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In the first two posts I’ve discussed goal setting and determining which social networks will help you achieve your goals, as being the first steps to take when marketing your vacation rental using social media.  Today I’ll cover how to decide on types of content that you could publish.

 

Step 3: Decide on the types of content that you want to publish on social networks

First, let’s define content; in this context we are talking about any information, photos, videos, links to websites, etc that you have available and want to share. Different types of content work better for different social networks.  If you’re time constrained you need to think about content that is readily available to you, and easy to publish, but if you have more free time then you can be more creative with what you publish.  Be imaginative with information that you can share and create content that encourages engagement.

 

            Think about:

    • What information do you have that’s “insider knowledge” for the location of your rental, or just some of your favorite things in that location? Do you know the best shop to go for coffee in the morning, know of great deals at local restaurants, or the perfect spot to see that amazing sunset?
    • Photos of your rental or local events and attractions near your vacation home are easy ways to create new content and share relevant information with potential guests
    • Offering a deal or freebie that is exclusive to your fans on social networks
    • Sharing videos of your rental or the town where your rental is located. If you don’t have any video consider creating a few short tours of your rental or favorite attractions in the area. Adding a personal touch through video could make a potential guest feel more comfortable when considering renting your home.

 

Again, let’s go through the well known social sites and talk about content types that work best for them.  Keep in mind though, without engaging with the community, publishing content isn’t going to yield results.

  • Facebook
    • Updates about your rental business and events in your rental location
    • Links to local attractions, restaurants you enjoy, discounts being offered in the area, posts about “things to do” or “what you should know about X city”
    • Photos of your rental and the area including attractions and events
    • Video tours of your rental and the local area and/or local businesses you enjoy
    • Deals can be publicized or offered exclusively to your Facebook fans on your page. You can also utilize Facebook’s new Deals product which will allow you to create a deal that can be found on mobile applications and by subscription.
    • Poll your fans about your home or fun facts about the area with the Questions product on your page
    • Add your vacation rental as a location guests can “check in” to on Places and updates will be shared with their networks giving your business more exposure
    • There are also easy to use applications that allow you to create custom landing pages, or Welcome Tabs to greet visitors of your page. These applications, such as Pagemodo or Involver, are easy to set up and install on your page.

 

  • Twitter
    • Short snippets of information about your rental and the area such as:     
      • Deals for your rental, calendar updates, reviews received, last minute vacancy dates, events and attractions in the area, deals being offered from nearby businesses or restaurants
    • Photos uploaded through a site or application like TwitPic or Instagram
    • Links to video tours you’ve posted on YouTube or your website

 

  • YouTube
    • Video tours of your rental
    • Videos of events or attractions in the location of your rental
    • Video of tips for things to do, places to eat, museums to visit, etc

 

  • Flickr
    • Photos of your rental, your local area, events and attractions

 

  • Yelp
    • Contribute reviews of your favorite restaurants and shops
    • Join conversations in the Talk and/or Events areas. The key here is to contribute to the conversation and not only talk about your rental. Look for conversations where it may be appropriate to join and talk about your rental though.

 

  • FourSquare
  • Deals if you offer them
    • Tips for what to do in the area

 

  • Forums
    • Contribute your expertise about the vacation rental industry, your business or your local knowledge
    • The important thing about Forums is to find something you’re interested in talking about and become a part of the community with conversation and not just marketing your rental
    • Local information can be a great conversation on destination based forums where you can add value with local knowledge

 

  • Blogs
    • Blog on your personal website about local information and features of your rental     
      • Provides an opportunity to engage with travelers and potential customers through your blog
    • Find opportunities to guest blog on other sites that discuss topics where you could add value to the       blogger’s site     
      • Often you will be able to include your bio with a link to your personal site or vacation rental listing so guest blogs aren’t overly “salesy”
      • Guest blogging can also help with search engine rankings by providing links to your personal website or your vacation rental listing
  • Pinterest
    • Pin attractive and eye-catching photos (and videos) of your vacation rental.
    • Create boards associated with your location in order to educate travelers about the area.
      • Things To Do, Sights to See, Area Attractions, What to Pack, Local Beaches; all relating to the location of your rental.
    • The content you pin surrounding your rental will inform travelers about the area, and make them more likely to be interested in your property.    

 

In Part 4 of ‘Social Marketing 101 for Your Vacation Rental’, we’ll discuss how to build fans and engagement on your profiles.

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