

Like-to-win campaigns are simple and fun, and they can generate high user activity on your Instagram page.

With this type of contest, all you have to do is post a photo on Instagram and ask people to like it to be entered into your contest.  Your photo can be edited to include the prize or purpose of the contest.

You’ll want to ensure that the image chosen is relevant to the contest itself.  For example, if you are offering a free room during the holiday season, you will want to post a photo of your bed and breakfast decked out for the season.

This is an easy contest to implement, but it doesn’t always denote a significant amount of brand loyalty. Don’t rely on them as your only type of Instagram contest.

 

Selfie station contest

 

This is a contest that you can implement for current guests who are staying at your property.

Much like the 1888 Hotel, you can set up a selfie station at your property for guests to use as a photo backdrop. Tell guests to take a photo there and use the hotel hashtag to be entered in a contest.

The prize can range from a free night’s stay to a gift certificate for dinner at a local restaurant to use during their stay.

Whether you run an intimate bed and breakfast in a relatively quiet destination, or you are a boutique bed & breakfast in a metropolitan area, it’s possible to use Instagram to become a viral sensation across the globe.

The key to launching a successful Instagram contest is in the planning stages. This is an ideal way to boost your brand recognition as well as increase your exposure across the web, so you’ll want to make sure that you do it right.

Think about your target audience and the type of contest — and prizes — that will appeal to them the most.

 

If you want more tips on how you can create an engaging online presence for your business, follow the IAA Bed and Breakfast Blog and our Facebook Page.  

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