So you want to travel? Are you a solo traveler like myself? Or just looking for more connections throughout social media? Either way, we know it can be difficult to travel to a new city or country without knowing anything or anyone in the area. But with the power of Instagram, I’ve met amazing people/travelers who have helped me navigate the city I was visiting for the time being and because of that, I’m happy to call them friends.
Here how to get started with meeting people on Instagram:
I know you might be reading this and saying “well duh,” but understand that it’s important to know where you’re going and have concrete dates before you start reaching out to anyone with any type of plans. This ensures that once you have your location down, you can start to focus on the type of people/accounts to reach out to.
2) USE HASHTAGS/GEOTAGS:
Yes, the same way you would use hashtags/geotags to get your photos more exposure, would be the same way you use hashtags to find people who are in the country/state you’re looking to visit. Usually, people who live where you’re visiting will have multiple photos from that location. Scroll through them and find out which ones you connect/relate to. Archive them, add them to your Instagram collection and save them for later research. There's no set amount of photos to have, but make sure you have a bunch, from different accounts that you feel comfortable with.
3) ENGAGE FIRST:
We’re trying to make friends here, right? So, this is more than just sliding in the DM’s and asking questions about the area, we’re trying to make life long connections with these people, and have them as travel buddies in the future. Be seen, engage on their post, connect with their post on more than a level that’s more than “nice photo or nice outfit.” If there’s a caption, read it and find something you can connect with and lead with that in the comments section. Do this a few times, let it be known that you’re interested in the photo(s), the person, as well as visiting the area. This would put you on the influencer's radar and can lead to a DM very soon.
4) DIRECT MESSAGE (DM) SECOND:
You’ve scouted, you’ve engaged and now it’s time to connect. While you were connecting, you should have mentioned that you’re interested in visiting the country/state in your comments, either shortly or fairly soon. In the comments, mention that you’re going to shoot over a DM to talk about it further. Nine times out of 10, they’ll say yes and you can continue the conversion there. Once in the DMs, mention your travel plans, that you’re looking for someone to hang out with/explore the area.
Offer to collab, grab a drink and just unwind for the time you’re there. Try to do more than just the “Instagram stuff,” you’re here to make a friend, not just check off an influencer off your list. Talk to this person as you would talk to a friend that you’ve known for years, because that’s what’s what we’re trying to do here, make a friend. Once you’re in the DMs, get to know the person, make plans, just keep chatting until its time to meet.
5) THE MEETING:
You’ve taken all of the steps and now its time to meet, you’re here and you schedule a time and place to meet. When you get there, don’t be afraid to greet them as if they are a long-time friend, if that’s a hug, please do so/ask first and take it from there. Enjoy the day(s) that you’re hanging out with them and remember to have fun. When the day(s) are over and you go back home, don’t forget to keep up with this person periodically through DMs, and interacting on their page/story. Have regular conversations with them, that aren’t about Instagram all of the time shows a person that you’re willing to get to know them personally.
Hopefully you'll use these tips for when you're traveling next and when you're looking to meet new people.