Social media plays a major role in the online activities of many people. There are few venues that are more effective at marketing, increasing online visibility, and relationship building -- three things that are very important for success in today's hyper-competitive vacation rental home niche.
Just last week, I stumbled upon a friend's Facebook post in which she shared photos of the seaside cottage where she was staying on a small island near Freeport, Maine. I immediately recognized the cottages, as my family had vacationed there about 20 years ago. It's a small family-owned venture, with two in-law style condos attached to the caretaker's home and four small cottages that overlook the rocky Maine shoreline. I spent the next half hour browsing through the photos on the cottages’ Facebook page, reminiscing.
This is just one example of how social media can serve as an essential marketing tool for your vacation rental. In fact, social media marketing is one of the most effective options for promoting your vacation home online. But starting a social media marketing campaign from scratch can be very challenging and many have no idea of where to begin. This is where it is especially helpful to work with an Airbnb property manager that has expertise in this area.
So how can you work with your property manager to market your vacation rental on social media? Let's explore.
Why Use Social Media Marketing for Promoting Your Vacation Home?
Social media marketing has proven to be very effective in many business niches, including real estate and travel. As a whole, social media's popularity has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years and by 2018, it's expected that more than 2.5 billion people will be using social media on a regular basis. This makes social media a very important place for your vacation home to have a presence.
Social media is effective in several ways:
- You'll grow your vacation home's presence and visibility online.
- You can establish your vacation home's brand identity and image.
- You'll drive traffic to your website, resulting in more bookings.
- You'll showcase your property and all that you have to offer.
- You'll remain “on the radar” with current guests, past guests, and prospective guests, increasing the chances of repeat bookings and new bookings from friends, family, and followers of your past guests.
- Your vacation home will gain credibility and establish a good reputation.
- Your guests can help promote your vacation home simply by liking, following, tweeting, commenting, and sharing.
These are just some of the ways in which social media marketing can help benefit you and your vacation rental home.
Working with an Airbnb Property Manager to Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing
Your property manager can play a very key role in your vacation home's social media marketing campaign. Some property management firms will oversee this aspect of your vacation rental home's online presence, while some homeowners prefer to oversee this task themselves. Regardless of who is managing your social media marketing campaign, your property manager can help provide you with useful resources and insight that can be used to take your social media marketing campaign to the next level.
Consider these tips for working in conjunction with your Airbnb property manager to boost the social media campaign for your vacation rental home:
Ensure brand consistency. Consistency is one of the most important elements when building a distinctive brand identity for your vacation rental. So it's vital that you maintain this element of consistency in everything you do, from your printed marketing materials to your website and social media marketing campaign. For example, you want to be sure you use the same primary photo and logo on all social media accounts and beyond. So if your property manager is involved in your marketing, you'll want to discuss this point to ensure that your social media accounts are all consistent.
Capture fresh photos and videos. Photos speak a thousand words and it has been said that one minute of video is worth a million words. Your Airbnb property manager should be visiting your home on a regular basis, so ask him or her to capture photos and videos whenever the opportunity arises, like an incredible sunset or a photo of the gardens looking especially beautiful one summer afternoon. These photos can be wonderful shares!
Did you just hire a new flooring company to install brand new hardwood floors? Ask your property manager to get some video footage. Photos of guests can also be wonderful, so if your property manager is greeting the guests, he or she might ask the happy family to pose for a quick photograph that can be shared on your vacation home's Facebook page.
Develop a social media marketing strategy. You'll need a solid social media strategy to ensure that you're consistently sharing photos, videos, articles, and other content that will resonate with your target audience. So meet with your property manager to get a better feel for some of the most common questions, concerns, and other issues that matter to the guests who are considering your vacation home. This gives you more insight on how to connect with and engage these people on social media.
You'll also want to ensure that you or whoever is overseeing your social media marketing campaign posts regularly. If you're maintaining a website and blog for your vacation home, it's wise to cross-market by sharing blog and website content on your social media pages, in addition to promoting your social media pages on your website.
Another important aspect of your campaign is what social media sites to target. Facebook tends to be one of the best social media platforms for marketing. Photo-rich sites like Instagram can also be useful for vacation homes with great photos and videos. You'll need to decide how much time and money you spend maintaining your social media pages and how much you want to invest in paid social media marketing, like page promotion and boosts on Facebook, for instance.
Encourage guests to participate and engage. Your vacation home's social media pages will also become a wonderful place for guests to engage by sharing their testimonials and reviews, posting photos, and sharing videos of their time spent at your vacation home. These photos, videos, and reviews are a critical part of your online presence because they help you gain credibility and build a strong, positive reputation online.
Consider making up some business cards with links to your vacation home's social media packages and ask your property manager to hand these cards out to guests or leave them in the home. Your property manager can also hand out a small incentive to guests who do share and engage on your social media page, like a $15 gift card to a local restaurant or some other small token of your appreciation.
The Benefits of Working with Your Property Manager on Social Media Marketing
Social media isn't just a great marketing opportunity, it also provides property owners with a fun way to engage with the people who are making memories in their home. It can be very fulfilling for a vacation home owner to see others enjoying their home, making once-in-a-lifetime memories. Social media allows you to see some of the photos, videos, and other shares that you may otherwise never view.
Social media offers a wonderful marketing opportunity for vacation rental homes and your property manager can prove to be a vital member of your marketing team. If you don't have a property manager yet, stop by Rented.com where you can sign up for a free account and be matched with a top-rated property manager who can take your marketing and social media efforts to the next level.
Lead image: Flickr CC user Jason Howie