Tom, I put together a facebook page for our cabins about 3 months ago and while it hasn't necessarily brought us business yet that I can specifically track, I do know it's getting the word out about our rentals to more people. I've not created any ads on FB. We've had a few guests post photos and leave comments, which I love. I post tidbits of new info about the cabins, upcoming events, specials for FB friends only, and anything else that may be of interest to past or potential guests.
When you set up your page for your vacation rental, be sure to share the new page with all your FB friends so they can "like" it. Your 14-year-old expert should be adept in helping with that. It's always nice to have some savvy technical assistance!
Also be sure to put your FB link on your email signature so when you reply to inquiries, people see that you have a FB page. You never know who might click through and "like" your page. Here's an example of my signature. I use color to draw attention to the Facebook info.
Please visit our Facebook link below and "Like" Blue Mist Cabins. We post updates and specials for our Facebook friends!
FB is just another layer of marketing. It's free...easy to set up...and a great way to keep people updated on your VR. I just posted yesterday about the WIFI we added to a cabin recently and three people already "liked" the comment so I know the word is getting out, even if it's just to a small audience. Hoping it will continue to grow
I've been lucky. I think most of the guests who've 'liked' out page learn about it from my communications back and forth with them. After several emails, I'm guessing that those who are active on Facebook tend to click the link and add our page to their "likes". If someone sends me a picture, I'll ask them if I can post it on our FB page...or if they'd like to add it to our page themselves. Everyone has said yes, so I think the key is to try to bring it into your conversations, whether by email or phone.
Links for different activities? If you mean links to area attractions, news stories, maps, etc...yes, you sure can. I've included a couple of links to local news stories so far. It's a nice way to share additional information with your FB followers.
When we redo our owners web page, I will incorporate an FB badge. I also plan to use an email marketing campaign and will use an FB badge there too. Anywhere you can get the word out about your page, definitely do it.
Amy: Nice job with your FB page. I probably should have gone with the "fan page" over the regular FB account. Second Porch (see my link below) also leverages the FB application. Like Amy said, it is hard to tell how effective the social media is, but it is another channel to get the word out on your vacation home.
Rent this Outer Banks vacation home less than 500 ft to the Beach!
Need a vacation? see http://vacationrentalouterbanks.net/default.aspx
Follow my Second Porch: http://www.secondporch.com/id/outerbanks
Follow us on twitter: http://twitter.com/OuterBanksBeach
Yes Tom, it does keep you in touch with your guests and vice-versa. Today, our Christmas guests posted on our FB page to my surprise. If your guests are active on FB and they see your posts, they might do a quick reply. Just that little bit of interaction can keep you connected...and that's how you grow repeat guests and referrals!
Brian, thanks for the compliment. I don't know much about FB pages but I'm learning a little as I go like most everyone here.
registering your business on Facebook as a 'person' is against Facebook Rules and regulations. You should move your business as soon as possible over to a Page.
A Page also gives you more opportunities like using Apps, hosting competitions etc. The business opportunities as a Page are much bigger than as a 'person'. Registering as 'person' also limits you to 5000 friends where a Page can get unllimited Like's.
If sending mail to your friends a personal profile is more limited than a Page. A Page can update everyone at once.
With the business Page you get tools and equipment to analyze your 'Like-ers' and better profile your marketing efforts. You don't get that with a personal profile as you don't need that as you are supposed to know them because they are supposed to be your friends. You also get weekly status updates for your Page and there are nice tools built in as well.
If you try to market a personal profile you run into a change of the profile being shut down.
I would recommend to anyone that has a personal profile for their business to open a Facebook Business Page today and send all their business 'friends' an email to Like that Page. Then unfriend with everyone and hide the personal profile. You can then use that profile to log in and manage your Business Page but that can also be done if you make yourself an admin to the Page.
I hope this clarifies a little the difference between a profile and a Page.
I'm afraid I'm a real luddite (age 72) and have yet to connect at all with so-called social media--- and though I'm not on Facebook, I've used HA and VRBO for several years now with great success in the customary manner to help rent our vacation property. Now, however, thanks to you I'm learning there's a difference between a personal Facebook account which, for various reasons (including the usual confidentiality concerns of someone of my age seeking to preserve my eroding personal privacy via anonymity), I seek to avoid--- and a "Page".
Maybe you or someone else could coach me for a bit regarding whether--- under my circumstances--- a "property" Page would help me reach people with the new media technology that I'm not currently reaching because I'm not on Facebook myself.
... And how to go about creating such a Page for our property.
Given my circumstances, IS a property Page a productive next step in promoting our property--- something which can be done without my joining Facebook personally? Or should I just forget it...?
To be honest, the Facebook page doesn't really drive heaps of measurable new bookings but it does act nicely as a community page where past guests can easily communicate with you and it is an easy way for them to conveniently forward information about you to others. I think it is definitely worthwhile - it's free! I have just started using it and right now it is more of a way for me to broadcast things happening in Miami Beach as well as with our condo. Once we have more time under our belts, I will use it in the same way as amyg and offer exclusive discounts to our Facebook friends, etc
I have another free tool that I use on Facebook that I really like that some of you might also find useful. Wix.com has a free Facebook app that allows you to make a sort of "mini-site" on Facebook. I think it gives you a little more opportunity to create a feeling about your property.
You need to change your options in Facebook so that anyone who goes to your page will "land" on this page instead of your wall (hopefully mine does - I don't think I have actually checked that yet!) and the actual set up on Wix is pretty straight forward. You can check out mine here:
I also use my facebook page to "like" other businesses in the area that I recommend (you can switch back and forth between your personal page and your business page under "Account"). This acts as way to let those local businesses know our business supports them as well as gives our guests some additional insight to suggested places to try.
So...Facebook is definitely a good marketing tool if you choose to use it!
Like you, I was very unsure about using Facebook as a marketing tool and had very little experience of Social Media in general. Fortunately, I have twin daughters that are very computer savy! But most of my learning has come from Facebook itself. There are several very good sites for beginners. The ones I like best are Mari Smith...really good and simple explanations with easy to follow directions, Social Media Examiner, and Rachel Haviland. I would join up and create your personal profile first, then create your business page. You can spend some time visiting other pages to see the sort of content they post on their wall, and when you feel comfortable...off you go! However, once you have started, there is no point in leaving the page just sitting there with no new content. So be prepared to put some time into it. Find things happening in the local area to talk about, ask your fans what they would like to see on the page. It is a commitment but also a lot of fun!
if you are interested, have a look at our page www.facebook.com/cairnsholidayhomes
Still a work in progress! Lizzie.