We get asked a lot if we can help vacation rental owners and managers with their social media. Let’s face it; it can be a bit of a minefield out there.
We all know that we need our businesses to be visible and active, but it’s not always easy to understand why social media is so important and how best to make it work effectively for your vacation rental business.
To make things a little bit clearer and hopefully give you a helping hand, we’re launching our series on Social Media 101 for VR Professionals. Our aim is to help you get a simple understanding of social media and show how you can start to manage your own social media effectively – or maybe just get started!
Along the way we’ll also connect with vacation rental owners, managers, and other industry professionals to hear their perspectives.
Why is social media important for your vacation rental business?
Picture this: you have a beautiful website with awesome content. You’re investing in your blog. You have stunning images of your properties and tons of insider information about the surrounding area. You’ve forged great links with partners, have many wonderful reviews from past guests and are really excited about welcoming new guests….
But now what? How can you share all this great information about your vacation rental and your business? Who are you going to tell about all this wonderful content? How do you find your audience – and make them care about what you have to say?
This is where social media can play an important part in your vacation rental marketing. Specifically, it’s a great way to:
- Communicate what you have to offer
- Research what other people in your industry are doing, including your competition
- Engage in real-time conversations
- Build trust in your brand, demonstrating that you are active and attentive
- Help with your SEO efforts
But above all, social media is a relationship-building tool. By this we mean that it helps you engage and have two-way conversations with customers, partners, competitors, like-minded companies and advocates of your business. These relationships become priceless extensions of your own marketing efforts. Sometimes they even do your marketing for you.
If you want to keep current with your guests and reach them where they are, then social media is a must, not a maybe.
Know Your Strategy
You understand that social media is a fact of life for today’s vacation rental business. However, in order to be consistently effective in your social media you need to create a social media strategy. But don’t fear the word “strategy”; this is simply setting your course instead of drifting along rudderless!
Why do you need to be on social media? Who are your audiences? What are your goals? How do these align with your overall business goals for your vacation rental business? Who will you aim to engage with? What will you say? What value can you add?
These questions will help you brainstorm a simple but effective social media marketing plan that will form the basis of your effort. It’s more effective and efficient to have an idea of where you want to be and how you can get there than it is to post on a whim and hope for the best.
Get a little old fashioned and pull out a pen and pencil. Jot down your ideas. Brainstorm. And then read the next posts in this series, starting with defining your social media goal.