How to Use Social Media for Vacation Rental Managers

How to Use Social Media for Vacation Rental Managers

In this day and age, a vacation rental owner’s biggest challenge is attracting travelers to their sites.   Sharing valuable information about the local surroundings, the people who live there and what visitors can enjoy doing while they are in town is very important.  This entices people to stop by a check out what you have to offer.   You need to build followers and friends and add links back to your site for those travelers looking for new properties to rent.

Which social media platforms should I focus on?

There are many social media sites available to get your message out with.  Facebook is probably one of the most prominent and active sites around.  Posting links, staying active with your Facebook friends and answering questions for those interested in vacation rental properties will help you boost your business.  As it’s an image-based site, Instagram is an excellent choice for posting images of your properties.  Many larger businesses have turned to LinkedIn as they offer very active members who share ideas and chat with each other. It doesn’t hurt to test your social presence on different platforms to see where your business generates a higher response.

How often should I generate content?*

It is strongly advised that you write content at least a few times a week but if possible, add new content on a daily basis.  The more regularly content is generated, a wider variety of content will trigger search engines to direct visitors to your site looking for that information.

Buffer has become extremely popular and a very valuable tool to generate new articles and posts even when you are away.  All you have to do is write a number of articles and then set them to post throughout the week.  It will appear you are writing daily, when actually, these posts might have been written the week before.

What type of content should I focus on?

There is no better way to attract visitors to your properties than by sharing information about the surrounding area and offering excellent tips for travelers.  Your blog or site should be loaded with fresh content and should be linked to your social media sites.  On social media sites, highlight a specific property and then add a link back to the article on your site. Your content should coincide with the type of visitors you would like to attract to your vacation rental properties.

How Can I Engage my Guests to Interact Through My Efforts?

On your vacation rental website, look for comments from guests that have stopped by to read your articles.  If someone has commented, be sure and answer any questions they might have or thank them for their positive comments.  People like to be acknowledged and if your blog is set-up properly, you will be notified, through your email, when someone has left a comment.

Encourage others to partake in conversation on your social media sites like Facebook. As you start to receive likes, comments, and shares for your vacation rental property posts, friends of the interactors will also see the conversation and feel inclined to get involved as well.

With Instagram, use popular hashtags for those who are searching for vacation destinations. According to Sprout Social trends, 76% of people post vacation photos to a social network and 52% of people say that a friend’s photo inspired their trip. A picture is worth a thousand words so take advantage of the traction your vacation properties can get through social media.

Personal vs. Business Account?

Most businesses prefer to use a business account as opposed to using a personal account as it seems a more professional. Using your business account also reduces the risk of oversharing personal information that might draw guests away from your vacation rental properties. Although, it is acceptable to boast about your vacation rentals from your personal account from time to time; just don’t over do it. When using your business accounts for social media, also make sure to never force the conversation about your properties. Instead, try to present your properties to those who have an interest; this will require more time and effort on behalf of the vacation rental management.   

Should I consider buying ads?

Buying ads such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads will depend on your financial resources.  If you are relatively new, you might want to wait until you build up the funds to take advantage of these options.  The areas gone over in this article will not cost you money but will definitely draw visitors and readers to your location. However, using paid ads is a good way to generate traffic and get your vacation rental properties seen by potential guests.

Are you optimizing your vacation rental properties to generate the most guests?

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About VacayHome Connect

VacayHome Connect, the leading full-service distribution solution for the vacation rental industry, delivers property managers of both homes and resorts increased bookings across a variety of global travel sites like HomeAway, VRBO and Booking.com, as well as a network of exclusive membership and loyalty channels and branded websites. Integrated with a majority of leading property management systems and channel managers, the VacayHome Connect Platform connects more than 100,000 vacation rental properties to millions of leisure customers to provide them an unparalleled shopping and booking experience.

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Tom BoylenTom is a general market municipal trader at Performance Trust, having joined the company in July 2011. Prior to joining Performance Trust, Tom spent three years at BMO Capital Markets as Head of Trading and Underwriting, including tax-exempt and taxable products. Prior to that, he spent over 10 years at Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, first as Vice President of Municipal Trading and then as Senior Vice President and Head of Trading and Underwriting.

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Jeff brings over 34 years of business development experience within the Global Capital Markets and Bankruptcy/Restructuring industries assisting high-profile clients with the distribution of highly confidential, time sensitive stakeholder communications, including initial public offerings, equity/debt registration statements, mergers & acquisition documents, spin-offs and Chapter 11 restructuring plans of reorganization. His clients include public and privately held corporations, top tier law firms, private equity, venture capital, financial advisory, restructuring and investment banking.

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Mr. Jay J. Levin was President and Chief Executive Officer of PPOM, a Michigan-based, health care network management company serving more than one million individuals in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky. As a founding partner, he played key roles in acquisitions, marketing, provider network development and operations. He was also central to the negotiation and sale of a major portion of PPOM to the Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and the subsequent sale of the balance of the company to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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Roland Jacobs is former chief marketing officer of Orbitz, the online travel agency, and currently is President & CEO of AspireUp, a strategic branding consultancy dedicated to helping companies grow. He is a recognized expert in the areas of marketing strategy and branding and consults with a wide range of clients, from start-up to Fortune 100 companies. In addition to his work as a consultant, Roland teaches marketing strategy as a guest lecturer in the MBA programs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business. Previously, Roland was also the marketing chief for e-commerce companies Digitalwork and Petopia.com, and spent 10 years in brand management at The Clorox Company. He has and MBA from Harvard Business School.

Peter has extensive experience in the hospitality industry with a focus on e-Commerce, distribution and revenue management. The combination of these fields allowed him to create top line revenues with a focus on bottom line profits. In his previous role at Preferred Hotel Group as Director, eMarketing he has proven record of exceeding goals, achieving milestones and creating profitable new business opportunities. Other companies include Swissotel, Raffles International, Hard Rock Hotels and Le Meridien. Peter also used to serve on the board of the Digital Marketing Council of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). In his leisure time Peter serves as the President at the German American Cultural Center in Chicago (DANK Haus) where he is preserving and promoting his German heritage and language through activities including, but not limited to, maintaining a cultural center consisting of a museum, art gallery, library, and language school, and organizing educational and social programming focusing on and emphasizing history and traditions. He is also an avid traveler and tries to add new destinations around the globe to his long list of places he has already visited.

Jeffrey Ring is a senior technology development professional with extensive expertise in knowledge engineering, business intelligence, architecture assessment and web-based applications development. For more than 23 years, Jeff has successfully managed and performed major software development projects across a broad range of industries including health care, financial services, real estate and professional services. Jeff has led technical teams in the design, implementation and support of a range of web-based, data-driven applications and complex systems that support functionalities such as: CRM, inventory management, order processing, credit card processing, contract management, and sales and marketing statistics.

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Chris works on the development of strategic partnerships that enable VacayHome Connect to efficiently support vacation rental managers and shared ownership developers/resorts that want to to distribute their inventory to consumers who have a growing interest in alternative accommodations. Chris brings over 20 years of experience building great products and helping travel suppliers efficiently promote and distribute their products through digital channels. He most recently served as Chief Product Officer for an innovative startup company in the loyalty space, building a revolutionary new platform that will enable consumers to use their loyalty program rewards for everyday purchases.

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Some of the highlights of Tony’s career to date include the opportunity to speak at Timeshare and Tourism conferences worldwide and to work with a wide variety of clients across the Globe. He was privileged to serve as Chairman of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and was a founder and first Chairman of the Global Alliance for Timeshare Excellence (GATE). In addition to his job history he has completed assignments for more than 90 clients in over 30 countries and has provided advice and restructuring of marketing and sales programs for several financial institutions including the FDIC. He has worked in Corporate environments several times over his career and has served as a Board Director on numerous occasions.

Chuck began his timeshare career leading the re-engineering of RCI’s core exchange operating system, in the early days when Christel and Jon Dehaan ran the company, after a sterling early career at United Airlines. He then honed his craft in product, process and system development with Disney, Four Seasons USA, Marriott Vacation Club, Gold Key Resorts, and Grand Crowne Resorts. For over 25 years, Chuck has been relentlessly focused on delivering high impact results, rapid growth, and quality, ethical products and services. A strong leader in business development, e-commerce, marketing, product development, he is a Registered Resort Professional (RRP) and accredited by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). He is also a regular speaker at ARDA’s Spring Conferences and a genuine and consistent supporter of the quality and ethical standards of the vacation ownership industry.

Mike has spent more than 20 years working to make it easier for consumers to shop and book travel accommodations online while at Travelport, TravelClick, and Pegasus Solutions. As COO, he brings his enthusiasm for vacation rentals to professional property managers, innkeepers, vacation homeowners and shared ownership resorts by ensuring the company’s products and services remain affordable and generate incremental revenue. Customers value his expertise and innovative thinking to help them connect with consumers seeking vacation accommodations.

Sunil Aluvila, has been an innovator in ecommerce, digital marketing, product development and distribution in the vacation industry for more than 18 years. He has extensive experience in digital marketing, online travel technology, webstore and distribution platform development for the vacation rental and ownership industries. His expertise in the online travel distribution arena ranges across various channels, having worked as both a supplier and an intermediary.

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