9.26.2013

How to Engage Your Community on Instagram

When I first started using Instagram last summer, I didn't know much about it, but I knew I liked it. It was fun for me to take a break from the grind of daily life, and view eye-pleasing photos. It wasn't like Facebook and Twitter, which are constantly filled with links wanting you to take some type of action. 

Instagram was a refreshing change of pace. I defined it as simple, natural photos that gave me a glimpse of a person's everyday life in the moment. It's now my favorite social media tool out there. 

Like my newly purchased Vietri 30th anniversary mug? All proceeds will go toward Habitat for Humanity.  I love that the company is giving back for its 30th anniversary. 

On my blog Instagram account, I share some personal family moments, my travels, great eats, and of course, fabulous hotel properties.

Lately though, I've been spending more time talking to others on Instagram instead of posting my own photos. It does take some time to comment on a photo (especially since I can't type well on a phone), but I love the connections I am making. I allow several minutes a day to tell people I like their photos or ask questions about their photos.  This helps create a conversation. 

Before I read Katja Presnal's "Instagram as Your Guide to the World" travel book, I did not engage with other users on Instagram much at all. I scrolled through a few photos, hit a few likes, and that was about it. I didn't take the time to talk to others, which if you remember, is basically the foundation for social media.

After being on Instagram for more than a year, I now find myself wanting more of my followers to talk to me, too. The other day I was visiting the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I've already written a "Pack Your Bags" on this beautiful property. I stayed in a lovely renovated room last February, and it was fabulous. 



During my last visit, renovations were ongoing, but now renovations on all 79 rooms at the Siena Hotel are complete. They are all unique, but similar in style. I shot a few photos for Instagram while on property last week. Instead of just sharing photos of the new rooms in my feed, I wanted my followers to feel as if they were part of the tour with me. 

So naturally I asked, "What do you think of these chairs?"




It was a lot of fun, and I absolutely adored the engagement. People took the time to give me their opinions. Some thought the chairs were quirky and fun. Others thought they would be uncomfortable. A few thought they were beautiful.  And my absolute favorite comment was, "They look like something in the Capitol in the Hunger Games." I can see that, and some of my followers did, too. 

The chairs were imported from Italy. They look grand in the room. The rooms are the true essence of an Italian villa. 


Personally, I think the chairs work for the room, and do not look weird in person at all. They were really stunning. I think this is one reason why I like boutique hotel properties so much. They are not afraid to show a little personality. 


Rates at the Siena Hotel range from $150 to $300 per night, depending on season and availability. The hotel is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection.  Engage with your followers as much as your time allows. I think you will find it rewarding. 

If you are a blogger, link up with us and you may end up on my Facebook page. I share some of my favorite photos from the week. 





Take a look at the link-up rules below before linking, and please link back to a host so others can find everyone's links. 



Take a look at the official rules on Skimbaco Lifestyle, but here are some important things to remember when linking your post.


Here are the Linky rules:
Link to a new Instagram travel post and use the permalink of your post, not the homepage URL.
Only new posts from the week of the linky and no giveaways, other linkys or sales pitches.
No links to your Instagram profile, only links to your blog.
Link back to one of the Instagram Travel Thursday hosts.
Visit a few other posts in the linky and show them some love (comment, tweet, Pin etc.).
Links that do not follow the guidelines will be removed.


The Instagram Travel Thursday linky is posted on Thursdays at 1AM EST and the linky is open until the following Wednesday.
Be sure to follow me on one or more of my social media platforms.  TwitterInstagram ,FacebookPinterest, Google Plus or on Bloglovin, if you just want post updates. When traveling, I'm on Instagram the most.  My personal family Instagram account is LeighPHines.



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