2 – Social Media Basics – Lesson 2- Being Social
Where nearly everyone goes wrong…
Pretty much all vacation rental owners go about tackling social media in the wrong way.
They advertise their property.
This may sound like the right thing to do but this is, in fact, anything but social and we are after all talking social media.
The following graphic sums up how people go about marketing their holiday property. Chances are you yourself are using one of the first four methods if you’re promoting your property online on Facebook, Twitter or one of the other platforms.
This type of marketing just does not work.
The only way to run a successful social media marketing campaign is to adopt the fifth strategy.
Cut the corporate, sell, sell, sell, approach.
In the next short video Clara Shih, a social media expert, sums it up by stating that relationship management works within social media whereas corporate speak does not .
When it comes to vacation rental marketing – “corporate speak” refers to the advertising of our property, it’s availabillity and it’s rates.
Do not concentrate your social media postings around your property, this is a great turn off and annoyance to people reading your posts.
In effect if that’s all that you do then you become a spammer and people ignore spammers so your time spent within social media is wasted.
Here’s a Twitter snapshot that I took when I searched “villa rental”
It consists of 6 consecutive micro adverts for various holiday properties across the globe.
I could have shown more. Twitter is full of these type of posts.
As you can see pretty much everyone is using social media to promote their property in exactly the same way that they used old marketing media.
As I said, this is what everybody does and how can you stand out from the crowd if you do the same as everybody else in the crowd?
Its just sell, sell, sell.
Things are just the same within Facebook
This owner orientated standpoint doesn’t bring any value to potential guests. In short, it’s antisocial rather than social.
There are better ways of going about this.
So what can we do?
We, as VR owners, need to refocus and become guest centric. We need to give potential guests what they want.
What do potential guests want?
Guests and potential guests hunger for information appertaining to their holiday, they want to know about the area in which they are going to stay. They want to know about the things they can do and see while on vacation. They want insiders tips, they want advice from a local expert. They want to know about your favourite beach and your favourite restaurant. They want you to listen to their questions. They want to be looked after. They want to get to know you.
How can you achieve these things?
Here’s a graphic that shows how social media should be done.
If you know what a potential guest is looking for its a lot easier to give that person what they want. If you give a person what they want you will find your conversions going up.
If you nurture relationships you will find yourself doing business with friends as opposed to trying to sell to strangers. This works on all levels and for all businesses.
It’s very easy to share other peoples content. In fact it is far easier to do this than to create your own content. When you share other peoples content you also build relationships with the original creator. The more relationships you build within social media the more others will share your content. When your content is shared, it’s more likely that potential guests will find it.
Just by adopting a non-sales prespective you will be joining leaders in this marketplace. As you could see from the twitter snapshot above nearly all holiday homeowners are following the same marketing model.
Adopt a different model and you will become a market leader overnight.
The real key to social media marketing success is to engage. If you see an image that you like give it a thumbs up or a plus or a re-tweet. If you read something that you agree with, comment on it. If you come across a post that you think potential guests will find useful, re-share it. This is the secret to gaining followers and bookings. Become engaging.
You need to be responsive. When others share, comment or contact you, you should respond as soon as possible. This is very simple as long as you own smartphone. Set notifications to alert you when others interact with you socially. Respond as soon as you can.
Be patient. You will not find overnight success with any social media campaign. You will have to be in this for the long run. Post regularly and be consistent in your offerings. Progress, as far as followers are concerned, will be slow at the outset. It takes time to build momentum. Set yourself a three month and six month plan.
You cannot conquer social media in a couple of weeks.
You do not need to write long heavyweight articles in order to succeed within social media but you do need to write regularly. A successful post can be anything from one sentence to a couple of paragraphs. The more often that you write and post the easier you will find writing.
One way to find plenty to write about is to concentrate on what’s on in your area. Anything from sports events to live bands playing in your area is newsworthy – and a lot in-between. If you are stuck for something to write about check your local paper for upcoming events and write about these.
Just be yourself. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. Post about things that you find interesting and you will find yourself posting interesting content that people will want to read.
― Cendrine Marrouat,