10 Facebook tips for Holiday Rentals
One-third of the global population is on Facebook and each user spends an average of 41 minutes on Facebook every day. There’s never been a platform with this kind of global reach, and when used right it can successfully contribute to the success of your holiday rentals business by allowing you to reach potential customers across the world.
We know that engagement continues to be the most significant ranking factor in Facebook, and although organic reach continues to decline for businesses, there are ways you can beat this. In order to be favoured by the Facebook ranking algorithm, you’ll need to post engaging content that your followers will want to comment, share and like. Getting your posts seen by more people will increase your organic reach and you’ll spend less money to reach your target audience.
The following tips will help you to create interesting, entertaining and valuable content for your followers, which will help you boost engagement on your Facebook business page. This will ultimately help you to generate more leads and bookings from Facebook.
We are assuming you have already created your Facebook business page – if you need help creating one, click here.
1_ Be social, not salesy
Keep in mind that Facebook is a social platform where people are looking to connect with their family and friends, around shared interests, they are not there to be sold to.
57.5% of people who unfollow a brand on Facebook do so because of an excessive amount of promotional posts. Make sure you think like a consumer first and a marketer second, and offer valuable content, not just offers and promotional posts.
Don’t just post the links to your holiday rental properties over and over again, with a call to action to “book now!”. Use good quality photos or videos, and write your posts in a way that either entertains or provides value to your guests.
Inspire people to come and stay, ask questions and show curated content like news and articles about your region/town. Offer content that is both relevant and useful to your guests.
2_ It’s about the lifestyle and the experience
Don’t post about the obvious, people can tell it’s a villa with a pool from the photos, instead post about details that make it special and of how your guests can enjoy it. Use your customer reviews to describe the experience; potential guests will relate to this more than with a thorough description of all the amenities.
Mention the things they can do, like enjoying a barbecue while watching the gorgeous sunset, or having cocktails at their own private pool terrace, and post it along with pictures that “tell that story”.Share seasonal photos so that potential guests can picture themselves at the property at various times of the year.
Don’t be afraid to make it personal and highlight special features that you love about the property, like the handmade terracotta tiles on the terrace, or the vintage wood burning stove that warms up the place in the Winter.
3_ Leverage guest-generated content
A great way to create content is by posting photographs that your guests have taken at your property (make sure you get their permission to share and tag them in). By tagging them in the photos, the post will be visible to both your followers and your guest’s friends.
This is an incredibly powerful way to enhance your page’s exposure to a wider audience while providing valuable social proof for your properties. It also helps potential guests to better visualize themselves enjoying your rental and can lead to bookings.
4_ Be sociable and engaging
Make sure you post at least once a day and responding to the comments, reviews and inquiries in a timely manner. Build goodwill and make them feel heard, in return, they will likely comment and share your Facebook posts in the future.
Start a conversation, by asking questions to kick off an active comments thread. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- How do you pack for your holiday?
- Are you a beach bum or a city slicker?
- Are you a pool or a beach person?
- What are your top 3 tips to keep the kids entertained on the plane?
- Name your favourite holiday destination?
- What’s your favourite [fill in the blank]?
Asking questions is a good way to offer your followers a chance to share their thoughts while gaining insight into who they are and what they like.
5_ Don’t ask for likes and shares
Tempting as it may be to ask your followers to like and share your carefully crafted posts, this is a practice that Facebook frowns upon.
Facebook calls it engagement bait and will downrank your posts in the News Feed. As suggested above, you can ask questions and opinions but not solicit likes and shares.
6_ Quality photos – the best investment you’ll ever make
We often see even large holiday rentals companies posting amateur quality photography of their properties. If you think you’re saving money by not hiring a professional photographer, think again. Professional photography will make your properties stand out from the crowded Facebook feed, improve your page’s engagement and will ultimately result in bookings.
Good photography will also provide excellent material to post on social media, so don’t just take the standard pictures of the various rooms. Ask your photographer to take pictures of special details that can be used to tell stories about the property or inspire your guests on how it can be enjoyed.
Hiring a professional photographer is an investment you cannot pass out on as it will give your rental properties a much more professional feel, and will instil confidence in your prospects to book.
7_ Don’t just post about the properties, sell the location
Chances are your prospects are indecisive about their holiday destination, this is why you shouldn’t just be focusing on the amenities your properties offer. What makes this destination a desirable place to visit? Your future guests will want to know this.
The best way to get exposure is by producing content people will be interested in and will want to share on Facebook. Position your company as a specialist in your area, and become a credible source for traveller oriented, and location specific content.
Here are some ideas for shareable content:
- Top things to do while holidaying with kids
- Local family-friendly restaurants guide
- Top vegan or healthy food eateries around
- Timely links to local events
- The best historical spots and attractions
- The top 7 things they should do while holidaying in your town
- Best kept secrets that only the locals will know
- The most romantic spots in your area
- A guide to the best beaches in your region
- The active guide to your town with the best spots to exercise outdoors
- The best shopping spots.
These types of posts establish your credibility in your location while offering travellers good reasons to come visit and stay at your rental properties.
8_ The best time to post on Facebook
Pointing to a specific day and time to post for optimal engagement is tricky as it will vary based on your audience’s daily routines. You can easily find out when your audience is online surfing their social feeds by checking your Facebook page Insights. However, that doesn’t tell you if they will likely engage with your content in a meaningful way.
To answer this and many other questions Buzzsumo analyzed 777 Million Facebook posts in 2018 to find the most engaging pages, brands, and videos. They concluded that Sunday was the best day for engagement, so if you’re sticking to a Monday to Friday posting schedule you may be hurting your page’s potential to engage with your followers.
Why don’t you schedule some of your strongest offers and content for Sunday to test how it performs? It may not work for your audience, but odds are that it will. Most people are off work on Sundays and will be able to take more time in scrolling their feed and engaging with your page’s content.
9_ Facebook Stories
Facebook Stories are user-generated ephemeral photo and video collections that appear at the very top of the News Feed. It relies on visuals to tell a “story” and once posted, will remain viewable for 24 hours. After that, it disappears. More than 150 million people use Facebook Stories across the world.
Facebook Stories offers an informal way of sharing content with your page’s followers, outside of the News Feed. The quality expectation is lower and you can use it as a more personal and in-the-moment way to build a stronger personal connection with your followers.
You can use Facebook stories to:
- Capture moments in the day
- Show guest-generated photos/posts
- Show behind the scenes of your business
- Offer traveller tips
- Share local restaurants
- Share important updates and announcements
- Promote limited time offers
- Share dates for upcoming events and things to do
Is it really worth it to produce yet another type of content for Facebook? it’s increasingly difficult to reach your followers through the feed, even if you’re producing awesome content it may not be seen by your audience. Your story will appear in the stories feed at the top of the screen for your audience to see so you’re increasing the likelihood of it being seen. It can be a great way to re-engage a passive audience, so we recommend you try it out.
You can share stories from the Facebook app or you can link Facebook and Instagram accounts and your Instagram Stories are automatically posted to your Facebook Page.
10_ People gaze five times longer at video than at static posts
Unsurprisingly, video continues to outperform any other post types, and if viewed for any significant amount of time, it’s considered to be a meaningful interaction. Attention may seem scarce and diluted to less than that of a Goldfish, but most people find it easier to pay attention to video than to static images.
The appeal of video is undeniable and millennials are fuelling the continued growth of video as global connectivity is becoming faster and more affordable. In a crowded Facebook News Feed, you need to do whatever it takes to stand out, and video seems to be the answer.
Although Facebook’s maximum video length is 240 Minutes (4hrs), the optimal Facebook video length is much shorter than that – between 3 and 5 minutes. People are pressed for time and on the go, so shorter length videos will stand a better chance of being viewed and shared.
Facebook knows that that 65% of people who watch the first three seconds of a video will watch for at least ten seconds, and 45% continue watching for thirty seconds. So It’s critical to connect with your audience and capture attention straight away. Facebook suggests front-loading your videos with lifestyle and product shots to create interest, and to use scenes with action or vivid backgrounds. Also, carefully consider your video thumbnail images and titles to hook people into your story.
How can you use video to promote your business on Facebook? Here are a few ideas:
- Share quick video tours of your holiday rental properties,
- Show the neighbourhood or the town,
- Highlight special spots and things your guests’ can do and visit.
- Show drone footage of the area to highlight the amazing location of the property
- Capture special moments of the day in video, like a stunning sunset and share it live on Facebook.
Bonus Tip_ Watch other Facebook Pages
It can be helpful to learn from other Facebook Pages, and yes that includes your competitors, to see what’s working for them. The Pages to Watch feature allows you to compare the performance of your Facebook Page with other pages at a glance. To access Pages to Watch, just go to your Facebook Page Insights and scroll down to the bottom of the Overview tab. You will easily be able to check out your competitor’s top posts by clicking on their Page name.
Every 60 seconds on Facebook, there are 317,000 status updates, 400 new users, 147,000 photos uploads and 54,000 shared links. These are pretty big numbers to compete with, so you have a very short window of time to make an impression on your followers as well as those you want to attract to your page. Keeping your content relevant, interesting and appealing is, therefore, a priority.
We hope this guide has helped you, but if you need professional help to spark up your Facebook strategy and content, reach out to us. We’ll be delighted to discuss how we can help you take your holiday rentals business to the next level.