Social Media Strategy for Short-Term Rental Business
As a relatively new alternative to traditional hotels, many travelers appreciate the extra amenities that come with staying in a short-term rental.
Short-term rentals are typically fully furnished, trendy places that offer more than hotels, including backyards, kitchens and somewhere to do laundry.
This makes it a more attractive and convenient option for people who want to stay for a few days or even a few weeks. It is nicer to stay in a place that feels like home over living out of a hotel room and eating takeout!
The short-term rental industry has seen phenomenal growth in the last 10 years. After Airbnb paved the way into the market, many similar home-sharing businesses started popping up including Vrbo, Booking.com, TrustedHousesitter, and Homestay, just to name a few.
This highly competitive market can seem overwhelming at times for hosts and besides putting up your listing on platforms, it can be difficult to know how else to market it. This is why we’ve created a handy guide full of practical advice to help you develop a social media strategy for your short-term rental business.
Social Media Strategy for Short-Term Rental Business
Out of all of the potential online marketing options out there for a business, you may wonder why you should go with social media.
Well, for starters – to be social! Almost everyone and their dog is on some sort of social platform right now and if you look around at all of the people glued to their phones, why wouldn’t you want to connect with them where they are?
Social media platforms are a great way to showcase the unique features and amenities that your rental offers. You can attract and engage with potential guests and build awareness of your listing.
Creating an effective social media strategy helps to get in front of your target audience to show them what you have to offer and ultimately drive more bookings.
What Social Media Platforms Should I Use for My Short-Term Rental?
The best platforms for promoting your rental are ones where you can interact, connect and use visual imagery to highlight your listing. Not only do you build brand recognition with a social media presence, but you are also building trust with potential guests.
We recommend Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. People are visual creatures and respond well to visual content. These platforms are the best for giving virtual tours, showing the cool features of your home, and using hashtags to help travelers find your listing.
Facebook: You should be using your Facebook account to connect with the community. Remember, it is social media so BE SOCIAL! Along with posting on your profile, comment, like, and interact with others on theirs. Engage them in conversation.
Facebook is also great for joining groups that can benefit your short-term rental business such as community groups, traveler groups, and local business groups.
You can also use Facebook to go live or do reels to show what is going on around town. You can also spend some money on targeted ads to promote your short-term rental, especially if an event is happening in your city.
Instagram: The platform is great for posting visual content such as pictures and reels, and with the right hashtags for your content, you’ll definitely get noticed.
You can introduce yourself in a pinned post, share reviews from past bookings, use the stories feature to do walk-throughs, and even do giveaways!
You can also try creating and sharing area guides on Instagram for example, “Top 10 Must-See Attractions”, “Top 5 Restaurants to Visit” or something similar – this is bound to gain some views.
YouTube: Many travelers turn to YouTube vloggers to find things to do, places to stay, and recommendations before they head off on a trip.
Having at least a few YouTube videos to show your property, attractions nearby, and great restaurants will make people see you as an expert in the area. They will see you’re friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to help them – qualities that they would want in a host.
LinkedIn: Creating a LinkedIn page will give your short-term rental business professionalism and credibility. It is also a great place to network and connect with local businesses.
On LinkedIn, you can tailor your profile to include all of the details of your listing and use keywords that people are searching for.
Make sure to keep your profile current and post consistently, this will show others that you are a trusted expert in vacation rentals and they will keep you in mind if they or someone they know needs a place.
How to Create a Social Media Strategy for a Short-Term Rental Business?
First things first, you must know two things – your business goal and your target audience. Ask yourself these questions:
- What business goals will having a social media presence help me achieve?
- How can I use social media to reach my business goals?
- Who are my ideal guests?
- Demographic: Age, gender, preferred device for online searching, social media platforms they use, etc.
- Psychographic: Their values, buyer personas, hobbies, interests, lifestyle, online behavior, etc.
- What will they be doing in my city?
- What will make their experience unforgettable?
Once you figure out why you are doing this and who for, it will be easy to build a content strategy that works towards these.
Copying what others are doing won’t feel authentic and the masses will see right through this. Your social media strategy needs to align with your why, not someone else’s.
Creating Engaging Social Media Content
Once the why and who is figured out, next comes the what. The type of content! Make a list and you can rotate through these types of posts. Think about your business goals and your audience and how you can build content that serves both.
Your list could include these types of posts:
- Tour of Listing
- Cool Features of Listing
- Client Reviews
- Things to Do in the City
- Partner Posts With Other Businesses
Once you have carved out the types of posts you’d like to feature, you can create free templates for each type on Canva for free.
It is important to keep your branding and messaging consistent across all social media platforms. This keeps your pages professional-looking, and visually appealing and people respond well when there’s a cohesive aesthetic and vibe.
High-quality pictures and videos are other important aspects of content creation. You should have professional photos done of your listing to show your property in the best possible light.
A good phone camera is a necessity for creating an appealing video that shows off your property, or you could have a professional make a few for you.
Measuring Social Media Success
All of the social media platforms we mentioned (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube) have analytics tools built in to track the performance of your posts, stories, reels, etc.
You can use these built-in performance measurement tools to see how your posts are doing and tweak your strategy to change the ones that aren’t performing that well. The more content you produce over time, the more data you will have to show you what is working and what isn’t.
Some important metrics to track are reach, engagement rate, impressions, video views, click-through rate, and audience growth rate.
Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Marketing Your Short-Term Rental
It is important that you follow best practices and trust that you will achieve the right results over time. With the exception of ads, there is no real way to rush through social media. You need to be willing to put in the work that will build up trust and credibility with your audience.
Best practices include:
- Avoid spamming your audience with too many posts, especially filler ones that aren’t that useful.
- Keep your hashtag game tight! Use hashtags related to your niche, don’t use irrelevant hashtags that are popular or trending because while this may get you more views, it won’t be your target audience.
- Don’t neglect your audience’s comments and feedback. Respond and engage!
- Keep current with social media trends to stay ahead of the competition.
- Planning! Don’t just post on the fly. Sit down at the start of every week and plan, create, and schedule your posts in advance.
Creating a successful social media strategy for your short-term rental business will take time to get going at first but it will be worth it in the long run. It requires careful planning, consistent branding, and being able to speak to your potential guests with engaging content.
The more you post on social media, the better you will get at it! Getting started is the hardest part but once you figure out a system that works for you, it will become much easier.
By following our tips in this guide, you will be able to establish a strong social media presence to grow your audience and increase your bookings.