With Airbnb on Instagram, it’s one lucid sign how the digital age has impacted the way things work in the hospitality industry.
As the Airbnb market becomes increasingly competitive, hosts and property owners are seeking innovative ways to boost their bookings and stand out from the crowd.
One powerful strategy that has gained momentum is leveraging the power of social media.
That’s why Airbnb on Instagram is anything but odd.
Even Jill and Lionel - a squirrel and a hedgehog, respectively - have their own IG accounts.
What more for a 79.3-billion-dollar company (Airbnb’s net worth as of November 6, 2023, per Macrotrends) that wants to reach out to travelers across the globe?
Official Instagram account of Airbnb as seen on a desktop, with a view of the beach, a dog and a woman
It enables individuals to rent out their properties (a spare room, a condo unit, an entire house - even a castle if they have one!) to travelers on a short-term basis.
Introduced in 2008 as Airbedandbreakfast.com, its three founders - with each of them having a 2023 net worth of somewhere between $7.6 billion and $8.1 billion! - are:
- Brian Chesky (@Brian Chesky) - CEO
- Nathan Blecharczyk (not on Instagram) - chief strategy officer
- Joe Gebbia (@joegebs)
Airbnb connects hosts (those offering accommodations) with guests/travelers (those looking for a place to stay) through its website and mobile app.
Hosts can create listings with details about their properties, and such details include photos.
What’s an online platform without a social media account? That said, what’s social media without pictures or videos?
With Airbnb on Instagram (@airbnb), it uses this top-rated photo and video sharing app to market different kinds of properties, taking advantage of its strong social networking service.
As of this writing, Airbnb has approximately 5.4 million followers and 3,550 posts. It follows 1,720 accounts, with some of them belonging to:
a. Hollywood celebrities
|Angela Bassett (4.3 million followers)||Vanessa Hudgens (51.2 million followers)|
|Sophia Bush (4.5 million)||Kate Hudson (17.7 million)|
|James Corden (6.2 million)||Dwayne Johnson (392 million)|
|Laverne Cox (7 million)||La La Anthony (14.7 million)|
|Jimmy Fallon (26.4 million)||Jennifer Lopez (252 million)|
|Kevin Hart (179 million)||Sarah Jessica Parker (9.6 million)|
|Mindy Kaling (6.4 million)||Seth Rogen (10.2 million)|
|Derek Hough (3.2 million)||Rebel Wilson (11.2 million)|
b. Hollywood Singers/Rappers/DJ
|A$AP Rocky (17.9 million followers)||Ariana Grande (380 million followers)|
|Beyoncé (318 million)||Demi Lovato (157 million)|
|Miley Cyrus (215 million)||Ludacris (16.5 million)|
|Drake (144 million)||Katy Perry (206 million)|
|DJ Khaled (37.8 million)||Rihanna (152 million)|
c. International Performers
- Puerto Rican rapper-singer Daddy Yankee (48.7 million followers)
- South Korean boy band ENHYPEN (14.2 million followers)
- Brazilian singer-songwriter Ivete Sangalo (36 million followers)
|Name & Number of IG Followers||Description|
|Bethany Hamilton (2.2 million)||American surfer and writer|
|Alex Honnold (2.6 million)||American rock climber|
|Nastia Liukin (1 million)||American gymnast|
|Patrick Mahomes II (6 million)||American football quarterback|
|Marc Marquez (6.9 million)||Spanish motorcycle racer|
|Lionel Messi (491 million)||Argentine footballer|
|Yuvraj Singh (18.8 million)||Indian cricketer |
- American models Jay Alvarrez (8.5 million followers) and Chrissy Teigen (42.7 million followers)
- Brazilian models Alessandra Ambrosio (12 million followers) and Adriana Lima (16.7 million followers)
|Name & Number of IG Followers||Description|
|Bobby Berk (2.9 million)||TV host and author|
|Kourtney Kardashian (224 million)||reality TV star |
|Michelle Obama (57.1 million)||former U.S. First Lady (2009-2017)|
|Claudia Oshry (293,000)||American comedian|
|Palina Rojinski (3.2 million)||Russian-German TV presenter|
|Name & Number of IG Followers||Description|
|Nate Berkus (1.8 million)||interior designer and author|
|Chris Burkard (3.9 million)||artist and photographer|
|Bryant Eslava (9.2 million)||fashion photographer |
|Murad Osmann (3.3 million)||Russian photographer|
|Noor Tagouri (566,000)||journalist and activist |
|Jonathan Van Ness (5.7 million)||hairstylist|
For its Instagram bio, Airbnb wrote:
Well, to answer that question, let’s check Airbnb on Instagram and its last five posts (2023):
- a dome house somewhere in Joshua Tree National Park in southern California (November 7)
- Apanemo Beach House, a beachfront property in Kimolos Island in Greece (November 6)
- a wooden house - described as a “secluded forest getaway” - in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York (November 3)
- an 18th-century tavern converted into a lodging establishment in the town of Griswold in New London County, Connecticut (November 3)
- a design house in a rainforest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (October 27)
Design houses are popular Airbnb accommodations because they’re often characterized by unique and carefully curated interior design, architecture, and furnishings.
The one in Rio is a triangular-shaped house.
Note that two of the pictures from those posts mentioned above are reposts:
- the beach house from Emily “Emz” Champion and Nick Leatherbarrow, travel vloggers (@emzandnick) from England
- the wooden house from Maggie Zerbe (@magszerbe), a Pennsylvania-based award-winning producer and content strategist
The sun setting on a dome house with gray roof beside a tree in Joshua Tree National Park in California
That’s a sneak peek of Airbnb on Instagram and how it benefits from vloggers and content creators.
With 2023 not yet over, let’s revisit five of the “most liked homes” in 2022 on Airbnb IG.
Here they are:
Top 1: Casa de Sanchez
|Location||San Jose de Ocoa, Dominican Republic|
|Rate (in U.S. Dollars)||$90 per night|
|Number of IG Likes||20,447|
|Number of Bedrooms||1|
- situated on a hillside
- floor-to-ceiling windows
- from the balcony, panoramic view of the mountains
Top 2: Vale das Furnas - Glass Cabin in the Forest
|Location||Santa Catarina, Brazil|
|Rate (in U.S. Dollars)||$82 per night|
|Number of IG Likes||15,571|
|Number of Bedrooms||1|
- a small wooden hut with glass walls and roof
- separate bath area (outdoors)
- sits on a 10.9-hectare (27 acres) private property
Top 3: The Step by 127 Cabin Co.
|Location||Hudson Valley in Montgomery, New York|
|Rate (in U.S. Dollars)||$150 per night|
|Number of IG Likes||14,587 |
|Number of Bedrooms||1|
- a triangular-shaped design house on a farm
- has an outdoor fire pit
- pets allowed
Top 4: Big Sur Coast - Cliff House
|Rate (in U.S. Dollars)||$1,150 per night|
|Number of IG Likes||14,034|
|Number of Bedrooms||4|
- large glass windows and walls
- has an indoor stone fireplace
- sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean
Top 5: Villa Pairidaeza (Kalkan)
|Rate (in U.S. Dollars)||$311 per night|
|Number of IG Likes||12,058|
|Number of Bedrooms||3|
- a private outdoor swimming pool (infinity pool)
- majestic view of the islands and the sea
- landscaped gardens
- All prices were quoted from Airbnb on November 8, 2023.
- The number of “likes” courtesy of an Airbnb article published on January 27, 2023.
With Airbnb on Instagram, travelers looking for accommodations may consider checking out first its IG posts before proceeding to its website.
Sprout Social, a Chicago-based software company, conducted research regarding social media. Two of their key findings were:
a. An incredible 91 percent of people trust in the ability of social media to connect people.
b. For consumers, 78 percent of them prefer that companies (or brands) use social networking sites to connect with them.
That’s why there’s an Airbnb IG!
Naturally, Airbnb wants to tap on that huge international market. After all, its accommodations are available worldwide.
So, Airbnb on Instagram is a wise move.
Moreover, as you have read earlier, Airbnb annually creates a list of Instagram posts (about a particular property) that received the greatest number of likes. It then publishes a post about it on its website.
Here are some strategies Airbnb has used to market its properties on Instagram:
a. High-Quality Visual Content
Airbnb uses Instagram to share high-quality photos and videos of its properties. They make sure that the images showcase the property’s unique features and create a desire among viewers to stay there.
This includes professionally shot photos that highlight the property’s best angles and attributes.
Aerial view of a four-storey tree house nestled among the trees in Bali, with a woman on the balcony
b. User-Generated Content (UGC)
Airbnb encourages guests to share their experiences and photos on Instagram using a specific hashtag related to their stay.
This helps build a sense of community around Airbnb and provides potential guests with authentic content and reviews from real guests.
c. Stories and Live Streams
Airbnb uses Instagram Stories and live streaming to provide real-time updates and behind-the-scenes looks at properties.
This can create a sense of urgency and excitement among potential guests.
d. Thematic Campaigns
Airbnb runs thematic campaigns and contests on Instagram, which engage users and encourage them to share their content related to a particular theme or location.
These campaigns help in generating user interest and buzz around Airbnb properties.
e. Local Insights
Airbnb on Instagram leverages it to provide local insights and tips about the areas where their properties are located.
This can help potential guests plan their trips and make informed booking decisions.
f. Engaging Captions and Stories
Airbnb may use engaging and informative captions to accompany their posts. They tell a story about:
- the property
- its location
- the experiences guests can have there
This helps in connecting with potential guests on a more personal level.
For Airbnb hosts, this can be done by linking their Instagram page to their listing(s). People checking out the site and happen to be on IG will most likely click the IG page link to get more information about a property.
In her January 2022 Forbes article, Marie Hattar describes storytellingas “the DNA of marketing.”
She even named Airbnb as one of those companies who successfully uses authentic stories for its business goals.
Hattar, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at California-based electronics company Keysight and a Forbes Councils Member, further wrote:
Effective storytelling increases engagement between a brand and its audience, which helps drive conversions and, ultimately, revenue growth.- Marie Hattar
With Airbnb on Instagram, the said company achieves its aim to connect with travelers anywhere in the world.
When consumers feel that connection from companies/brands, according to Sprout Social:
- 57 percent of them will buy from them and/or avail their services
- 76 percent will choose them over their competitors
g. Consistent Branding
Airbnb maintains a consistent visual style and branding on Instagram to ensure that their posts and content are easily recognizable.
This branding may include the use of specific colors, fonts, and logos.
h. Paid Advertising
To reach a wider audience, Airbnb on Instagram uses paid advertising.
They can target specific demographics and interests to increase the visibility of their properties to potential guests.
In the U.S., according to Backlinko, the size of Instagram ad audience is approximately 170 million.
Let’s take this basic definition from San Francisco-based tech company Pixlee, which provides software for influencer marketing:
A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry.- Pixlee
To add more details on who these influencers are, let’s see the definition by Influencer Marketing Hub as quoted (verbatim) below:
“An influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her:
- or relationship . . .
. . . with his or her audience.”
With Airbnb on Instagram, these are some of the social media personalities - people who have gained prominence or have become a public figure of sorts through social media - it follows:
a. American TikTokers
- the siblings Charli D’Amelio (46 million IG followers) and Dixie D’Amelio (22.1 million IG followers)
- Alix Ashley Earle (3.2 million IG followers)
- Loren Gray Beech (24.4 million IG followers)
b. Bloggers and vloggers from around the world
- Australian travel blogger Lauren Bullen (2.1 million IG followers)
- French blogger Camille Callen (1 million IG followers)
- Venezuelan YouTuber Lele Pons (53.9 million IG followers)
Airbnb partners with social media influencers and travel bloggers to showcase their properties. These influencers often have a large following and can reach a wider audience, leading to increased bookings.
For Airbnb hosts, they can be influencers in their own capacity as they promote their properties.
First and foremost, with Airbnb on Instagram, they should sign up first to have their own IG account. Next, as previously mentioned, they should link their Airbnb listing to your IG account/page.
With Airbnb on Instagram, it can be easier for hosts to market their properties, and, who knows, even gain friends along the way!
Based on a brand analysis conducted by Influencer Intelligence, a marketing company from London that offers influencer marketing tool, some of the biggest - in terms of their social media following- Airbnb influencers are:
- Iris Apfel (@iris.apfel), an American businesswoman and interior designer (2.9 million IG followers), who turned 102 (yes!) in August 2023
- Enola Bedard (@enola.bedard), a Canadian dancer and choreographer (2.2 million IG followers)
- Pooja Dhingra (@poojadhingra), an Indian pastry chef and businesswoman (7.1 million IG followers)
- Nicole Warne-Shadbolt (@nicolewarne), an Australian blogger (2.3 million IG followers)
The 23-year-old Bedard, by the way, also has 16.3 million TikTok followers, with 373.7 million likes so far and 4.1 million YouTube followers.
Based on its analysis, Influencer Intelligence learned that in a span of three months alone (sometime in 2022), with Airbnb on Instagram, there were “347 influencer mentions.”
It proves how Airbnb utilizes social media to boost bookings.
Taapsee Pannu in a white dress seating on a couch while holding a white mug and looking at her MacBook
For example, on June 17, 2022, award-winning Indian actress Taapsee Pannu (@taapsee) uploaded a picture of her checking something on her MacBook while in an undisclosed Airbnb accommodation.
She tagged Airbnb and wrote a short caption: “Days start like….” Then she added these hashtags:
With Taapsee’s 20.6 million Instagram followers, it’s safe to say that Airbnb hopes to reach out to more Indian travelers.
1. Provide a virtual tour of your property.
Upload video clips of the bedrooms, living room, view from the balcony (if applicable), facilities, etc.
2. Record yourself while taking a short trip around the neighborhood or area where the property is located.
That way, guests will have an idea what the immediate surroundings look like.
3. Use hashtags. Below are some examples given by the site:
4. Remember about establishing a personal connection? Do that by also posting pictures/videos about yourself.
Perhaps a potential guest can be a book lover or is into extreme sports like the Airbnb host or went to the same school as the host. There’s a connection established already.
5. As for using storytelling in marketing, just simply post on IG about the experience of your guests, with matching pictures and videos, of course.
Turno, a Hawaiian company behind an app that schedules property cleanings, recommends Airbnb hosts to follow these people on Instagram who can help them in different hosting concerns:
|Name and Instagram Handle||Area of Concern|
|Mark Simpson (@boostlyuk)||branding and marketing vaction rentals|
|Mint STR Hosting (@mintstrhosting)||branding and marketing vaction rentals|
|Jonathan Farber (@jonjfarb)||financial and investing aspects|
|Kyle Stanley (@fearlesskyle)||general hosting tips|
|Travis Zappia (@theyoungretireeby33)||general hosting tips|
- Hollywood stars Ansel Elgort, Danny Glover, and Sarah Jessica Parker
- Bear Grylls (British adventurer and TV presenter)
- John Legend (singer-songwriter and record producer)
- Michael Strahan (TV personality and former professional football player)
- Marco Pierre White (British chef and restaurateur)
For you to become an Airbnb influencer, go back and read again the definition of an “influencer” by Influencer Marketing Hub.
Since Airbnb belongs to the lodging industry, your niche should focus on travel. That said, you should be frequently traveling and staying in places that you booked through Airbnb.
That will give you the experience and authority to influence people to visit the places you explored and stay in the accommodations you tried yourself.
Then from there, try the tips given by GuestReady.com.
Aerial view of a large wooden house with spacious balcony surrounded by trees in Makuyu, Kenya
The hospitality industry is undergoing a profound transformation, with the rise of online platforms like Airbnb revolutionizing the way people find accommodations.
With Airbnb on Instagram, it’s a clear acknowledgement of the power of social media.
Instagram alone has approximately a billion users, and it’s not the only popular social media platforms out there.
There’s Facebook and Twitter; there’s TikTok and YouTube and so many others.
Tapping into the vast opportunities social media has to offer, Airbnb on Instagram not only encourages people to travel but also invites them to experience the wonderful - even unique - accommodations they offer.