[Case Study]  How Ibis Hotel Is Using Instagram To Create Unique Experiences For Their Customers
Brand Analysis

[Case Study] How Ibis Hotel Is Using Instagram To Create Unique Experiences For Their Customers

Maria Ganta
Maria Ganta

Table of Contents

Many brands, including hotels, try to adopt Instagram as part of their social media strategy, but the real question is 'how do they manage to attract new clients through social media apps like Instagram?' ๐Ÿค”

According to some studies, the most significant priority for many people when it comes to traveling is how "Instagrammable" their destination is. ๐Ÿ“ธ

If you can find beautiful images, with stunning views on Instagram with a specific place, then itโ€™s totally worth it.

Today, I'm going to share with you a new case study about the AccorHotels group and how they manage to create an engaged audience around their brands on Instagram. If your Instagram feed is full-packed with beautiful beaches too, then continue reading this article.

Let's dive in!

AccorHotels is a world leader in hotel management, with more than 3500 hotels all around the world, continuously looking for innovative ways to engage with their customers, and provide them the ultimate customer experience.

We've chosen five big hotels from different segments with international Instagram's handles:

  • Ibis - Economy
  • Novotel & Mercure - Midscale hotel
  • Pullman - Upscale
  • Sofitel - Luxury

1,013 Instagram posts were analyzed from July 2018 to July 15th, 2019.

For this case study, we computed average engagement rate as a percentage of the sum of likes and comments divided by the followers count.

How to create an active social media strategy for the hotels' industry

How The Hotelier Industry Is Using Instagram To Promote Unique Experiences & Services

Key findings

  1. Create unique services for your clients
  2. Ibis - the economy segment leads the engagement on Instagram for this group
  3. Focus more on the quality of your posts and not their quantity
  4. Create a branded hashtag and incorporate it into your strategy
  5. Tips to promote your local hotel on Instagram

#1. Create Instagrammable services for your clients

57% of customers would rather contact companies via digital media such as email or social media rather than use voice-based customer support, according to Nextiva.

That's why a brand's Instagram profile becomes their calling card.

With 31K Instagram followers, the European chain of hotels called Ibis, introduced last year (2018) on its social media strategy, the "Social Media Sitter" or ย โ€œRelax we post" concept.

This means that one person was permanent with you, taking snaps of your holiday and posting them to your Instagram in your place using this hashtag - #postedbysocialmediasitter.

The purpose of the service was to offer customers innovative services, but the only problem is that you have to give the other person your password (and the two-factor authentication token). ๐Ÿค”hmm...

โ€œWe closely follow societal trends and adapt to offer our customers innovative services. This initiative is also part of our commitment to providing a memorable experience,โ€ Philippe Alanou, Senior Vice President of Accor Hotels (Ibisโ€˜ parent company)

The service started at ยฃ70 (about $79 USD), and the hotel brought on social media influencers like Sara Leutenegger, Anna Maradan, Cristina Gheiceanu, Pascal Erb and Elay Leuthold. Tourists could choose one of the influencers to take them some photos, upload them on Stories and also to respond to comments.

This service was available only for Ibis Hotels from Geneva or Zurich, with no signs of expansion so far.

Privacy could create a roadblock when you plan campaigns which require taking sensitive data from customers.

Relax, we post!

#2. Ibis - the economy segment leads the engagement on Instagram

Based on our Instagram data for these five hotels, we wanted to know which one has a higher engagement on Instagram.

Social media benchmarks for the AccorHotels group

Ibis - the economy segment - leads the engagement on Instagram for this group.

To get a better understanding of how Ibis is keeping a higher engagement rate on Instagram, we've studied what type of content they are posting.

If you take a look at the pie chart below, you can see that for the past year, photos represent the majority of postings. From a total of 94 Instagram postings, the focus is on photos with 78.7%, followed by carousel with 13.8%, and videos with 7.4%.

Here's what Ibis published on Instagram over the past year

When it comes to Instagram postings for the hotel industry, we can say that photos are the key to create a instagrammable space for your customers.

#3. Focus on quality and provide unique experiences to your customers

Diving deeper into Instagram stats, we discovered that posting every day doesn't necessarily mean higher engagement.

Based on our data, we've noticed that Mercure and Sofitel hotels are the most active Instagram accounts posting five times a week while Sofitel - the engagement leader - is publishing two posts per week.

  • Average Posts per Day

How many posts the AccorHotels group are publishing on Instagram

As I said in the beginning, posting every day doesn't necessarily mean people will engage with your postings, but creating instagrammable experiences remains the primary way to engage with your audience on Instagram.

Wondering how to create unique experiences through Instagram? Let's take a look at the Mercure postings.

Is it the middle of winter but you have a pool with a beautiful view? ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

Use this information and share with your followers the option to skip the snow and enjoy a beautiful and relaxing day at your spa.

Is your hotel the perfect place for a family vacation? ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง

Showcase the family corners and sweet spots.

Remember: If it's "Instagrammable," it's worth it. Encourage your audience to be part of the Instagram experience.

#4. Create a branded hashtag and incorporate it into your strategy

Hashtags help photos gain more exposure and awareness on Instagram, that's why incorporating a branded hashtag into you social media strategy is a good move.

If you want to promote your business, in this case, a specific hotel, on Instagram, creating, and using a branded hashtag is a win-win both for your brand and customers.

This is exactly what Novotel is trying to do with #TimeIsOnYourSide.

They are using this hashtag to promote the idea that you should take time to do what matters most to you: read, eat, relax, dance, whatever you want and makes you feeling good.

They are using influencers to promote the hashtag.

Another benefit of using branded hashtags is that you make your customers part of your social media strategy without much effort.

They will use your hashtag in their posts, and when people search for you on Instagram, they will see how happy your customers are, and how much they enjoyed spending their holidays at your hotel.

This will increase your visibility and help you create engaging conversations around your brand on social media.

#6. Tips for the hotel industry's on Instagram

If you're wondering how you can promote your hotel on Instagram, these ideas might be a great start:

  • Create unique services for your clients.
  • Focus more on the quality of your posts, and provide unique experiences to your customers. All these factors will make them return.
  • Create and use branded hashtags for discoverability and engagement.
  • Engage with your audience, answer to their questions, reshare the postings where they tag you, be there for their needs.
  • Use Instagram influencers to promote your brand.
  • Create instagrammable corners around your hotel.


Creating this benchmark for the AccorHotels group confirms once again, that is not about the number of postings, it's about the experience you create around your brand.

Hotel experience means outstanding customer care, attention to details, and presence.

Instagram is the perfect social media channel for this industry and it offers excellent features to highlight your services. We believe that Instagram will replace TripAdvisor and other reviews websites when it comes to bookings.

Do you search your hotel on Instagram before booking? Let me know in the comments how much you use Instagram for booking your trips.

Maria Ganta

Maria Ganta

Online Marketing Expert @ Socialinsider

I'm a longtime fan of everything social; I love digging into data and showing brands how to use data to boost social media engagement.

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