Recently, Vacation Rental Desk shared our top three reasons why vacation rental owners and managers should consider using social media with their business. So, maybe you're excited to start marketing your rental via social media, but have never used any social media channels, aren't sure of what they're used for, or better yet, how to use them. Some of you may not use personal accounts either.
For social media beginners (and even longtime users!), we're equipping you with a guide to navigating the next steps of that process: getting started with social media for your vacation rental and setting yourself up for success.
Get to Know the Channels
There are so many platforms out there for sharing content on social networks. The major players are certainly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, with honorable mentions to Google+ and Tumblr. Each channel is unique in the way it conveys content and how users participate within the network. The key to successful social media marketing is to honor the differences of each channel and maximize your reach across channels.
Definitely the most successful channel over the last decade. You may even be an avid user of Facebook for personal use. Business owners can make "pages" showcasing their business, and users can "like" the page to subscribe to updates and build a following. Here's a how-to guide Facebook provides for setting up a page and using the channel to market a business.
An entirely image-driven platform. Instagram allows users to upload photos and graphics to a visual feed. Others on the channel choose to follow a brand and "like" their photos as they're posted. Check out this page for tips on using Instagram for business.
Say it in less words: Twitter limits users to 140-character "tweets" of text that capture an idea or thought in the ultimate brevity. Others can "retweet" these pieces of text, comment, or like. Twitter is incredibly useful in communicating a strong, unique brand voice as well as sharing brief but noteworthy updates. Here's Twitter's how-to page on setting up a business account.
Probably the most unique channel in its use. Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas (Source: Pinterest). Pinterest is a powerful tool for business and can create a buzz for your website with little effort on your part. Click through the tabs on this page to see how Pinterest suggests "pinning" for business.
Try Things Out
Marketing is all about trying something and seeing if it works. It's an ongoing game of trial and error until you get your stride.
First and foremost, don't be afraid to play around with your social media channels. Stay tuned as we'll be going in-depth with some post ideas and examples next week, but in the meantime try your hand at making an account and putting some content out there.
Try some test posts
What's working? What's not? What do you think your guests will enjoy reading about or seeing? Do some formats and channels work better for your business than others? Compile a list of relevant events, holidays, weather patterns, places of interest, etc. that you think your guests would be interested in, and try your hand at sharing that information on your channels. We'll show you a few ways to do this in another blog post.
Do your research
Try to get a sense for the trends used by others in your market. How do other vacation rental managers showcase their properties? What types of posts seem the most effective? You can even emulate the style and structure of other business's channels until you find your own voice and feel confident using all of the platform's features.
The profitable and most important aspect of social media marketing is the network. Like we said in the previous post on social media, social media networks are free, relevant resources where your business can have a significant presence and impact in the everyday lives of potential guests.
Share your pages on your personal social media channels if you have them. Invite your friends and family to follow and "like" your pages. Invite other users in the industry. Strongly consider inviting past guests to follow your rental on social media. The opportunities are limitless, and the effort is minimal.
Get started with social media today and experience the benefits of marketing with the social networks.