Marketing your vacation rental on social media is a key element in building a successful business. However, nowadays with people being hyper-connected and exposed to mass amounts of content, it’s important to be strategic and coherent when it comes to the use of social media to promote your property. In other words, the key is in choosing the right platform and posting quality content that your target audience is actively looking for.
This guide will specifically teach you everything you need to know about Pinterest and how to use it to promote your vacation rental property. Long gone are the days of aimlessly posting your business on social media in hopes of magically getting results. Whether you want to develop your brand awareness, increase your number of bookings, or boost the traffic on your website, this guide will help you achieve those goals.
If your knowledge of social media ends at Facebook and Instagram, you may be asking yourself: What is Pinterest?
Essentially, Pinterest is a free social network that allows users to post and view all kinds of content for inspiration on any topic while also functioning as a search engine of sorts. The platform is based on posting images, which are known as pins, or saving other people’s images to boards, which are compilations of pins that tend to be in the same category or visual theme.
That being said, for many of us, the word Pinterest immediately evokes visions of elaborate destination wedding mood boards and vegan cupcake recipes. Granted, you will undoubtedly find an abundance of both of those things in its archives – if that’s what you’re looking for.
Why is Pinterest Important to the Vacation Rental Industry?
Pinterest is a crucial marketing tool in the vacation rental industry for several reasons. The first is that Pinterest users are very engaged because they’re usually searching for something specific. In other words, you are more likely to convert these active users into guests. The second reason is that Pinterest drives an impressive amount of traffic, despite being quite underrated in this industry. Because every pin includes a link, it’s a great opportunity to increase traffic on your website or blog posts. The third (but not final) reason is that you can now link your Pinterest to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, meaning you can promote your Pinterest with very little effort.
How To Use Pinterest To Grow Your Vacation Rental Business
Even though we love a good mood board, there is much more to this social media platform than just aesthetics. Many make the mistake of underestimating what a powerful marketing tool and resource Pinterest has truly become in recent years, but the numbers speak for themselves: Pinterest now boasts a whopping 416 million users per month.
The majority of those users are women of all ages, unlike on Instagram for example, which is mainly used by millennials and Gen Xers. So, for vacation rental businesses who are especially targeting middle-aged guests and new families, this already presents a golden opportunity.
When it comes to the vacation rental industry, there is no doubting the potential of Pinterest. In March of 2019, Airbnb announced a collaboration with Pinterest to provide game-changing travel itineraries for every budget, interest, and preference. That being said, it’s among one of the many tools that vacation rental professionals should use to optimize their business.
Use the following tips to discover what makes Pinterest so attractive and find out how you can tap into its full potential for your vacation rental business.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #1: Create a Professional Business Profile
Pinterest allows you to create your own professional business account, which will lend your profile way more credibility to viewers. Should you already have a regular profile, don’t despair! It is also possible to convert your existing one into a business account. This enables you to include key information about your vacation rental business that travelers will be able to search and find.
1. Add Your Logo
If you want to build and increase your brand recognition online, it’s best to have your very own logo, which you can add to your Pinterest business profile. By publishing your logo across your website, social media, and even business cards, you help to keep your brand consistent and memorable for future guests.
If you don’t have a logo on hand just yet, don’t worry too much. Instead, you can always use a beautiful shot of your property as a placeholder for Pinterest. Make sure that the picture you choose is attractive and of high quality, as it will represent your business.
2. Write a Smart Description
Depending on what you include in the ‘About You’ section of your profile, it can actually help travelers to find you more easily. That’s why you should choose your words wisely. By including relevant keywords in your description – such as the name of your vacation rental business, where your property is located, and what type of home you offer (e.g. a beach house, mountain lodge, city apartment) – your Pinterest profile will be much more likely to show up in other users’ search results. The same goes for adding the location of your vacation rental property to your account.
3. Claim Your Own Website
On your Pinterest business profile, you also have the possibility to claim your website (should you have one). Adding your vacation rental website to your account will publish the link on the top of your profile, so any viewers can check it out. This will add to the professional image of your business and help promote it by driving traffic directly to your website.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #2: Boost Visibility and Increase Engagement
On Pinterest, the art of gaining visibility is a walk in the park! Of course, you do still have to invest some time and effort if you aim to build a solid and engaged following on your Pinterest profile. Luckily, the steps to follow are quite simple, but with an effective outcome.
1. Find Out What People Are Interested In
Pinterest has an intuitive search function that immediately lets you see what kind of content is currently popular amongst its users. Start by simply searching for your most relevant keyword, like your location or the type of rental you offer. The results will show you the related tags right below the search bar, and you can easily identify at one glance what the most popular searches related to your vacation rental are. You can start collecting these tags and use them to create inspirational Pinterest boards for people to follow. It’s as easy as that!
2. Label And Link Your Boards and Pins
When you’ve managed to collect a decent amount of popular tags related to your vacation rental home, be sure to include them in the titles and descriptions of the boards you create and the pins you post to them. An interesting description that includes relevant, eye-catching buzzwords will upgrade the quality of your pins and make them easier to find.
Pinterest users are always on the hunt for something new to discover, so clickable pins are right up their alley! If there’s an action for people to take, they most likely will.
As we previously mentioned, to make the most of your posts, you should also include a call to action and a link back to your vacation rental website or booking site. This straightforward trick can work well to push more visitors to your website – and you may even see some direct bookings as a result!
3. Use Tools to Schedule Your Content In Advance
As a vacation rental owner, you’re likely to already have a packed schedule and 100 other tasks on your to-do list. So, taking time out of the day to post new pins on your Pinterest profile might not be at the top of your priorities. But, don’t give up on the whole idea quite yet! There are convenient tools you can use to plan and schedule your pins in advance.
When you have a business profile on Pinterest, you can benefit from their Schedule a Pin tool. This offers owners a perfect solution because, if you set it up smartly, you can ensure that there is a steady flow of content for your followers to engage with throughout the week or month – rather than bombarding them with one big bulk of pins all at once.
While you can only schedule one pin at a time on Pinterest, you can have up to 30 pins scheduled for the future.
4. Engage With Your Followers
If you can find the time, you really should invest some effort into becoming an active member of the Pinterest community. Offering quality boards for travelers to follow and attractive pins to save is great of course, but if you go the extra mile and give someone a follow or save their pin, they will be much more inclined to return the favor for you.
This will help you to grow your following much more quickly, and it also provides a great opportunity to engage with potential and former guests of your vacation rental! You have the chance to really elevate their whole guest experience and give it a special, personal touch.
That said, if you are willing and able to go a step beyond this, you can use paid ad posts to increase your visibility and engagement even further.
There are different types of ad campaigns you can run – awareness, engagement, and traffic. For each, you pay according to the impressions (views), engagement (repin or click), or traffic (click to website) that your promoted post garners. It might be worthwhile if you’re just getting started in the industry.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #3: Apply The Law of Visual Attraction
Creating shareable content is really the key element to successfully marketing on Pinterest. Shareable in this case essentially means visually appealing. While searching for your keywords, you will immediately get an impression of what kind of posts and aesthetics are most popular among users, just by scrolling through the top pins of the search results.
1. Show Off Your Assets
As a vacation rental owner, you’re already set up for success on Pinterest, seeing as home decoration and decor pins are the heart and soul of the platform – along with food and DIY tips. Take advantage of this and showcase the creative interior design of your vacation home. We recommend creating a board for every property you have. Be sure to take appealing, high-quality photos to show potential guests what you have to offer.
2. Think Outside the Box
There are also many other popular themes you can make use of to attract followers to your profile, apart from just showing off your property itself. You could, for instance, create Pinterest boards about the area your vacation rental is located in, be it set in beautiful nature or a big, bustling city. Target travelers (or people simply planning for future travel) by posting what life in your vacation rental home would be like. Post outdoor activities and restaurant recommendations nearby that guests would enjoy. Spice it up by generating content on topics such as travel hacks, which are broader but still include your target audience (eg: Must-Have Travel Items).
Another idea that is highly popular on Pinterest is instructional content. People love learning new things with quirky graphics and if you can think of interesting topics related to your vacation rental or the previously mentioned outdoor activities, consider sprucing up your content with some funky “how-to’s”. There are super simple, free tools available to help with this, such as Canva.
After users follow your boards and share your pins, it might eventually lead them to your booking page. In any case, it will always bring you more widespread exposure and engagement for your vacation rental business and brand.
3. Optimize Your Pins
When you create your pins, you should take the user experience into consideration. If you scroll through the Pinterest post feed, you will notice that most of the pins’ dimensions are longer than they are wide. There is a very good reason for this! About 80% of users access Pinterest on their mobile device, where vertical images are much more appealing and don’t get cropped by the Pinterest app. A 2:3 ratio is the recommended size to use. If you tailor your pins to this preference, they will be a lot more likely to gain traction and popularity!
You also might have noticed that many high-ranking pins have creative, custom-made designs – like collages of themed decoration items, for example. Think about revving up your creative engine to elevate your pins up to the top of those search results. You don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to achieve this if you’re using tools like Canva. Use other travel brand’s pins for inspiration and let your creativity run wild!
Ideas to Market Your Airbnb on Pinterest
Now that your base is ready and you’ve got enough knowledge to successfully run a Pinterest account for your vacation rental business, here are some more examples that you can use as inspiration for your Airbnb:
A Preview of Your Welcome Gifts
Surprising your guests with a welcome pack ensures a wonderful first impression but it also allows you to create a Pinterest board that entices potential guests. You can post pictures of past welcome gifts that were given to guests while also offering tips for people who are curious about how to create a welcome basket of their own.
A Digital Guest Book
While there are many unique ways to create a guest book, an online Pinterest guest book is one that really stands out and provides lots of trustworthy content. Create a group board on Pinterest and add past and current guests as collaborators so that they can post their experience at your vacation rental. Think of it as guest reviews in a completely innovative format.
Create a Community
Pinterest allows you to create a sense of community in a different way than most other social media platforms. Create a travel group board with other people in the vacation rental industry, inviting both your guests and theirs. Use this board to post travel inspiration with the purpose of exciting people to explore the world and building a long-lasting relationship with users.
Over to You
Even if you have minimal experience using social media platforms for your vacation rental property, it is highly recommended to take advantage of these free tools to create a trustworthy and familiar brand image. We hope this article was able to shine a light on what a powerful marketing tool Pinterest can be for vacation rental owners and all the ways it can be used to help your business. All it requires is a little creativity and you’ll soon see great results!
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