Archives For Facebook

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…

"Z Stage Build" by MakerBot Industries on flickr (CC BY 2.0)Always be selling, the old business mantra goes — as true for vacation rental owners as it is for the hardware store up the street.

While you have a finite amount of “product” to sell, not an endless supply of widgets, nothing is stagnant these days — and definitely not the vacation rental industry.

How can you keep your marketing plan evolving so you’re left tweaking, and not scrambling, as things change?

Your network needs care and feeding

I think the number one thing you can do to maintain a healthy marketing strategy is to look after the people who’ve either stayed with you in the past or wanted to.

It’s cheaper and easier to hold onto your existing fans than to attract and keep new ones. But a lot of vacation rental owners sink all their energy into attracting new guests. After all, some trips are once in a lifetime, or at least once in a decade — why would they come back? 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…

"Facebook Beachfront" by mkhmarketing on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)This summer, Facebook has rolled out a number of marketing tools that can help expand your reach and attract new people to your vacation rental – without paid advertising.

Graph Search and hashtags have the potential to drive people to your Facebook Page through relevant information that’s being shared on the network.

A third feature that just launched – the ability to embed Facebook posts onto other websites – means that, especially if you have your own website, you can draw people into your Facebook content without them ever leaving your site. 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…

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…

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…

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.