How to Use Social Media to Advertise Your Vacation Rental

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
August 5, 2020

Social media is a wealth of information, advertising, and connection. With so many people using social media for nearly all facets of life, it should come as no surprise that using it to help market your vacation rental is a smart way to keep up with the growing competition.

To help you out, we’ve created a high-level guide to walk you through best practices for marketing your vacation rental property on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Why Use Social Media for Vacation Rental Marketing?

Social media is the first and only place where people across the globe can gather to interact and share what they care about with the click of a button. For this reason, it’s a great way for homeowners to attract prospective guests and connect with past visitors.

Billions of people (potential guests!) use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to look for travel deals, conjure up dream vacations, and of course, find vacation rental reviews so they know where to stay.

Using social media for vacation rental also gives you an invaluable opportunity to interact with guests before and after their stay, and will lead to an enhanced, more personal experience for you and your visitors. Guests can even use social media to post their own pictures and experiences of their stay, which can provide you with free advertising on multiple platforms, shape your home’s “brand” and give it a greater internet presence.

Using Facebook for Your Vacation Rental

Screenshot of a Facebook business page for a mountain cabin vacation rental

Facebook is a great place to start with your social media efforts. Not only does it have 253 million users in North America alone, but it’s also uniquely suited for businesses. You can think of it as a ‘catch-all’ platform for travelers because it’s the hub for most ages and demographics.

You’ll want to create a Facebook business page for your vacation rental that is different from the one where you have “friends” now. You can share your favorite amenities (have a firepit for s’mores or a game room in the home?), photos of the rental, property reviews, and more. Be sure to include a link to your Evolve property listing on your page so that travelers can book your property when they’re ready!

To get marketing value out of a Facebook Page, you’ll need to post often and strategically (you can see what works best for your page in the insights section). Your insights page is completely unique to your business page and is only visible to you. You’ll get to see what days and times your followers are most active and what posts get the best response. These “insights” will help you plan out posts to get the most out of your page.

Out of all of the platforms, you can expect Facebook to attract the most guest inquiries and views. That’s because Facebook pages are often a one-stop-shop: they provide viewers with a place to see photos, learn about your vacation rental, see reviews from former guests, interact and engage with you, and so much more.

The more active you can be in providing professional and prompt customer service, the more people will be likely to book your property. Similar to listing sites, users can see how quickly pages reply to questions and messages, so being responsive is important!

Facebook best practices:

  • Stay active – we suggest posting about once a day
  • Post relevant, traveler-centric content – from links to events in your area to articles about how to pack
  • Respond to reviews, comments, and inquiries in a timely manner
  • Share seasonal photos so travelers can picture themselves at your home all year
  • Seek out local travel groups to share your property with people looking to visit your area
  • Invite your friends to like your property page – you never know who is looking for a getaway!

Using Instagram for Your Vacation Rental

Screenshot of an Instagram business account for a unique vacation rental

Instagram is a great platform to use to highlight the aesthetics of your home, especially for homes that have amazing views or incredible decor. Instagram is ideal for interacting with other users’ visual content.

Creating an Instagram for Business account and sharing pictures is just the first step. Instagram business accounts, like Facebook business pages, will give you more audience insights, as well as provide a space for potential guests and past visitors to interact specifically with your vacation rental brand. The content you share should show the best aspects of your home and promote photos taken and shared by your guests! You can also post photos of local attractions, your favorite spots around town, and pictures of your property. 

Hashtags are the best way for Instagram users to find your page. Add unique hashtags to your Instagram posts, but also use hashtags that relate to the content of the post, such as the town, the restaurant name, and anything else to make your post more searchable.

For example, if you’re posting a photo of your Pigeon Forge cabin, you can use hashtags like #pigeonforge #tennessee #pigeonforgecabin #vacationrentalcabin #tennesseevacation. You’ll also want to be sure to add your general location (like Pigeon Forge) to every post so that other people exploring pictures of that area will see your photo.

Branded hashtags and Instagram usernames are incredibly important for your online presence and brand awareness. For example, a quick search of @evolvevacationrental or #evolvevacationrental will reveal a ton of beautiful Evolve properties. To create a branded hashtag and username, think of something easy to read, short, and unique to your property. If your home has a name, then you should use that for the username (and branded hashtag!). If it doesn’t, just make sure that the username and branded hashtag you choose clearly convey what your property offers. Or start thinking of a fun name for your home!

Let your guests know that you have an Instagram account prior to their trip or upon arrival (include your account name in your welcome book!) so they can tag your property in their photos, or even use a branded hashtag. This is a great way to show future guests what it would be like to spend time at your rental. It also means that your current guest will be sharing your property with their own friends and family.

Instagram best practices:

  • Create a username and branded hashtag that is unique and relevant to your property
  • Include the link to your Evolve listing page in your account bio so that travelers can book your property
  • Use high-quality images to really make your page pop
  • Encourage guests to take pictures of their trip and share them on their own accounts (tagging your username and using your branded hashtag)
  • Promote guest generated content and reconnect with your guests by asking them to send you pictures from their stay and repost them
  • Add the location to all of your posts to get your content in front of other locals or people looking for recommendations

Using Twitter for Your Vacation Rental

Screenshot of Evolve's Twitter profile

While not quite as traveler-centric, Twitter is still a great way to network with other vacation rental homeowners and stay in the loop of breaking news and new advancements in vacation rental technology. It’s also a good way to find relevant content to either retweet or share on Facebook.

Twitter posts have a short lifespan, so the network is best used to share real-time updates and smaller announcements that may not be as relevant for the Facebook demographic.

As a homeowner, you should post content that is specific to your area and to your vacation rental. Have a free weekend that isn’t booked yet? Tweet out to guests that there’s still time to book. The county fair was just announced? Let your followers and other locals know the news.

Think of Twitter as less of a way to get more bookings and more of a way to become a voice for vacation rentals in your town and become part of a greater homeowner community. Share your wisdom, get advice from others, and interact directly with local businesses.

Twitter best practices:

  • Respond to (and tag @Evolve VR) tweets that mention your account promptly
  • Utilize tweets and direct messages for customer service
  • Add personal touches when replying to customers such as signing off with your name
  • Tweet pictures to boost engagement
  • Use hashtags in your tweets to give your account more exposure

Social media marketing gives your vacation rental the competitive advantage

As a vacation rental homeowner, you’re running a business. And your business is built on creating guest connections and guest experiences that are exactly what they wanted and more. Social media gives you the opportunity to accomplish this, although it does take a bit of work.

With that being said, we’d recommend only creating accounts on social media platforms that you know you’ll keep up with. There is nothing worse than a traveler finding your page and seeing that it hasn’t been updated in months. Without frequent updates, it may seem like property is no longer in operation.

If you do decide to take the plunge into the world of social media, we’d love to help make your time worthwhile. Be sure to tag and comment on our Evolve social media accounts as an extra way to boost your online presence. We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities to help share your posts and promote your property further:

We only succeed when our owners succeed, and we want to help provide the best tips to do so. Social media marketing is one of many strategies that can put your vacation rental in front of potential guests quickly and efficiently.

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