Archives For Social Media

Guest post by Madoline Hatter

MyVR on Pinterest

Connect with MyVR on Pinterest.

While sharing interesting content via a blog can support your vacation rental business, adding images—and taking advantage of an image-based social network—can improve the experience exponentially. Like the adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Pinterest is a growing social media hub that can help boost your blog; pairing the two creates a powerful way for you to connect with new visitors.

Draw in new travelers

Even though it’s relatively new, Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than several other social networks combined. It’s easy to direct people back to your blog: add short snippets of information to each picture and link them back to your main blog or website.

Unique and well-developed pictures can spread, generating additional traffic from other sites such as Facebook or Reddit—a strong argument for hiring a professional photographer. The more attention any single image can receive, the better your chances of getting attention from a potential guest.

Boost your marketing efficiently

It’s not just about pointing people back to your website, either. By adding a Pinterest link to your website, it’s easy for visitors to find more images from you or others. Use these photos to showcase your rental property and nearby attractions. This could easily entice visitors to explore further and find out more about your property or the location itself.

The more you can draw website visitors in with eye-catching photos, the more often those visits will turn into bookings. And Pinterest makes it easy: not only can you integrate it with your blog, it’s also free to use. Continue Reading…

You diligently post to your vacation rental’s Facebook Page on a regular basis, and you know many of your Page’s fans are seeing your posts. So why don’t they do anything?

Facebook Page fans can “like” posts, share them with their friends, or add comments with their own opinions. Getting people to do one of those things is ultimately the goal of every Facebook post: It builds connections, helps keep your vacation rental “top of mind”, and helps ensure these interested folks will continue to see what you post (because only a fraction of your fans will).

However, getting your fans respond is part of the art of using Facebook to promote your property. There is no magic way to succeed – but it’s not as much guesswork as you may think, either. Continue Reading…

A lot of Facebook Page owners ignore the rules, but if you’ve been trying to keep your vacation rental Page on the straight and narrow, there’s good news: recent changes to Facebook’s Page guidelines have made this prime piece of screen real estate a lot more useful.

In the past, cover photos were rather restricted. For example, photos couldn’t include a lot of text or any promotional information (including contact details), references to Facebook features (such as the Like button), and calls to action were strictly verboten.

The rules have changed

There’s still one important rule when it comes to your Facebook cover photo: text must be limited to 20 percent of the image or less. But beyond that, you now have a lot more flexibility.  Continue Reading…

"Lightbulb!" by Matthew Wynn on flickr (CC BY 2.0)Looking for new ways to promote your vacation rental and attract more bookings? Here’s a recap of some of the ideas we’ve shared on our blog this past year.

Get the best ‘bang for your buck’

In 10 Minute Marketing, our presentation from this year’s HomeAway Summit, Markus Nordvik and I highlighted 15 different ideas — some basic, and some a little outside the norm — that we think can deliver medium-to-high impact with minimal time commitment. Some of these ideas are included below, but check out our presentation for the full list…

Continue Reading…

Good news if you have a Facebook Page for your vacation rental: Facebook has relaxed the rules around contests and promotions so they’re easier and cheaper to run.

Contests are a great way to drum up attention, and Facebook is no exception. However, until last week, there was a catch for promotions on the popular social network: to avoid running afoul of Facebook’s rules for Pages, running a contest meant paying for a third-party app.

Not anymore. “Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook,” the company announced. This means you can

  • Get people to vote by Likes (a popular way to run a photo contest),
  • Encourage people to enter contests by posting on your Page’s wall or sending a message (via the Page), or
  • Ask people to enter by Liking or commenting on a post.

A lot of Pages were already running these types of contests, so chances are you’ve seen them around. The difference is that these contests are now within Facebook’s rules; in the past, these businesses risked having their Pages deleted.

"The Art of Facebook" by mkhmarketing on flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Continue Reading…

If you feel like you’re muddling through your vacation rental’s Facebook marketing with best guesses and spontaneous ideas, you’re not alone.

Even if you have a plan that outlines what to talk about and when, refining that plan using Facebook’s analytics tool, Page Insights, isn’t always easy; its key metrics — Talking About This, Virality and Engaged Users — have frequently been described as “confusing” and “vague”.

This summer, Facebook revamped the Insights tool; it’s now easier to get meaningful information about your Page and its fans.

The new Page Insights (currently available on an opt-in basis) demystifies data by scrapping those categories in favor of something we can all understand. Engagement is now clearly split into Likes, Comments, Shares and Clicks, making it much easier to draw a connection between what you post and how people respond.  Continue Reading…

We’ve talked about making your vacation rental website more search engine friendly, so it shows up when people are looking for a vacation rental in your neighborhood. Adding great content, using relevant keywords, and ensuring your information is up-to-date in local directories are all factors that can help improve where your property will show up in search results.

However, a recent review by search engine optimization experts Searchmetrics shows that — while these elements matter — they don’t top the list of things search engines look for.

What does? Social media.

Continue Reading…

You have your vacation rental website, Facebook Page, listings on several different sites — and feedback from different people on each one. Your new challenge is to bring reviews from all these disparate sites and link them all together.

Why copy-and-paste is not the answer

Copying a review from a site and adding it to your own website is the easy solution, but it’s not necessarily the most legal option. Your safest bet is to always contact the reviewer directly to get their permission.

Online copyright can be confusing or subjective at the best of times, not least because different websites have different terms and conditions.

HomeAway.com, for example, holds a non-exclusive license over user-generated content on its site — which includes your property information as well as any submitted reviews.

As interpreted by ezine WritersWeekly, a non-exclusive license means “the reviewer can publish their review at any other site they choose and they can also give permission to someone else…to re-publish their review.”

Continue Reading…

Google Plus badgeIf you follow the ever-changing world of social media and online marketing, you’ll know that people have a love/hate relationship with one network in particular: Google+ (also referred to as “Google Plus” or “G+”).

Publicly launched in September 2011, it has more than 343 million active users – not an insignificant number, but one that people like to debate: How many use it regularly? Who is using the site? Some people say it’s practically a “ghost town”, outside of the early-adopter techie crowd.

As with most marketing questions, it’s not whether something works for everyone but whether it might work for you. And, despite its detractors, Google+ has managed to keep the buzz going with a set of features that is smart and increasingly impactful on your overall marketing strategy. Continue Reading…

groupon deal

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People love to pay less, and daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial give them a chance to do just that. More recently, these deals have expanded into travel, including accommodations and vacation packages.

Daily Deals differ from other discounts in a few ways:

  • Buy now, book later. People are buying a voucher that gives them a deal at a later date; they may have no idea when they’ll be able to take advantage of the deal. (i.e. buy $100 worth of credit for $50)
  • Power in numbers. For a deal to ‘activate’, a certain number of people need to buy-in. If the minimum number isn’t reached, the deal is cancelled. (i.e. 10 people need to purchase for the deal to be valid)
  • For a limited time only. A buyer may not use the deal for months, but they have to purchase it within a certain window (i.e. same-day or within the next few days). (i.e. confirm your reservation by the end of the month)

The benefits of a Groupon-style deal

Daily deal sites have become marketing powerhouses that can deliver thousands of new customers to a business. You don’t need thousands of guests, but there are benefits to the model that can work in your favor: Continue Reading…