If you’re one of the billion or so people in the world who logs in to Facebook every day, you already know how to navigate this popular social media platform. If so, you’ve surely seen local businesses use Facebook to engage customers.
Perhaps you’ve wondered how you could employ the social network to attract guests. But, even if you have never logged on, we’ll walk you through how to create a Facebook page for your vacation rental. To succeed in the social media landscape we live in, your business needs a presence on Facebook.
You may think that you can get by with just having a personal profile, but that’s not true. Not only will a business profile give you many more tools, insights, and advertising options, but it’s also against Facebook’s Terms of Service to operate a business via a personal page.
Take note of what model works best for you. In general, we recommend consolidating your properties into one Facebook profile under your business’s name. If you manage or own a few properties with distinct brands or locations, then it is best to create a business profile for each instead.
How can Facebook help increase traffic to your short-term rentals?
Visibility. Social media is where people now go to make buying decisions. According to a study by customer intelligence company Market Force, 81% of 12,000 survey respondents from the UK and the United States admitted that their buying decisions are influenced by their friends’ posts and recommendations on social media. Because Facebook is one of the largest websites in the world, it makes sense for your business to be there.
Word of Mouth. The people whose purchases are influenced by social media likely find out about new products, services, and brands from their friends sharing on Facebook. If your vacation rental business doesn’t have its own Facebook page, people will have a hard time interacting with and sharing your content. Business pages are more shareable than personal profiles on Facebook due to privacy restrictions.
If you don’t know how to create a Facebook page for your property management business and, as such, aren’t participating in this powerful social media platform, you may be hindering guests who would love to review your property and share their testimonials on Facebook.
Engagement. Users expect brands to be active on social media. In the vacation rental industry, prospective guests are looking for your property rental on Facebook to see additional photos, information, reviews, and recommendations. Your Facebook page complements your website, builds trust with potential guests, keeps past guests in the loop, and drives direct bookings.
How to create a Facebook page for your vacation rentals?
If you already use Facebook, you should have no trouble learning how to create a Facebook page for your vacation rental business. Here are MyVR's top tips for creating your vacation rental Facebook page.
Create a business page. Your first step of course, is to create a business page and not a personal profile. Visit this link for a step-by-step breakdown of how to create your Facebook page.
Choose a username for your page. You’ll notice when you create your Facebook page that Facebook initially identifies your page with a long string of numbers at the end of its URL. For instance, your page might look like: www.facebook.com/pages/vacationrentalbusiness/83423043.
If you claim a username for your page, it will make it easier for people to find your vacation rental in Facebook searches. For instance, our Facebook page is named: facebook.com/myvr.me. Having a clean URL will also make your page easier to share and appear more professional.
To simplify your Facebook URL, follow this link, choose the page that you wish to edit, and enter your new URL. If it is available, you will be all set!
Remember: Double check your username for typos, as you can only change it once.
Add great cover and profile pictures. If your page represents more than a few properties, best practices suggest using your logo for your profile picture. Otherwise, an enticing photo of your property as your profile picture, and a cover photo that demsonstrates what makes your property special - like a panoramic view or a picturesque pool - works well.
At MyVR, we recommend using professional photos in all marketing material, including your Facebook page. While it is best to keep your profile consistent to build brand recognition amongst your followers, updating your cover photo seasonally or adding photos to a Photo Album are great options to spruce up your page.
Add content to the “About” section. Take the time to fill out the About information on your Facebook page. Whenever you have space to provide details that could entice a guest to choose your property, fill those details in. Just look for the About tab in your page settings and add as much information as you can.
Set up tabs for services and amenities. Your Facebook page will allow you to create a number of tabs to organize information that may be important for potential guests to know about. For instance, you can have a tab for house rules, services and amenities, and a digital version of your vacation rental guidebook…use your imagination! Facebook provides you with a number of default tabs. To edit those, click on your page settings and from there, select Templates and Tabs.
For step-by-step instructions, check out HubSpot's tutorial here.
Set up an autoresponder message. When people contact you via your Facebook page, you should respond to them as soon as possible. It’s difficult to be on-call 24/7, which is why setting up an autoresponder to let guests know when they may expect to hear back from you is a great option.
Not sure what to say? Check out these tips for writing welcoming autoresponder messages.
Choose a call-to-action button. MyVR’s call-to-action button invites people to contact us with one click. You can encourage potential guests to act by customizing that button on your page to say “Book Now."
Keep learning! For more tips about how to create a Facebook page for a vacation rental, check out this Facebook Business article by Sandi Krakowski.
Targeted Marketing with Facebook Ads
Investing in targeted marketing with Facebook ads is one of the best ways to get your Facebook page noticed, or to attract traffic during more quiet times of the year. Much like you invest in SEO to lead traffic to your website, when you invest in Facebook ads, you’re enticing traffic to your Facebook page. And with Facebook targeted marketing, a small amount of money can go quite a long way.
Targeted marketing with Facebook ads allows you to put an advertisement right in front of a clearly defined Facebook audience. Aside from regularly promoting your page, MyVR suggests spending a small amount of money to retarget users who have visited your website. Check out this video tutorial from Facebook to get started.
For more ideas and capabilities on advertising your vacation rental on Facebook, read this article from VRMA.
Connect your page to your website and grow your followers
Now that you know how to create a Facebook page for your vacation rental business, you need to tell the world about it! Be sure to add Facebook buttons to your website, listing site, welcome book, and any other marketing materials. And don’t forget to invite your guests, past guests, and Facebook friends to like your page. For inspiration about what to say once you’re there, check out these Facebook tips from MyVR.