Monday, June 2, 2014

Current Trends In Vacation Rentals - Social Media

The vacation rental industry has been slow to adopt social media marketing, mostly because of the difficulty in measuring and determining success. However, the benefits of a vacation rental social media presence far outweigh any perceived lack of return on investment. The world is now truly connected by social media networks. Facebook alone, with over a billion users, has proven that to be a fact. Any business that chooses to ignore social media going forward does so at their own peril. Unseen threats aside, social media marketing does provide a number of benefits, which may not be readily apparent to the vacation rental homeowner, manager, or agent.


Benefits of a Social Media Presence for Vacation Rental


1 - Listening

Brands are being talked about 24/7 across a variety of social media networks. Your customers, both past and future, are present on social platforms talking about their vacation experiences. The talk is always happening and it can be both good and bad. It is better to be aware of the conversations rather than ignorant of them. Having the ability to listen in on what your target audience is saying is also very empowering from the perspective of knowing what their expectations and desires are and being able to meet and exceed them. Social media provides valuable marketing intelligence.


2 - Branding

Social media gives your company the ability to express to your target audience the true character of your properties and the surrounding areas as a desirable destination. Sharing information about the locations of your properties and other information you find of interest will help the audience understand and maybe even relate to the content you are sharing. This will lead to connection and interaction between your vacation rental home brand and the target audience, leading to the audience considering your properties when it comes time for vacation. This is how social media works. It is indirect and hard to measure, but works for those willing to make the effort. Having an established brand helps build a trust factor as well and will authenticate your company as not being part of a vacation rental scam.


3 - SEO (Search Engine Optimization)  

This is a complicated subject that will be covered in more detail in a future blog, but social media is vitally important to any company’s search engine rankings. Those rankings, as determined by Google, are heavily weighed in favor of listings with a large volume of inbound links to their website. The number of these inbound links is driven up by having a vibrant presence on social networks with fans and followers talking and linking about the brand. Without a social media presence, there is a real danger for a brand to become virtually invisible to search engines.

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