6 Ways to Create an Instagrammable Vacation Rental
INSTAGRAM-WORTHY QUALITIES ARE INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT FOR VACATION RENTAL HOMEOWNERS WHO WANT TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE.
According to Wikipedia, Instagram-worthy qualities are increasingly important for vacation rental homeowners who want to remain competitive. If this feels intimidating, the good news is that total property overhauls aren’t necessary (unless you want a complete redesign – go for it!) There are a few easy and affordable things that can be done over time to create fun moments for guests and inspire their social media photos.
Visuals have always been perhaps the most influential tools in travel marketing. From landscape oil paintings of yore to retro coffee table books and post cards to today’s social media, the power and importance of images has increased exponentially with each new technology.
Those who stick their noses up at the social-media centric way of the world today stand to miss out on the holy grail of marketing: referrals. According to Bookfull, 52% of travelers seek recommendations from friends on social media when planning a trip. Furthermore, 92% of travelers say that they trust the reviews of their friends over commercial advertising. That means a single photo of guests saying “Cheers!” with your vacation home’s stunning view as a backdrop posted on social media becomes an endorsement to potential future guests – at no cost.
What’s more, as Millennials and Generation Z travelers become the largest traveling group and take on the decision-making role in booking multigenerational travel, “Instagrammability” will become critical for properties and destinations to stay competitive. Today, more than 40% of travelers under 33 prioritize this when choosing their next vacation spot, according to a recent survey.
ADD A MURAL
If you think you’ve seen a lot of travel photos with travelers posed in front of a mural, you’re not imagining it. Murals are “Instagram bait,” as Business of Fashion calls them. Vacation rental owners can use the same “bait” in their properties with a statement wall that inspires neat portraits. A hand-painted piece by a professional muralist would surely surprise and delight guests, but other options like a bold patterned wallpaper or an oversized piece of art can have the same effect.
READY MADE VIGNETTES
Vignettes are small scenes or narratives within a larger setting. In vacation rentals, these are little moments like reading a book in a window seat or toasting with a glass of wine as the sun sets. Vignettes make for popular social media posts (and better guest experiences), so create ready-made moments throughout the property. Set the table and breakfast bar for meals, place a game of chess ready for a duel, or have colorful outdoor drinkware by the pool loungers waiting for equally colorful drinks. (Bonus: Vignettes can also boost bookings when included in listing photos, too!)
GIVE YOUR HOME A HASHTAG
Amplify the social media friendliness of your vacation rental with a branded hashtag and matching social media accounts. Create a hashtag and account names that uniquely identify the property that guests can use in their social posts. Property names often work best as long as they’re not already used. Make sure guests know to tag their photos accordingly by including the
hashtag and account handle in communications, in-home materials, and even custom-printed take-home gifts. Then, keep active on the social accounts to collect and share all the great UGC when they use your tags!
Great lighting encourages user-generated content (UGC) in two ways. The first is that a well-lit space simply makes for better photos. Bright natural light is best so let as much sun in through windows and glass doors as possible. If privacy is a concern or if especially bright times of day need a little tempering, sheer curtains diffuse light beautifully. For indoor lighting, layer several different soft light sources in every space and use bulbs in the warm-white color temperature range.
The second benefit is that striking fixtures can tell a story in photos and often become a main photo feature. Indoors, a statement fixture or architectural lamp can elevate the whole space in person and on camera. Outdoors, market lights draw Instagrammers like moths to a flame. They cast enough light to give everything beneath them a picture-perfect glow, and the string lights themselves instantly add a stylish sparkle.
One of the best ways to make a property more photo-friendly is to have an up-to-date interior design aesthetic that’s already widely shared on social media. Think modern farmhouse, Scandinavian, contemporary, or other styles showcased in magazines.