How to use social media to grow your group

Use Instagram Like a Pro to Promote Your Trip

by Lacy Saye

Part 3 Instagram

You’ve created your Facebook page so now what? If Facebook is a great place to communicate with parents, then Instagram is the ideal place to get in front of students. With 800 million active users and growing, Instagram is the second largest social media platform and also one of the easiest to use.

Tips to help improve your “insta” social game:

1. Go visual!

Without the news or status updates seen on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram is a visual-centric platform comprised of pictures and videos only. Studies show heightened engagement levels when images are used in any social post, meaning you are more likely to get responsiveness from students using images of your Washington, DC and New York City class trip rather than word of mouth.

2. Create your own hashtag

Creating your own hashtag offers a unique way for students, friends and family to stay connected before, during and after the trip. (Not sure what a hashtag is? A hashtag uses the pound sign, “#”, to create a searchable link allowing you to quickly identify messages on a specific topic. i.e. YOUR TRIP!) Not only can people follow your profile, but they can also follow students that use the same hashtag. This keeps families up to date and promotes your trip. For an example, follow @schooltoursofamerica and our #MyTourView to see posts from School Tours of America and our travelers!

Did you know: We have a social media photo contest! Use our hashtag #MyTourView to enter photos from your trip and win cool prizes! Check out last years winning photo:

A post shared by School Tours of America (@schooltoursofamerica) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2017-07-07T16:41:58+00:00">Jul 7, 2017 at 9:41am PDT</time>

3. #TriviaTuesday

Instagram provides a unique and meaningful way to connect with students using themed posts. One example is getting students to interact by means of posting trivia through images. Using hashtags like #TriviaTuesday, and posting pics of recognizable places they will visit on tour, like the Lincoln Memorial or the Empire State Building, is a cool way to build excitement. Another example is using the popular hashtag for Throwback Thursday, “#TBT”, when posting photos from your past trips. The possibilities are endless, just remember to have fun!

Did you know that the some 6,700 books in Thomas Jefferson's book room at Monticello would become the core of the Library of Congress? #TriviaTuesday #MyTourView #monticello #thomasjefferson #virginia #grouptravel

A post shared by School Tours of America (@schooltoursofamerica) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2017-07-11T18:35:16+00:00">Jul 11, 2017 at 11:35am PDT</time>

4. Post testimonials

Much like Facebook, as noted in our first post in this social media series, a great way to inspire participation for your class trip is by sharing experiences of other students and parents. Ask past attendees to send you a video or post testimonials while on tour. Instagram makes it easy and convenient to post straight from your phone.

5. Instagram has stories too

Similar to Snapchat, Instagram has added “Stories” to their platform. (Not sure what “Stories” are? Get caught up in our Snapchat blog article!) You may ask why anyone would post content that is going to disappear in 24 hours. Simply put, people love it! Especially students and millenials. Instagram’s daily active use equals Snapchat’s 300 million. With this amount of activity it’s clear that people love a creative and fun channel. Instagram’s stories are almost identical to that of Snapchat. Refer to last week’s article, or the Educator’s Guide to Social Media (below) for information regarding the best use of each platform.

BONUS: Get instant email access to our free Educators Guide to social media that breaks down Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram platforms.


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