Great question. I'm no expert, but I know enough to recommend five things to help you get started:
- Setup a Twitter account for your vacation rental
- Spend some time researching Twitter for business. You could start by reading the Google/Bing results for "using twitter for business" and go from there
- Read the following article: How to create both a channel and website social media strategy in travel
- As a follow-up to point 3, understand that the primary purpose of social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tout and others....should be to drive traffic to your website. Then your website needs to be setup in such a way that people can find what they are looking for and can inquire and/or book easily. I'm not quite to this point yet, but that is what we are working on doing.
- The 80/20 rule applies to effective social media strategy, just as it applies to anything else. What does this mean? Your "tweets", "posts" and "updates" should be 20% on sales/promotion/marketing and 80% on delivering valuable content, information or any other "non-sales" and "non-marketing" activites. For instance, you want to engage people and not scare them away with constant sales promotion. You can invite past guests to post photos or to list their top 5 favorite things to do in the area or places to eat, etc.
It helps to learn as much as you can and then to just do it, be creative, have fun with it and make adjustments as you go along.
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Some examples of what we've done so far...it is a work in progress:
I have little doubt that it is in your best interest. I applaud your curiousity and encourage you to follow your instincts and learn a bit more about Twitter. I recently wrote about how Twitter is constantly improving and is progressing toward a search experience that provides richer and more relevant content for users (including guests doing vacation rental searches). We have written other articles related to Twitter you can search for.
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Have a look at Michael Stelzner ( SocialMediaExaminer), and Mari Smith, both on Facebook, as well as Curt's page. They provide lots of informative posts for people such as myself who are just starting off in Social Media. I'm sure there are others who offer plenty of additional tips too, but I have limited reading time!
Like murdock vacation rentals, my efforts so far are a work in progress, and there is lots to learn.
I would really like to change the linkedin link from a company number to our company name. If anyone can tell me how to do it, I would appreciate an explanation of how to go about it.
I don't remember how I was able to get our company name to be used instead of a number when setting it up in LinkedIn. You can try logging in and then viewing your company page and clicking the "Admin tools" drop-down arrow and then clicking on "Edit". If that doesn't work then you should be able to contact LinkedIn Support and have them help you change it to your business name.
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Thanks to all for taking time to write detailed responses. I may not get to this for awhile as I want to update my website first. But really like the promotional focus and ideas you've given. It makes the use of Twitter and Facebook more than just something "nice" to do.
Hi All--I'd forgotten that I posted this question and am just getting back to considering Twitter again to promote slow season rentals.
Is there another VR owner out there using Twitter successfully (or even marginally!) to market and post updates?
If so, I would I would like to follow your "tweets" to find out what you do. My Twitter username from what I can figure out is: