3 – Social Media Basics – Lesson 3- Make a plan
It’s time to make a plan
If you own a vacation rental property it’s not – IF social media, it’s not even – WHEN social media, you need to be planning a social media strategy NOW.
When it comes to vacation rental marketing in 2014 and beyond it’s not, “what you know”. It’s not even “who you know”, any more.
It’s who knows you that counts…
In the most basic terms, the more digital footprints that you leave across the web the more likely people are to come across them. This is why a lively social media presence is so beneficial. Every post is another footprint.
It pays to get your digital self out and about.
It pays to leave an impression. It pays to stomp right across social media.
The main players
The following graphic from Magiclogix is entitled Dos and Don’ts of social media but it really focuses on the pros and cons of each of the major platforms. have a good look at this document (click on it to read full size) and see our bullet points below.
Easy to use. Huge user base but a pretty closed system. Some owners swear by it. Some swear at the mention of it. Viral potential is low – Reach is poor, but with over a billion users it’s difficult to ignore.
High in noise and spam but can pay dividends if used correctly. Great for searching for guests looking for a holiday in your area. Good for finding content to use in your marketing campaign. Not so good as a sole platform of choice. Ugly to look at.
Over 240 million users. Lots of vacation rental groups with lively discussions. Better platform for meeting other owners as opposed to guests.
By far the platform of choice for lending itself to vacation rental marketing. The only platform in the chart that gets 4 thumbs up. More and more users joining every day. Brands coming onboard too. SEO benefits outweigh all other platforms. Easy to use. Lots under the hood. Looks great too.
No good as a platform of choice but too many views to ignore. Bear in mind that this is the second largest search engine on the planet. Think about making some videos showcasing your property and area and let them simmer on the back burner of Youtube. Pay attention to your video titles, descriptions, bio and SEO. Steady views and website referrals will follow.
We wouldn’t really go as far as calling Flickr a social network but it does help if you upload your photos to various photo sharing websites as many people search images within Google, Bing, etc. Optimise image file names before uploading though.
Although it only gets one thumbs up in the above chart Instagram can be used to put your offering in front of the millions of users on the platform. We live in an image hungry age and Instagram can feed this hunger, you just need to understand what type of food to offer at their table. More on this here – Instagram marketing for vacation rental owners
Once again the pinboarding site only receives one thumbs up in this graphic but this SM platform is very well-suited to vacation vacation rental marketing. It has a large , active, user base and if you can share a good supply of excellent looking images you can prosper in the shape of re-pins and build brand awareness. More on holiday rental marketing and Pinterest here
Reddit is not particularly suitable for vacation rental marketing and we would not suggest using this platform for our purposes.
Somewhat of a maverick Tumblr is quite different too many other platforms. A mixture of student art , interior design and random porn, it really is a mishmash of all sorts. Saying that it has a huge user base and there is no harm in posting to the site.
To be honest we haven’t had any dealings with slideshow so are not really in a position to make recommendations or otherwise. But with 60 million monthly visitors it could well be worth putting together a slideshow showing highlights of your property and region.
Who’s engaging where?
There is little point in spending time on social media networks unless you get some engagement. This engagement is our social ROI, our digital word of mouth if you like, and we should all base our “what platform to use?” decisions around this engagement.
Once again Google plus comes out ahead of the pack of the mini blogging platforms.
What to do?..
Here are some good starting points
Some of this graphic refers to blogging but bear in mind that posting to Google plus is mini blogging. Google loves hyper freshness and what better way to keep both Google and your readership happy than by posting regularly. Writing a full blog post is time consuming and pretty difficult to get into the habit of. Mini blogging is posting snackable bite size posts of interest, on an almost daily basis.
It’s easier to do, is more interesting and has more SEO value.
Cherry pick from the following soundbites from ReferralCandy,
Now that you are getting an idea of what to post ask yourself , when are the best times to post your social media content?
Views differ slightly but as a rough guide these times will work best for you.
Facebook: Weekdays 6 a.m.- 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
Google+: 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Twitter: On weekends from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Pinterest: On Saturday from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
LinkedIn: 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
Blog: Monday, Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m.
Why make a plan?
If you are still in doubt about any of this just listen to what Seth Godin has to say here.