How To Boost Your Vacation Rental Bookings Using Social Media
According to Hubspot, 92% of businesses claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. When it comes to platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, engagement can actually be really useful… all it takes is knowing the right way to use them.
1. Separate your accounts.
If your personal Instagram account is a mosaic of your daily moments, it’s probably best to give your vacation rental space (or spaces) a separate account. Same goes for Facebook: it makes sense to create a page for your property that guests can like and follow, even if they’re not Facebook “friends” with you. A business page will allow followers to engage directly with property managers and create a marketing space, turning followers into paying guests.
2. Post more than your property.
Sharing pictures and information about your place is great, but your followers only want to see so much of the same thing before it starts to feel like spam. Instead, add in a mix of beautiful and useful things that your guests and potential guests will find engaging. For example, provide tips and recommendations on your local area so visiting guests can use it as a kind of guide. This gives your property an added value of guest experience.
3. Promote the experience rather than the place.
When you are sharing pictures and videos of your property, think about how you can convey a guest’s experience rather than just a place. Consider a real estate photo of your living room that shows how nicely decorated and spacious it is. Now let’s take it up a notch: imagine it’s winter, so you post a photo of your living room with the fireplace roaring and a tray of hot chocolate and marshmallows sitting on the coffee table. Now you’re getting it. You want to share what your guest experience will actually be like. Promoting guest experience is key to providing guests with more opportunities to take advantage of. A new state of the art app, YourWelcome, which is now integrated with Guesty, is a terrific technology to improve guest experience. The app creates a digital partnership between property managers and local attractions.
4. Encourage guests to tag you.
Encourage your guests to share their experiences on their social media page. Of course, you don’t want to be forceful about it, but you can always let them know that you’re happy to be mentioned in social media posts, or that you don’t mind guests taking photos inside your place and sharing them. Include your social media handles in your communications or guest books so your guests know how to tag you. This will create an online presence for property management companies outside of their normal circles and into the customer’s realm.
5. Encourage guests to review you.
Reviews on platforms like Airbnb are paramount, but you can also remind or encourage happy guests to leave reviews on your Facebook page as well. This is especially beneficial if you’re taking bookings outside of home-sharing platforms. This is a terrific way to gain more positive reviews on your social media pages, thereby increasing SEO.
6. Use location tagging and hashtags.
How do you reach an audience who has no idea you even exist? One answer is by utilizing location tags and hashtags. Whenever you post to Instagram, for example, include your town or city as the location so that people browsing posts from that area can come across your profile. Include a decent number of well-targeted hashtags as well. In Twitter, for example, you can check out the list of trending hashtags and use any that are appropriate. Remember to also link people directly to your property in your posts and in your profile: even if they don’t make a booking, click-through can benefit your search ranking position on sites like Airbnb.
7. Show some personality.
Nothing beats that which is genuine. Whether it’s Instagram posts of you taking silly selfies with guests, or a stream of conversation where you’ve engaged with someone on Twitter, being genuine on social media builds trust. So don’t be afraid to share, to reach out, to respond to feedback, and above all to be yourself.
About Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper is the Director of Growth at Airhosta. Airhosta is an online marketplace that connects Airbnb and Vacation Rental hosts with very best service providers — from property managers to concierge experts to cleaners — and a whole lot more. The Airhosta mission is to help you find and hire experts and make managing your property easy.