Let’s face the facts already - unless you go off grid to shack up in some far-flung corner of the world in total isolation, there is little escape from the influence of social media on modern life. In fact, whether you like it or not, these newfangled platforms are one of the most powerful means for a business to independently connect with its audience. So whilst you might protest setting up a personal profile in the fear that you’ll become a sitting duck for estranged family members and exes, it cannot be denied that a social media page for your rental is a great way to boost bookings.
Signing up to platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is a great place to start. But then comes the tricky part - what should you actually be posting about? Posting beautiful photos of your holiday home is of course a straightforward way of showing what you’ve got to offer, but by switching up your content, you can initiate conversation and encourage interaction more than ever before. Mastering the most popular and effective social media content categories will help boost your online presence, engage your audience and strengthen your marketing campaign.
Sounding a little daunting? Don’t worry - we’ve broken the social content types down into just four major categories that you can easily cycle through. We’ve also thrown in a bonus category that will really help you turn heads and connect with both existing and potential guests on a new level. Consider adding some of these ideas from each segment to your social media calendar this week to really pack a punch:
Picture This - Using Photos
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram rely heavily on visual content, so photography is definitely your friend. Also the brilliant thing is, you don’t have to be a professional with an extremely expensive camera these days to capture images that have real pulling power for your holiday rental. However, there are some basic rules you should always follow to get the likes, comments and shares you’re looking for.
When posting pictures of your holiday home, make sure you always use high-quality photos. Using a mobile phone is fine, but make sure the resolution is high enough that your images don’t appear grainy on a computer or mobile phone. Always remember to highlight your rental’s best features with clever lighting and composition, and to include a description so that your audience knows exactly what they’re looking at. You don’t always need to stick to the traditional images of your property either - here are a few more ideas to keep your visual content varied:
- Bring your rental to life by featuring photos of guests (with their permission, of course) enjoying their stay. You might couple this with an outstanding review.
- Keep your finger on the pulse with news of exciting local events that guests won’t want to miss out on, sharing images ahead of time in case someone is inspired to book.
- Push images of delicious regional cuisine a guest could sample from your holiday rental - this might be from an authentic local restaurant or local market vendor.
- Take a really close-up shot of an obscure item in your holiday home and challenge people to guess what it is. This really encourages your audience to engage, therefore increasing the reach of your post.
- Post two pictures, perhaps of two bedrooms or two separate views from your rental, and ask your followers to vote on which image they prefer.
Director’s Seat - Using Videos
Many platforms like Facebook and Instagram work to compete with YouTube, so the use of videos in your social media campaign is really looked at favourably in the techy-world of SEO and internet algorithms. Facebook is beginning to assign more weight to longer, more content-rich posts vs. single photos or shorter videos. This means sharing videos with your followers can significantly increase how many people you reach with your post.
A great way to weave video into your content schedule and get your home noticed by interested travellers is to add a video tour of your holiday rental. So why not show your guests around and let them make themselves at home? Whilst images are super important, a video tour allows guests the invaluable ability to try before they buy. As you walk through your property, guests can visualise the layout from a human perspective, and really picture themselves staying at your property.
Chain Reaction - Using Links
The whole idea behind marketing on social media is to get people back to a website. Giving your audience plenty of opportunity to make an enquiry, means more bookings as a result of your social media activity. Post a link to your blog, your FAQ page, or to your specials page if you have these. Alternatively, try posting helpful content that relates to travelling, whilst always remembering not to share content from a competitor.
Giving your audience relatable, honest and helpful information by linking to other sources can increase your credibility as well. Citing sources such as local news, weather reports, relevant posts from travel bloggers, reviews about the area and industry news, can all provide your audience with vital information that can help them plan their trip. Meanwhile you are boosting your reputation as a go-to source for everything holiday-related!
Word Up - Using Text
We’ll let you in on a little secret: often a text-only post can be every bit as effective as a photo or link post! As long as the copy is well-thought-out, carefully edited and posted at the right time, you can make a statement with words alone. Since you won’t have a photo to serve as the attention grabber however, you need to make sure your text is clear, comprehensible, concise and even catchy (if you can!).
A great example of a powerful, text-only social media content medium is Twitter. With only 140 characters to use, tweets are succinct bites of information and are designed to be easily shared and responded to. Certain celebrities and businesses really thrive on Twitter as a point of contact for delivering real-time updates and other significant details to the relevant readers. Check out some other examples of quality text-only content that will catch the attention of your audience:
- Feature a review from an especially happy guest
- Write a “Top Ten” list about the most unmissable attractions in the local area
- Ask a question and have people answer only in emojis
- Post a fun poll for the audience to vote on, for example: ‘Would you rather stay in a charming studio apartment in Greece or a stunning estate with a pool in London?’
Bonus category - Using GIFs
So we’ve thrown GIFs into the mix because sadly we don’t think they get the full credit they deserve! GIF stands for ‘Graphics Interchange Format’, but the less technically initiated may recognise them as the funny little clips you can get on your phone or computer. These short, animated clips that are often sent via social media and text messages to add a dose of humour to your content, take very little time to absorb, and can be a brilliant way to elicit an action step from your audience.
GIFs are also great because they don’t take long to load, they are easy to share and can convey a message in a way that photos and videos simply can’t. We challenge you to browse popular GIFs online and see how you can incorporate them into your marketing campaign. If you’re a few steps ahead of us, perhaps take a stab at making your own. There are countless online tools that you can use to personalise a GIF, helping to share your unique brand and personality with your potential guests.
Understanding the power of each social media content category and how they directly affect your marketing campaign can really help you squeeze every last drop of value out of each of your posts. Having a clear, thorough social media strategy, complete with posts from all of the categories listed above, will ensure your holiday rental reaches the right people at the right time, resulting in more reservations and repeat bookings for you.
If you would also like to rent out your property portfolio commission free and keep 100% of your rental charge, list your properties on EveryStay today: