Social Media and Your Vacation Rental

Jan 18, 2017 | Marketing

You might be familiar with Facebook for sharing your photos and keeping in touch with friends. But more and more rental owners are recognizing the scope of social media to market their listings.

And it’s not only Facebook – what about Twitter and Instagram? How can you leverage these powerful and influential platforms to increase your audience and direct travelers to book their perfect stay on your listing?

To help, we’ve created a quick-start guide to marketing your TripAdvisor listing on social media, starting with the basics of directing travelers to your listing and following up with guides and tips for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Let’s get started!

The Basics: How Do People Find Your Listing?

The first thing you need to know when it comes to using social media is how to help users find your listing on Tripadvisor. (If you already know about copying and pasting URLs from your task bar, then you can scroll down to the Intro section.)

Once you’ve opened up your web browser and found your listing, look for the website address at the top of page. This is your listing’s “URL” (or where it “lives”). To highlight it, just click anywhere after “https”. Then right-click to copy it. Now, you’re all set to paste your listing’s address so anyone who clicks on it will be taken to your listing.

Tip: Use a link shortener.

Links can be pretty long, but you can use a link shortener (like bitly or tinyurl) to make them easier to read and look a bit neater. Google also has a URL-shortening service. Even though the links looks different, it’ll still take the traveler to your listing.

Intro: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

The three biggest and most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Each has a slightly different audience and way of working, so take a look and see which would suit you best.

Tip: No matter which platform you post on, always include a link to your listing so travelers can see more photos, information and availability, and book with confidence through the TripAdvisor platform.

Facebook

Facebook has the power to spread your message far and wide – it’s a hub of social activity and word of mouth on a global scale! It’s easy to set up a Facebook page. You can use your personal Facebook account or create a new one just for your rental.

Creating posts is simple, too. You can type simple messages or—if you’re feeling more adventurous—upload photos or videos. If you’ve received an excellent review recently, you could share that, too, along with a link to your listing.

Twitter

Twitter is more fast-paced than Facebook, with users searching for the latest updates on anything they’re interested in. Twitter posts (called “Tweets”) used to be limited to 140 characters and that was recently increased to 280. But that’s still only the length of this paragraph!

But don’t worry, you don’t have to rely on words alone – you can add photos to make your Tweets more eye-catching.

Instagram

Instagram is all about sharing incredible images. Unless you’re a professional photographer with all the equipment and skills, it can be difficult to make photos of your rental look as good as the real thing. On Instagram, the filters do the hard work for you – simply snap a quick pic, choose a filter and see your amateur snapshot transformed into an image with wow factor!

More Tips for Social Media Success

Create a #hashtag for your listing
You may have seen the “#” symbol being used more and more in marketing and brands today. A hashtag is a keyword people can use to find information quickly and easily online. For example, if you have a cabin in the Adirondacks, you can use a hashtag like #ADKSCabin and travelers will be able to find any post where you used it. Have a Swedish cottage for rent? #SwedeCottage would be a great way to differentiate your vacation rental from others.

Interact with followers

When a company follows up a question or comment on social media, it shows they care about customers and are interested in what they have to say. If you’re new to social media, just think about how you’d interact with guests when they come to stay. Be friendly and welcoming, and you won’t go far wrong.

Tell travelers about your presence

When a guest checks in, tell them about your social media accounts. If they take a great photo of wildlife near your cabin, or a great shot of downtown at night, they can share it so other travelers see the great experiences your guests are having. Many people are more than happy to follow and share!

No time? No problem!

This might all sound great in theory, but what about in practice? After all, there are only so many hours in the day (and it’s not like you have a rental to run and a thousand things on your to-do list!). But not to worry – here are three time-saving tips:

  1. Use a social media management tool – You can send posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all from one central dashboard, rather than doing each separately. Try Hootsuite – their basic plan is free. You can also try TweetDeck and SocialOomph.
  2. Schedule posts in advance – Get ahead and create posts for a few weeks to come. Then it’s done and you can simply sit back and watch the likes—and hopefully bookings—roll in!

Once you’re active on social media, have some fun with it! As an owner, you can showcase and your rental and offer that extra level of customer interaction that other owners might not have. And in this online, social media savvy age, that could make the difference.

Good luck!

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