, Using Vintage Photos on Social Media, Odysys

January 20, 2016

Using Vintage Photos on Social Media

As an independent hotel or inn, you have the freedom to run your social media channels as you wish—no corporate messaging required. Of course, the drawback to that freedom is the responsibility of coming up with all of the content yourself.

One way you can ease that burden is by creatively using existing content. And one fantastic type of existing content is vintage or historical photos.

Retro photos of your property, or the surrounding area, make great social media content. Not only do they rank fairly low on the effort scale, they’re also visual, sharable, and just plain fun.

See for yourself: 

Vintage lodge photo rainier
Paradise Inn at Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, circa 1935

vintage canada hotel photo
Overlander Lodge, 1964, from the Provincial Archives of Alberta

Vintage florida tourist photo
Woman in Florida, 1940, from Florida Memory

So, where do you find these gems? Try:

  • Flickr Commons (search with the filter “No known copyright”)*
  • Historical societies
  • Public libraries (in addition to any local history books, check old newspapers and yearbooks)
  • Visitor centers/destination marketing organizations
  • University archives
  • Vintage postcards (search eBay or Etsy)

If your property isn’t very old, or you can’t find any images of your property, use historical photos of the surrounding area.

The tags or keywords associated with these images aren’t always consistent. Searching for unique local names (rivers, counties, schools, etc.) can help yield more results.

Because this content is evergreen, it’s perfect for posts you want to schedule in advance. Spend some time gathering the images, and then publish them periodically. Thursdays are great, because you can use the popular hashtag #throwbackthursday.

Whenever you post, you’ll probably get a warm response from your followers. Old photos—your new best friend!

A note about copyrights: Another benefit of historical photos is that they’re often in the public domain. But always check copyright laws before publishing.

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