Shapiro // © 2017 TravelAge West
In this issue’s cover story, “Bringing Sexy Back” (page 14), we examine the important role Instagram plays in the travel industry and for agents. With its emphasis on photos and videos, Instagram is probably the social media channel best suited for promoting travel. Advisors can use the platform for marketing, inspiration, education and more.
One of the more interesting aspects of Instagram is how it can affect the perception of travel agents overall. As advisor Brianna Glenn told us, Instagram provides millennial travelers in particular with a fresh view of what it means to be an agent nowadays.
“There’s a whole generation that is traveling now that didn’t grow up using travel agents and don’t really understand the point of them,” she said. “The idea that there are younger agents on Instagram who are changing that impression makes people stop and take notice.”
For customers who may think that agents are obsolete, Instagram provides an opportunity for advisors to update the image of their profession. By emphasizing the glamour and excitement associated with travel through images, agents build a common language with clients who may not even understand what an agent does. In this way, Instagram becomes a pathway for young travelers to be introduced to the benefits of using a modern travel advisor.
Instagram also has the potential to bridge a generational gap between advisors and millennial travelers. The love of travel is universal and timeless. Agents who share their passion through an active Instagram presence can create a bond with young travelers — who are often seekers of new experiences and value those who have followed a similar path.
For all these reasons and more, Instagram has a major impact on travel, and agents need to examine all the ways the platform can work for them. Of course, being a master of Instagram would be ideal, but just being involved in some way can lead to a significant improvement in your business.