Have you heard the buzz about Social Media? If you haven’t, you are probably living under a rock! Just what is Social Media anyways and how can a vacation rental owner or manager benefit from it?
The most basic description of Social Media is the use of technological tools to facilitate the interaction between humans. In other words, Social Media helps connect people from all over the world in a way that was not possible even years ago.
Some example of Social Media sites are Facebook, Youtube and MySpace. There are thousands of social media sites out there that have niche sections of the internet population, some cater more to younger crowds, some to young adults, single mothers, etc…
All this is pretty new to most of us, and the idea of this post is not to go to deep into details about social media, but to spark your curiosity to explore and look for ways to book your vacation rental more using new tools that are at your disposal.
Lets start with the most basic Social Media tool that has been around for quite a while, the good old Blog. A blog is a webpage were you can post information, including text, images, videos, etc. There are tons of free blog sites and getting started only takes a few minutes. A good place to start would be http://blogger.com . Once you get your blog started, you can place a link from your website or ad on rentalo to your blog. On your blog you can write interesting things about your vacation rental such as special amenities, things to do, or even tips about what to look for when traveling to your destination. Another thing that you can post in your blog is guest comments or experiences as well as pictures and videos from guest that have stayed. Imagine that a traveler can see your blog and hear about the experience of other travelers that have stayed in your place. Whether you have your own personal website or not, a blog is a great idea to give your vacation rental business a warm human touch.
Facebook is a great site to connect with people and spread the word about your vacation rental, bed and breakfast or hotel. All you have to do is visit http://facebook.com and create an account. You should take a few minutes to go through your privacy settings and your profile. Upload pictures, write a description, have fun with it! Now here you also have a few choices. You can create a profile for yourself, you can create a separate account for your vacation property or you can create both. After you create your profile, you can start looking for friends. It would be a good idea to get your guest, past and present, to become your friends. By having your guests as friends through a site like Facebook, you could communicate things like vacancies, special offers, or simply remind them that it’s that time a year to come back.
If you have noticed, Rentalo has already added social bookmarking links on all our Smart Search pages, so travelers can remember the page for the future and also let others know how useful the page was for them.
I would like to recommend a book called Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff from Forrester Research. Great book about Social Media for those of you that would like to dive deeper into the subject.
Whatever you do, look to incorporate social media strategies in your plan to increase your client base and your return bookings to your vacation rental.
By the way, we are on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. We would love to be your friend, look for us in Facebook by Rentalo Rentals.