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Instagram: The Ultimate Destination Marketing Tool


When you look at Instagram, what appeals to you more? Is it the captivating photos of extravagant waterfalls, mouthwatering food and tasty brews or maybe it’s informative graphics? Depending on the industry, the answer varies, but for those in destination marketing, your best bet is on real-life photography that showcases the offerings of your town, city, region or state.

Instagram is the ultimate social media platform for your destination marketing strategy. Here’s why …

User-Generated Content … USE IT

Did you know? Of the top 100 most engaging posts on destination marketing accounts, 92% of it is user-generated repurposed content, according to a study by convinceandconvert.com. User-generated content is one of the easiest and best ways to collect photo content of your destination.

You can find this content by researching your account’s hashtag and viewing the account tags. Another way to find content is to lookup certain locations geotag or hashtags. Once you find the perfect photo, message the account and ask for their permission.

This is an easy tactic that will allow you to build upon your brand’s relationships with Instagram users. A majority of the time, we see that after the connection is made, the destination’s account starts to see an increase of tagged posts and hashtag use.


Instagram stories are another tool that allows destinations to be interactive with their audience. This interactive practice can be done through polls, quizzes, write-ins, ask a question and “DM me” buttons.

Stories are also a great way to show live photos and videos of events, locations, or attractions. By tagging and using relevant hashtags, your story could then be shared among other accounts platforms that you tagged, which increases the story’s impressions and engagements. Utilizing stories allows for users to locate your account profile easily.

Stories are a great way to share user-generated content in a timely fashion.

Geotag, Hashtags and Tags

Geotagging is critical in destination marketing. You’re trying to show off the offerings of your location so, why not educate your audience on where you are? This is an easy way to increase your account’s reach. According to SocialPilot, posts that include a geotag receive 79% more engagement. Make sure to keep in mind your local audience. Tag places that are relevant to the goals of your content.

What else can a geotag do for your account? Well, if someone is researching the destination on social media and you tag the location, your social post will be in the discovery feed that is present. Geotagging can potentially lead the viewer to your social profile.

The same rule goes for hashtags. Use them where they are relevant. Hashtags are another resource that allows users to see trending topics. If they are researching your destination, your content will potentially be presented in their hashtag search feed.

Remember that for both geotagging and hashtags, users are allowed to pick whether they want to see the most recent posts or top posts for their search.

Tag, tag, tag … implement, and practice tagging other social media accounts within your content. Tagging creates a conversation between profiles and allows your audience to learn more about the location you are featuring. Tagging also acts as a bridge for users who are trying to learn more about your destination’s offerings. According to that SocialPilot, posts with another Insta handle receive 56% more engagement. 

For example, you share a photo of an ice cream stand and you tag their social media account. This shows the ice cream stand some love and appreciation. It also allows your audience to click on the tag and view the ice cream stands profile, allowing them to get a better understanding of who they are.

Expand Relationship Networks

Social media is a great place to network and create relationships. By tagging, commenting, using hashtags, and geotags, you are already starting a conversation. You are showing support for the location you are featuring which, in reality, leads to bonds and potential partnerships. We have found that locations have adopted our hashtags and have tagged our destination’s social account more once we started to use this practice.

Influencer Marketing

Utilize influencers to increases your social media visibility is a fun and interactive tactic. Influencers are a great way to educate your audience and is a simple tool to build and expand your destination’s brand.

Utilizing influencers helps you gain photos, videos, articles and blog content. We at ABC find that social media takeovers help boost engagement, impressions, and followers. Implementing influencers has allowed us to grow relationships and connect with other influencers through mutual connections.

Instagram is THE ultimate social media tool for destination marketing.  

About The Author

Abby came to ABC as an intern only to return and emerge as a social media, content development and PR powerhouse.

She was turned onto marketing and its cultural influence as an avid social media user and now channels her knowledge of those platforms to craft consistent messaging and engaging content.

The public relations degree-holder moonlights as a foodie and fan of all things Syracuse, from the eateries to the sports teams. Abby appreciates the family dynamic at ABC, where she can exercise her creativity in a collaborative setting.