Last month we published an article that provided a high-level overview of how you can use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus to boost your vacation rental bookings and encourage reviews. At the end of the post, we asked what you would like to learn more about, and Facebook was the most popular by a long shot.
With 1.47 billion daily active users, Facebook makes the impossible, possible. Never before has there been a marketplace that can give you so much visibility with the click of a button, and as a vacation rental homeowner, it’s time you start taking advantage of this.
So, how should you be using it? And what can you do to start building your vacation rental Facebook following? Here is a list of dos and don’ts for creating a Facebook page to promote your property.
Do respond to negative reviews
If you look at the Facebook pages of top vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway, you’ll see that they all respond to their negative comments and reviews in a timely manner. In order to show professionalism, inspire trust and encourage conversation, be sure to respond to ALL reviews – not just the positive ones.
When dealing with a negative review or comment on Facebook, the best practice is to be sympathetic and then ask the commenter to message you directly so you can sort things out. This shows that you care about their problem, but also takes the conversation to a more private space.
Negative reviews are nothing to be afraid of – in fact, they can provide a great opportunity to show off your approach to customer service and responsiveness.
Don’t post about personal things
Posts about your personal views and opinions don’t have a place in your business, no matter how strongly you feel about them. You wouldn’t want to lose out on bookings because the opinions you’ve shared don’t align with those of prospective bookers!
The purpose of creating a Facebook page for your vacation rental is not only to get the word out, but to also show travelers that, as a professional vacation rental owner, you take your business seriously.
Do post photographs that your guests have shared with you
Reposting or posting photographs that your guests have taken at your property (and given you permission to share and tag them in) are a good (and free!) way to give you more exposure to a greater audience, as well as provide social proof for how amazing your property is, and what it’s really like to stay there.
By tagging your guests in the photos, the pictures will be visible to both your ‘fans’ and their ‘friends.’ It also helps prospective guests to better visualize themselves enjoying your home, and can lead to bookings.
Don’t post low-quality photos
While you don’t have much control over the quality of the pictures that your guests post, you do have control over the quality of the photographs that your provide of your property. We often see homeowners hugely underestimating the value of professional photography, and missing out on bookings because of poor or below average photography. Hiring a professional photographer to take photos of your home gives your listing and your online presence a much more professional feel.
At Evolve, we provide free professional photography for every property that we work with. We find that it not only helps stand out against competition, but also leads to more bookings. You can read more about it by clicking here.
Do Join Groups
Facebook is more than a marketplace or a platform to establish your business – it’s also a great way to make connections and join a community. When you get your page established with photos and descriptions, do a search for groups in your area.
Groups that may benefit you are:
- Neighborhood groups to stay up-to-date and connected
- Realtor association groups to help you network
- Short-term-rental groups to keep you in the know about competition and regulations
- Local travel groups to inform you of travel trends and help you promote your property
These groups will not only help you give and receive advice, but also help you get involved in your community, potentially have a say in the local rules and regulations surrounding vacation rentals in your area, and gain more exposure online.
Don’t ignore your target market
Just like in your listing description and headline, you should be using language and highlighting the parts of your property and neighborhood that are must-haves for your most common travelers.
If your property mostly attracts groups of friends on long weekends, you may want to post articles about neighborhood bars and hotspots. If your rental mostly attracts families, you’ll want to post content that shows how family-friendly your rental and neighborhood are. Like any form of marketing, you want your social media efforts to show off what you offer – especially when it’s what your customers want.
Do promote your listing
Promoting your listing is the sole purpose of having a Facebook page – but there is a right and wrong way to go about it. You’ll likely only entice bookers to “Like” your page if you provide them with more content than just your listing – but we’ll touch on that point in the next section.
If you post one piece of content every day for a week, you’ll want 2-3 of those posts to promote your listing. Promoting your vacation rental doesn’t mean posting a link to your listing over and over again. To make it natural and attract likes, post things about your property that you love. Post a picture of the nice sunset, or your favorite part of the home. Include a caption that further paints a picture for them, one that describes what the home feels like and what it’s used for.
Don’t only promote your listing
The best way to get exposure on Facebook is by producing shareable content and becoming a credible source as a vacation rental business owner. You want to share content that is traveler oriented, and location specific.
Some ideas for shareable content or article ideas are:
- Local restaurant reviews
- Information leading up to local events
- Top tourist spots and attractions
These types of posts give you credibility in your town, but also give travelers an even bigger reason to come visit and stay at your rental.
Do Use Facebook Ads
Unless someone decides to share or repost something you have posted, your content will likely only be seen by the people who have ‘liked’ your page. This is called organic content, and it is core to giving your Facebook Page and your vacation rental popularity.
If you’re interested in getting your property in front of more Facebook users, and are willing to shell out some cash, you should most definitely be utilizing the Facebook Ads feature.
Facebook Ads are an incredible tool that help you get your business in front of Facebook users far and wide. You can target users by age, demographic, and interest to be sure that the people viewing your ads are only those who may find it relevant.
At Evolve, we use Facebook Ads to promote our properties across the world. We not only target prospective guests based off of their interests and social media behavior, but also target travelers who have visited listings to remind them to book.
Social media is a great tool to add more professionalism and personality to your property. It also gives you another outlet to show off your amazing property. With that being said, if you’re running your property on your own, it may be a little too much to take on.
At Evolve, we know how important marketing is to the success of a vacation rental, so we do everything we can to market properties to travelers while taking away the hassle for homeowners. Not only do we craft expert listings and distribute the property on Airbnb, VRBO, and TripAdvisor for free – we respond to all guest inquiries, handle all of the bookings, take professional photography and more for no added cost.
So how do we do this and more for just 10%? Click here to find out.