Here is a fun fact of the day for you: 144 Million emails are sent every day. That is a whole lot of email exchanges. So why is this an important statistic for marketing? It means that traditional email campaigns, which used to be very effective are now being lost in a lot of noise. In order to gain a competitive advantage, marketers need to get over the noise factor and diversify their campaign portfolio. Which is where social media marketing comes in to play.
There is a lot of resistance towards social media marketing in the vacation rental industry. A big factor is that it is hard to determine the ROI for the time that is spent on social media platforms. However, having a social media presence provides multi-faceted benefits. This 3-Part series on Social Media Marketing aims at providing answers to: Why Should I Use Social Media Marketing? How Can I Automate My Social Media Marketing? As well as How Can I Track My Social Media ROI?
This week we will look at how Vacation Rental professionals can use social media for lead generation. Below are 5 ways in which you can benefit from having a social media presence:
Hubspot provides a great metaphor for social media: It is like a cocktail party, you listen first and talk later. This is because people are very active when it comes to telling their opinions on social media. Simply search twitter for “Vacation Nightmare” and you will see a slew of personal experiences that outline a bad vacation.
In order to provide excellent customer service and to understand the needs of your target market, you can listen-in on users’ online discussions about vacations, vacation homes and hotels. Due to it’s open nature, Twitter is the best listening tool. You can set-up search parameters through Hootsuite or Social Bro. You should aim at listening to activities around Vacations, Holidays, Vacation Rentals, Holidays in your City as well as your own brand name.
Search Engine Optimization success relies largely on the volume of inbound links to your vacation rental website. Search Engines such as Google are now realising that users talk and link about companies largely on social media, and it is theorised that inbound links from social media websites are playing or will play an important role in SEO. Be aware that the link value is not the same as a website-link, but none-the-less it is important. Providing status updates or tweets that link to your website, will allow users to re-tweet or share these updates on their own social media pages, providing you with valuable SEO links and increased exposure.
Hash Tag Exposure
I am a big fan of hashtags (#when #it #is #not #over #used). It allows you to categorize your message, and allows users to find similar tweets or Facebook posts that talk about that topic. With Facebook’s new hashtag integration, you can not only categorize your message, but you can also allow non-Facebook fans to find you through a hashtag search. Make sure you use hashtags that are well-known to make the most of this social media feature.
We have all heard of the vacation rental scams that have been going around the internet, where the scammer pretends to be a vacation rental owner and rents the property, and disappears with the money. With media exposure and industry advocacy, renters are also becoming more and more aware of these scams. In order to prevent falling for a scam, users are now searching multiple pages that have references for a property. Social media is a great way of authenticating your vacation rental. Right on the homepage of your social media page, you can tell users where you are advertising your properties, and tell them not to book the property elsewhere. Receiving reviews from past-guests will also help potential-renters to see the credibility of your property.
One of the best champions for social media marketing is its ability for branding. You can really bring out your company or property’s personality through social media. Sharing your interests, and information you find interesting can help build your brand. All you need to do is play the numbers game – meet as many new people as possible and be sincere. Like-minded travellers will find this very enticing and have an inclination to follow you and share your content. If your property is located on a Ski Resort, you can share pictures and news snippets of snowboarding and skiing in your area. Past-guests will appreciate these pictures as it will bring back great holiday memories and is also in-line with their interests, making them more inclined to share it to their friends.
About the Author:
Francesca Nurlu is the Digital Marketing Manager for Kigo Vacation Rental Software. Kigo provides all-in-one vacation rental software and channel management solutions for vacation rental managers. If you are in the market for a reservation system or vacation rental website, be sure to visit Kigo’s website: http://kigo.net