- Why Use Social Media?
- Five Steps To Master Social Media Promotion
- Best Social Media for Airbnb Promotion
At some point, any vacation rental owner faces the issue of finding new customers. The built-in features of platforms like Airbnb are usually not enough to effectively advertise your offers, and social media becomes a great tool to serve that purpose. In this article, we will guide you through the whole process of turning social media platforms into a source of new customers. We will also have an overview of these platforms, highlighting their pros and cons for vacation rental promotion.
Read also how to promote your Airbnb listing.
Why Use Social Media?
The main reason to use social media platforms for promoting your vacation rental business is that it is the ultimate source of new guests. The best advantage these platforms grant you as a host is the user data they collect. With social media, you will be able to show your ads only to the users who might be interested in it, reaching impressive conversion rates.
Creating and managing your campaigns on social media platforms is time-consuming, but it is a worthy investment. Otherwise, it would not become such a popular option among entrepreneurs. Vacation rental, in particular, is a perfect type of business for such promotion. The users who have previously looked for listings in your area will not be irritated by your ads, as it usually happens with many other promotions. There is also an option to promote your business by creating unique content and gaining followers naturally, which is hard but very rewarding.
Last but not least, high conversion rates come at low costs. In fact, the cost per click (CPC) for travelling advertisements is several times lower than with other categories of ads. Whether or not the new visitors will actually book your property, the freshly attracted traffic will surely boost the position of your listing on Airbnb. It will appear higher on the popular tab, allowing you to attract even more guests.
Social media platforms are useful both for expanding the client base of a stable rental business and for finding your first customers. The latter might be especially difficult on Airbnb as most users of the site rely on the reviews of other guests.
Five Steps To Master Social Media Promotion
Successful marketing on social media platforms requires quite an amount of time and effort. To make things easier for beginners, let us split the process in five different steps and review each of them in detail. Even though it will be a comprehensive guide, don’t forget to apply an individual approach when following it.
1. Choice of the social media
The first and probably the most important step is to choose the platform for promotion. There are many social media platforms where you can advertise your offers, and each of them has unique features and parameters. The audience also varies from platform to platform, making it a good idea to check the statistics before making an investment. We will review the most popular platforms further on in the article, providing you with information regarding their features and benefits.
Many beginners prefer starting with only one platform and getting to know its features first. However, the most effective businesses utilise several sites simultaneously. The results of your advertisements will not necessarily follow the general trend, so it is also a good idea to run several small campaigns on different platforms. Thus, you will immediately see which listing turned out to be more effective and focus on developing its success.
Another tip we can share is to find an aggregator platform. There are many sites that provide such a service for businesses. They allow you to control social media accounts and advertising campaigns in one place instead of managing everything separately. Moreover, some of these sites aggregate the statistics, too, allowing you to easily compare the results of different campaigns.
2. Creating a strategy
When making their first campaigns, most beginners prefer creating their plan right in the process of marketing, evolving it with the situation. And here is your chance to gain a competitive advantage over them. Having a determined strategy is an essential part of leading your business to success. However, you should still have some room for maneuvers. In a nutshell, developing an effective strategy requires you to take into account as many factors as possible and plan your campaigns accordingly.
The first step in creating a strategy would be to determine a set of realistic goals you wish to reach with your advertisements. It may be increasing your traffic by X percent or getting Y new bookings for your property, for example. Then, you should perform research, analysing the conditions of the market you are about to enter. In order to develop a successful strategy, you should answer the following questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- Which form of ad should I choose?
- How can I make them interested?
- How do similar businesses lead their campaigns?
- At what time should I advertise?
- How often should I advertise?
3. Planning your content
Planning your content is also a part of developing a successful strategy. At this point, you have to decide which content you are going to post, when and how often. There are several tips we can share that will help you at this stage.
First of all, we would suggest starting small. Don’t overload the social media platform with your ads. It is better to invest the same funds in trying other types of advertising or creating an additional campaign on another platform. At the very beginning, you should hunt for data. We would recommend posting several times a week and analysing the results. Yet, it is important to remember that the less data you have, the less representative it is.
Secondly, you should work on mistakes. In case one of your ads is not performing well, you should not deny using it immediately. Do your best to find the reasons for ineffectiveness and try to fix them. Thus, you won’t only reach better results but also be able to avoid making the same mistakes in future.
Last but not least, it is essential to be ready to adapt. In case you fail to reach your target audience with the content you are currently making and you can’t find a way to fix it, you should probably change your plan. This scenario has a lower chance to occur if you have diversified your campaigns in the beginning. Therefore, in case one of your campaigns fails, you should stick to the more successful ones and try switching the failing ones for something else.
4. Account management
Properly managing your account is crucial for reaching the audience. Your accounts on social media platforms should contain all the necessary information about the property you are promoting. It should also be filled with catchy images, but at the same time, represent the real picture. Trying to make things look better than they are in reality is a common mistake that, in most cases, causes major damage to the reputation of a business.
Account management is a bit different for various social media platforms, implying that you have to mind the unique features of the selected platform. For example, if the platform supports hashtags and locations, make sure to learn how to use them and don’t forget to add them to every post you make.
5. Working with your audience
Keeping in touch with your audience is essentially a part of account management, but it is so crucial that it deserves a separate category. Working with your audience implies not only replying to the comments and answering the questions. Apart from direct interactions with potential customers, you should always update your information about them. Knowing your clients is crucial for making your business prosper.
Sometimes, you can turn a direct interaction into a set of valuable information. For example, you could make a quick poll for your followers, asking them about their preferences. This will both engage the audience and provide you with some relevant knowledge. However, it is important to maintain the balance, as launching too many polls will quickly become irritating for the users.
The more you know about your clients, the more options you have. For instance, if your property is popular among elderly people, you could share the activities they might enjoy in the area. Or, if you know that most of your visitors prefer short-term booking, you can present them with activity programs for several days.
Best Social Media for Airbnb Promotion
The choice of the social media platform has a major effect on your marketing results. In this section, we will have an overview of the most popular options, highlighting their unique features and benefits. As we have already mentioned, the approach for each business should be individual, which makes it important to know all the available options.
Instagram is the most popular choice for vacation rental promotion. It perfectly suits the needs of such a business as it has all the necessary features. It allows you to post photos and videos of your property, gathers enough information about your audience and has a great set of tools for advertising. The downside of this platform is also caused by its popularity. There already are lots of similar businesses there, making the competition pretty tough.
Read also some tips to promote your Airbnb Instagram account.
Compared to Instagram, Facebook has both advantages and downsides. It offers more features, but it is not so focused on photos and videos, making it a bit harder to promote them on this platform. However, it gathers a lot more user information and has a more comprehensive set of tools for advertising. Securing your presence on Facebook is important in case you wish to establish a strong connection with your audience.
Once you have filled your Instagram or Facebook profile with content and acquired some followers, a good idea would be to post a link to this profile in your Airbnb listing. Thus, a potential guest who found your listing on Airbnb will be able to check out more pictures of the property and join the other users’ activity.
LinkedIn is a professional network, and it is not very popular among vacation rental businesses in promotional terms. Yet, a lesser level of popularity implies less competition, making it worth a try. There are several types of ads that you might use on the platform, starting with sponsored messaging and ending with dynamic ads. Even though you won’t be able to create a profile with users’ activity there, it is still a great platform to advertise your listings at.
There are two possible approaches to promoting your vacation rental business on TikTok. As with all the other platforms, you can simply start ad campaigns. The users will see your sponsored clips, and some of them will proceed to your Airbnb listing. The second option you have is to create an account devoted to your business. The built-in algorithms of TikTok have great potential for promoting your property. Making clips requires time and effort, but it may grant you a major increase in bookings.
As a social media platform fully focused on pictures, Pinterest is also a great place to advertise at. There are lots of types of content you can create there to gain followers. The competition on Pinterest is not as severe as on Instagram, but there are fewer tools you can use too. Here, you will have to put more effort into converting your followers to customers.
Unlike all the previously mentioned platforms, Twitter is focused on information rather than on visuals. Even though it might not be the best platform to promote your business, having a Twitter account is a good way to keep your clients informed. There, you may post important updates such as freshly available dates, new features of your property or other information your clients will be interested to discover.