Darina Murashev is a freelance writer from Chicago based in Salt Lake City. She writes about tech, money, career building and data science. She enjoys travel, live music, and spending time in the great outdoors.
When you list your house as a rental on a home-sharing website like AirBnB, they do most of the heavy lifting. But if you want to take your listing to the next level, you can increase the value of your property by mastering the business side of social media.
Unlike other real estate marketing—where you can visit the property before you sign on the dotted line—home-sharing apps mean vacationers choose to rent solely based on your photos and past reviews of your property. Social media marketing is the visual and interactive tool that will make your property stand out from the competition.
Here’s what you need to know about how to use social media to increase the value of your vacation rental.
1. Put your rental property on the map with Google
When you create a business listing on Google for your property, it can be found and reviewed on Google Maps. This increases the number of potential renters who will view your property—especially first-time vacationers who have never rented a vacation home.
By listing your property on Google, you not only optimize your ranking in searches, but you also better control the first impression people have of your property. With Google, you can curate the pictures and reviews you want featured and list your business contact information to create a truly seamless process.
2. Transform your property into a can’t-miss destination with Instagram and Pinterest
A sunset from the patio, the morning light falling on a queen bed in a spacious, decorated room, or the details of a clean, tile bathroom—these are just some photos that you should take of your property to affect how your potential renters view your property.
With well-crafted photos posted regularly on hyper-visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, you can highlight the character of your space and transform your property from a mere rental to a major part of the destination. People will pay more for a rental if they believe the rental itself is part of the experience.
3. Capture the buzz on Twitter and Facebook
Encourage your guests to tag your property while on vacation and share their best posts on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t rely on your guests to create all the content about your property, however. Share posts on Twitter and Facebook that showcase the local flavor of your neighborhood and city as well. Post updates on events, shops, or cafes that are near your rental or happening downtown. This builds credibility with your guests—it shows that you are knowledgeable about the area and are invested in them having the best vacation possible.
Basic social media strategies for success
The secret to social media marketing is posting consistent quality content and engaging with your followers. For beginners to the business side of social media, knowing how to attract and engage with followers is a daunting task.
Here are five basic things you need to do to create a lasting following for your vacation rental business.
- Encourage likes and reviews for a credible brand image. When you welcome a guest to your property, whether in person, through email, or via text, don’t be afraid to ask them to like your social pages. Share links to your social media accounts upon check-in: guests are more inclined to like your pages when they first arrive. Ask for reviews shortly after they leave your property.
- Share positive reviews. Share reviews and kind notes about your property whenever you get them. This highlights your property in a positive light to potential renters more than photos alone can.
- Don’t forget to link to your rental page. The best reviews, the perfect pictures, and the cleverest posts are wasted if you if don’t include a link to your rental page for potential renters to click. Good social media content should create a feeling—but it must also provide a concrete way to act on those feelings.
- Publish unique and authoritative content regularly. Post regularly on the largest platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest), or you may struggle to see much traction from your social media efforts. If you don’t post quality content consistently, people are less likely to engage with your brand and make reservations for your property.
- Keep past and potential renters in the loop about deals. Repeat guests make some of the best patrons of your property—they’re a more regular source of income and they’re more likely to recommend your property to others. Treat them well by notifying them of any deals for your rental.
You don’t have to rely on vacation rental sites to successfully market your property. Take the strategy into your own hands by using social media to transform your rental property into a destination.