There are currently over 2 billion active users on Facebook, and it’s also the world’s no.1 social network platform. With recent trends showing a tendency towards using social media to plan, book and review their vacations, this ultimately leads to one conclusion: vacation rental owners need to be present on Facebook in order to capture more bookings.
Facebook is a great medium to build relationships and market your vacation rental business. Just like your website, Facebook is another direct channel whereby owners can obtain direct bookings, circumventing online travel agencies and their high commissions.
To help you learn more about using Facebook as part of your marketing efforts, Lodgify brings you The Vacation Rental Marketing Guide to Facebook.
Here are just some of the few things we cover in this eBook:
- Facebook glossary terms
- Reasons to use Facebook for your vacation rental
- Step-by-step guide for setting up your Facebook Business Page
- How to grow your vacation rental business with Facebook
- Paid Advertising for Facebook Ads
To help you use Facebook or change your marketing strategy on this social network, we have created a Facebook marketing guide for holiday homes, where we explain how to advertise a vacation home on Facebook and increase your direct bookings.
In addition to the benefits of using social media in general, here are the top ten reasons why your rental business needs a Facebook business page.
WHY USE FACEBOOK TO ADVERTISE YOUR VACATION HOME?
Together with the rise of Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg’s blue social network remains as an important tool to promote your holiday home and increase your bookings. Facebook is a fundamental tool for hosts in the vacation rental business, especially if you take advantage of the incredible number of active users.
Facebook is a great way to build and maintain customer relationships and advertise your vacation rental to a wider audience. Here are just some of the main advantages given by marketing your business on Facebook:
1. INCREASE EXPOSURE TO POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
Facebook allows you to share pictures and detailed information about your vacation rental property. In turn, this will help you make new connections, strengthen existing relationships and generate awareness, all free of charge.
52% of Facebook users say their friends’ vacation pictures influence their travel decisions, even if they aren’t planning to go on vacation.
Every time a user interacts with your content it automatically appears on that user’s news feed. So whenever someone “likes” your page or any of your posts, it can be seen by hundreds or even thousands of their friends. Therefore it gives you further advertising and can reach people you never imagined it. People can come across your page simply just by scrolling through their feed. Each post is an opportunity to find new potential customers.
2. STAY IN TOUCH WITH PREVIOUS GUESTS
As well as posting photographs and other relevant information about your vacation rental property, Facebook can be used as a tool to increase your chances of being booked and keep in touch with those who have been guests in the past.
When guests are presently staying in your rental, you can ask them to post holiday pictures and tag your rental. Likewise, previous guests who have stayed in your rental can also post photos. You can even ask them to share your posts, giving your rental more exposure. Interact with guests by putting likes, moods and comments is a powerful way of staying engaged.
Facebook is also a means of earning credibility. The more engagement your page has, the more credibility your website has. Not only does it make your business look professional, it also builds you a reputation as a host. Effectively, guests can advertise your rental by writing reviews on your page and commenting on posts and photos. Happy customers make the best advocates and they’ll give you great insights you’ll be able to use for your business. Potential guests will see all these reviews and comments and will confide in you as a host and in your rental.
The more active you are on Facebook, the more your rental gains visibility and business earns credibility.
3. REACH TARGET AUDIENCES
With 2.41 billion monthly active users on Facebook, it’s very likely that a huge percentage of your target audience is already using the platform on a daily basis. By joining specific pages, you can post and share your listing, and reach an even further target audience.
You can also use Facebook Insights to analyze your fan base and discover their demographic breakdown and see what they’re interested in, and if they prefer video posts over photos, surveys, questions, etc. It will help you understand who your target audience is and what content they enjoy.
By obtaining the information based on metrics such as demographic data, interests, activities or links from your followers, you can develop advertising campaigns with Facebook Ads. You will be able to promote your rental, whether it be a beach hut, B&B, cabin or a guesthouse in niche groups. As a vacation rental owner, you choose how much you want to spend (either a limit for one advert or a total campaign amount) and on what. Not just that, but you can also measure the outcome of every Facebook Advert using the site’s Ad Manager.
4. GAUGE NEW SERVICES AND PRODUCTS
Think of some changes that have occurred since you initially started in the vacation rental business:
- Have you renovated your kitchen recently?
- Has the decor changed?
- Have you even got more properties on the market?
- Do you now provide extra amenities?
- Did you buy new furniture?
- Did you redo the back yard or build a swimming pool?
Let everyone know about these developments! Take some pictures, write a description and post it on Facebook. Keep your followers and previous guests informed of news about your vacation rental.
5. ADVERTISE SPECIAL DEALS AND PROMOTIONS
Managing a Facebook page is easy nowadays, thanks to the many tools available. Facebook allows you to schedule posts, in case you forget or in aren’t available to do it yourself at the desired time. Have regular posts to keep the audience involved, as well as running your own blog or a weekly newsletter. Remember to change the contents often, alternating photos, videos, articles, suggestions, rankings. In short, anything you can think of that will be interesting for potential guests.
You can also use your Facebook page to alert users of special deals, events and promotions. For example, if you would like to do a special deal during the low-season or for Black Friday, such as “three nights for the price of two” or “30% if you book weekdays.” Even last-minute cancellations can quickly be published.
6. CONNECT TO FACEBOOK PLACES AND LOCATION-BASED APPS
Users love sharing their locations on social media with their friends. You can activate Facebook places so users can check-in through your Facebook page. After checking in, their update will appear in their news feed for their friends to see and they will be asked if they want to like your page. If you have the right router, you can even set up Facebook WiFi so they can easily connect to your WiFi without passwords or creating accounts.
Facebook users really like to share the places they are with, especially when they are on vacation! And each registration can mean a potential new customer. Every time a user registers your rental as your location, all their friends will see it. These users will get to know your vacation home, search for information and, who knows, then end up booking it during their stay in your area.
You can also drive traffic to your website with other check-in apps like Swarm or Yelp. These apps not only share your check-in on their app but also on several other social networks like Twitter and Instagram.
You could even go the extra mile and offer exclusive discounts or freebies if your guests use these location-based apps! Not a lot of vacation rentals are doing this, but other brands like Best Buy offer 20% discounts on those that would check-in their stores online.
7. COMMUNICATE QUICKLY AND EASILY WITH GUESTS
Guests tend to use Facebook Messenger as a fast and informal communication method. It allows guests to ask questions directly and quickly, without the hassle of getting a phone number to call or emailing. On messenger you communicate with potential guests, make a good impression and close more bookings. By dedicating just a little time each day to respond to messages, you can get important results.
Using Facebook Messenger can also differentiate you from your competitors. You can give potential renters real-time support and follow the example of the growing number of entrepreneurs who use virtual assistants to save time without giving up the experience of a personalized chat.
Depending on the speed of response, and the amount of messages you receive, your page can be awarded the badge of high responsiveness to messages to be shown to all visitors to your Facebook page. Messenger is particularly important especially in combination with a “book now” button on the page, as customer interaction help increase sales.
8. COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES
Facebook is an extremely useful way to connect and interact with local businesses that can promote your vacation home within their network of contacts and create an additional virtual community to the one you are building. Be proactive and “like” Facebook pages of local businesses, mention them or tag their pages. You can even use related tags with “@” and hashtags with “#” if you mention them in your posts.
Make a list of restaurants, points of interest or events to attend to send to your guests prior to their arrival. By informing the various companies of what you have done, they can also return the favor.
9. CREATE COMPETITIONS, SURVEYS AND QUIZZES
Another way to grow your business on Facebook is to organize sweepstakes, launch surveys or create quizzes. These strategies have proven to work well for hotels and vacation homes in the past. The contests will give your followers a chance to win small prizes like promotional items, for example, a shirt with your logo or even a free night stay. All this will generate curiosity and attention to your rental home.
Competitions have a positive effect as they engage with the increasing number of followers on your page and they also compile a list of email addresses that can be used for future growth initiatives.
You can also ask questions about your amenities, how to improve parts of your property, feedback or a quick survey. Not only will you get new ideas, you’ll also prove to your customers that you care about their needs and value what they have to say.
10. INCREASE TRAFFIC TO YOUR VACATION RENTAL WEBSITE
Facebook is just another platform to generate users to your own website. By sharing all your content, including photos, posts, updates and even special offers on your Facebook page will increase the amount of visitors to your website, and give you more opportunities to convert it into bookings.
You can also integrate a share button on your vacation rental website so users can share your site with their Facebook friends. You can easily connect your vacation rental website to Facebook. Lodgify allows you to connect your website to your accounts on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to generate more traffic. All you have to do is go to your Website settings and type in your Facebook page. As soon as you’ve linked your website to your Facebook page, you can integrate a “Book now” or “Inquiry button” on Facebook, which sends potential clients directly to your site. Visit our help center for a step-by-step tutorial.
These are just some of the benefits of using Facebook for your vacation rental business. Download our guide and find out everything there is to know about marketing your business on Facebook and start generating more bookings today!