How to advertise your vacation rental on social media

Instagram has quickly become a serious content marketing, selling, networking and audience building tool for vacation rentals. There are many advantages to building a social media presence: you can build a loyal customer base, increase awareness of your vacation rental, and get direct feedback from a large community of online travellers and hosts. More than 50% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18-34, which is the age group that travels the most.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a social media expert to generate traction for your vacation rental. We consulted an expert about how to market your rental like a pro! Irem Uygur, a creative technologist and a designer with extensive experience in social media, answered our questions on what you need to know before getting started on Instagram.

Oda: Why should a vacation rental manager start an Instagram account?

IU: It is crucial in wisely promoting your (Airbnb) listing. More people will know about you and that will convert into more visitors in the long run. An online presence allows you to have more frequent contact with your potential customers, and to hear from them directly. Social media algorithms give you the ability to gently nudge them to remember your property even before they are officially planning their next vacation.

Oda: How should a host get started?

IU: Start by choosing a memorable name, which is also easy to find for Instagram users via the search functionality. Preferably, pick a social media name that you can use in your listing title as well. Pair it with a profile picture that will indicate that it is a vacation place. Don’t forget to set it up as a business account so that you can add more information about your property like your address or phone number, and see insights from your past interactions. Make sure to include a link to your listing site in your Instagram Bio (a short description shown on your page). Once you complete the account set up, find accounts and hashtags to follow that are relevant to your business: travellers, influencers, media sources, etc.

Oda: Any tips on how to use Instagram effectively?

IU: You would like to stay engaged - remember that this is a long term marketing tool. You will have to invest in building a presence to be able to build an engaged audience that can benefit your business. Follow other hosts and influencers and show your support in comments, and they will do the same. Make sure to include the relevant hashtags in your content, and try to find less popular but relevant, local hashtags to tap into smaller communities. Spend time on your captions: use them as an opportunity to share how your property stands out. Ask a question to get people to engage with your post. You don’t need to spend hours every day, but you do need to be consistently using the platform to turn it into a useful marketing tool for you.

Oda: What are the best ways to grow the number of followers?

IU: The key is to produce attractive quality content. Brush up on your photo editing skills and try to establish a consistent formatting, mood in your content. It can be photos of your property, the view, little design details you might want to highlight, or tips and recommendations on your neighborhood for visiting guests. The goal is to present your place as an inviting nest that invokes the wish to visit in your viewers.

Oda: What kind of content would help hosts stand out?

IU: Review the content created by other hosts regularly. Observe what types of content they share and try to see if they are missing something or anything that creates a buzz. To avoid getting repetitive, you can try to generate different content as well. By staying on top of trending topics in online communities you can join the conversation and create more current posts - it may be your take on a recent travel news or a joke about something that happened in your neighborhood, think creatively!

Oda: How frequent should they post content?

IU: You should be consistent in producing content. Try to share something every day.

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