Archives For Social Media

facebook sharesYour vacation rental business and your email list have grown hand-in-hand; you have a focused distribution list of people who know you, like your property, and have given you permission to stay in touch.

When launching a Facebook Page for your vacation rental, the people on your email list are exactly the people you want to click the “Like” button. But how do you get them to do so?

1. Tell them about it

Your fans will “Like” your Page if you give them the right incentive. For example, will you

  • Organize the contests?
  • Promote last minute deals,
  • Share insider tips for local attractions?

Offer more than “like us, we’re on Facebook” by telling people what you plan to share and why it’s a benefit to them. Continue Reading…

YouTubeOnce you’ve decided to invest in video to show off your vacation rental, you’ll run into your next consideration: Where those videos should ‘live’ online.

When you add video to your website, the actual video file needs to be saved somewhere. You basically have two options:

  1. Save it to your own web server, with your other website files (i.e. pictures, documents, etc.). Unless you have the technical skills to understand what you’re doing, this option means a lot of work that’s not necessary.
  2. Save it using a third-party service. This solution isn’t just more straightforward, it also makes it easier for people to find your videos without visiting your website first (i.e. finding it via search engines, like Google or Bing, instead).

There are different video hosting services available, like Vimeo, but YouTube is still the leader in this space — and the service we’ll focus on for this article. Continue Reading…

video cameraYou already know that photos of your vacation home are important for booking guests: At least 84 percent of travelers go to your website looking for photos of your rooms and facilities.

But have you thought about video?

Video is often seen as photography’s flashy and demanding cousin with expensive tastes — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, especially when it comes to promoting a business like your vacation rental, a video still needs to look good. However, as frequent YouTube viewers can attest to, a good video doesn’t have to be costly or complex.

How popular is online video these days? There are more than four billion videos watched every day on YouTube, and 72 hours of video uploaded every minute — staggering numbers that make YouTube the second largest site on the web, even if it’s not the only video service available.

You don’t need to reach out to the masses, however; you just need to connect in a meaningful way with the dozens of visitors who may book your vacation rental over the next year or two. Continue Reading…

It isn’t always easy to figure out the right balance of posts for your vacation rental Facebook Page. You should only be posting updates on your home once in every five posts – or less. So, what else do you post about? I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t have an answer!

Here are 10 things to post on your Facebook Page so you can change it up and keep fans interested. You only need to post 2-3 times a week — no more than twice a day — so a mixture of the following ideas should keep you going for a while.

1. Photos

A picture is worth a thousand words. Not only are we in the vacation industry (and who doesn’t want to fantasize about traveling?), but pictures statistically receive the most fan engagement such as comments and “likes.” Sometimes your picture might be the focus of your post, others it may just accent your text – either way is fine. A good photo can make the ordinary seem interesting.

facebook photos Continue Reading…

pinterest mobileFor the tenth day of MyVR Marketing Tips, give some love to the millions of Pinterest addicts and build up your Pinterest profile. Don’t have a profile yet? These five steps will get you started.

If you have little idea what Pinterest is, you’re not alone: Its rise in popularity has been relatively quick and recent. Launched in early 2010 as an invite-only beta site, Pinterest officially opened to the public this past August; in September, it was labelled the 4th largest drive of web traffic worldwide.

Pinterest is an image-based social network; if you don’t have great photos, you probably won’t get very far. However, interesting and helpful photos can be shared rapidly; just another great reason to invest in high-quality photography!

Your Pinterest account is like a simplified, visual version of your website; show people enough photos to peak their interest, and make sure you highlight the good stuff.

You can also simply create a single board on your personal account, but this will limit your ability to easily use Pinterest as an information resource for your property.

Creating an account with different Pinterest boards allows you to group types of information together. Some themes you may want to consider include:

  • Your vacation rental. Photos of your home and property.
  • Local attractions. Share images that connect people to relevant websites.
  • What to bring. Share photos of things people will want to have in their suitcase.
  • Recipes. A fun thing to share are recipes and cooking tips for local dishes and drinks.
  • Recommended reading. Provide a few book recommendations that are either relevant to your environment (i.e. tropical getaways), or of local interest.

References:

What does a Pinterest account look like as you start to pull images together? Here are a few examples:

 

This post is part of our 12 Days of Vacation Rental Marketing series. Subscribe to the blog and we’ll send you an email each day with a new post.

photo credit: Marc Ben Fatma

facebook likeFor the ninth day of MyVR Marketing Tips, navigate through the distracting YouTube videos and pithy quotes on Facebook to update your vacation rental’s Business Page.

If you don’t have a Business Page yet, download our Vacation Rental Owners Guide to Facebook Marketing e-Book and spend today getting set up!

Word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals are key reasons to be on Facebook, as is staying connected with past renters; 87% of vacation rental guests have recommended renting a home to a friend.

While you should try to share information on your Facebook Page regularly, getting into the habit can be a bit of a challenge without a plan. Here are a few ideas for information you can share and keep an eye out for.

  • Update the cover photo on your business page regularly,
  • Promote upcoming local events,
  • Highlight recent renovations or additions to your home,
  • Share your own photos of your home,
  • Share photos of the local community,
  • Share positive reviews and recommendations you receive,
  • Encourage guests to leave tips on your page,
  • Encourage guests to share their own photos with you.

Use your Facebook page to make it easy for past guests to remember how much they enjoyed staying in your home.

References:

 

This post is part of our 12 Days of Vacation Rental Marketing series. Subscribe to the blog and we’ll send you an email each day with a new post.

Pinterest iPadWhen I first started hearing about Pinterest, it just seemed like a site packed with pictures of chic baked goods and fingernail art. As cool as the images were, it was a little hard to understand the hype. Now, however, the Pinterest statistics are impossible to ignore. The latest whopper is that Pinterest is currently the 3rd most popular social networking site behind Facebook and Twitter.

For those who haven’t ventured there yet, Pinterest is a social network where users curate virtual pinboards of images that inspire them. ‘Pinners’ usually have multiple boards, and the pictures are pinned from all over the Internet. The subjects are limitless, but lifestyle topics like cooking, crafts and clothing predominate. It skews heavily female, but men are catching up. Users follow each other, similar to Twitter, thus creating the vast network.

Businesses are flocking for several reasons, Continue Reading…

Facebook User MapWith nearly 1 billion users on Facebook, chances are you’ve got a personal profile already — even if it’s just to check out your grandkids photos and find your long-lost high school classmates. And your renters are using Facebook as well — connecting with friends, liking their favorite products, and posting photos from their vacation. But still, with everyone on Facebook, we still hear owners saying the same thing.

Should I create a Facebook Page for my vacation rental?

My renters don’t use Facebook!

My Facebook Page only has a few fans, will this really work for me?

I hope that these 10 stats will convince you that you need to set up a Facebook Page for your vacation rental immediately! And, if you already have one, connect with more travelers and past guests to build better relationships with them. Continue Reading…

Corporate Business TravelerYou’ve considered various niche markets for your vacation rental and you’re sure you’ve found the right one: The corporate traveler. And why not? A 2011 survey by Deloitte found that business travel will increasingly drive growth in the travel, hospitality and leisure industry.

With a furnished corporate rental, you have the benefit of being more agile than larger operations when it comes to tailoring to a niche market. Once you know your property provides the essentials that business travelers expect, you can move your marketing to the next level by:

  • Looking at the needs of your ideal corporate traveler, and
  • Clearly differentiating yourself from the competition.

Identifying your corporate traveler

Do your market research to identify any service gaps or particular needs for corporate rentals in your area. Chances are you’ll find that the short-term corporate housing market is well looked after; regardless of preferences, people will often make do with what’s most convenient or affordable for a night or two.

For longer stays, however, details matter more. The better you understand what’s needed in your neighborhood, the better you can customize your space to fit. For example: Continue Reading…

You don’t have to live in a big city like Austin or San Francisco to take advantage of renting your home during local events. Homeowners in Ardmore, PA, a small town of 12,500 residents, are already starting to talk about how to rent out their homes for the 2013 US Open golf tournament just under a year away. But, in order to rent your home, you need to stay abreast of local events and get up-to-speed quickly on your local rules and regulations.

Lake Tahoe Local Event GuideWhether you’re renting your home for a one-off event, or marketing your existing vacation rental, it’s important to set up an informative website with plenty of photos, including rooms, amenities, and the surrounding area. Maintain your website with a local area guide, like this one in Tahoe, and list upcoming local events, happening now and months in the future.

Find out about local events in your area

  • Contact your visitor’s bureau. In larger cities, this might be a convention and visitor’s bureau (CVB). They should have a list of major events and conferences happening in your area.
  • Check out local event directories like Eventful.
  • Subscribe to your city or neighborhood newspapers and magazines.
  • Search for press releases or news. Set up a Google alert to get notified by email when new items are published to the web.
  • Contact local entertainment centers, theaters, and concert venues to obtain a copy of their calendar.
  • Follow event companies on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Plancast as they are most likely to promote their events through these channels.

While you may find renting your home during an event very lucrative and enjoyable, there are many things you should do before starting to advertise, especially if you’re renting out your primary home or new to managing a vacation rental. Continue Reading…