Social media has changed the way in which many of us find and book our holidays; more and more potential paying guests are now finding their holiday home accommodation provider through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where once upon a time they’d be at the local travel agent or reading about them in a glossy magazine or directory.
The question is no longer if you’re using social media as an agent or a cottage owner, it’s whether you’re utilising it to its maximum potential. With that in mind, here’re five very simple tips to increase your performance and generate more enquiries from your social media presence.
It’s good to find a niche and be targeted
All social media needs content; whether it’s 140 character tweets on Twitter, photos and some text for Facebook or that perfectly filtered image to go onto Instagram, content makes the world go round.
So how can you make that content more focused? By understanding who you’re targeting and thinking before anything you post, ‘would that person be interested in this content?’
Your holiday home will attract a certain type of person; if it’s ideal for young families then your content needs to be interesting and engaging to those with children. Are there soft play areas nearby? Is your cottage ram-packed with kids toys?
If it isn’t interesting to your target market, then it’s unlikely to stimulate response and intrigue.
A picture speaks a thousand words
No matter what platform you’re on, always try to include stimulating photography. It’s undoubtedly the easiest way to stand out from the crowd, and also sell your destination and accommodation. Consider stock-piling photography during the summer and brighter months which will tide you over during the winter. Many can become stuck for photos when the nights are longer and the leaves are long gone from the trees!
Timing is everything in social media
It’s important to understand the best times to post in order to boost the levels of interaction you gain. When it comes to Facebook, evenings (6.30pm – 10pm) are particularly effective. A massive amount of holiday research and bookings are made on a Sunday evening. If you’re not posting late in the afternoon or early in the evening on a Sunday, you could be missing out!
Twitter also buzzes during the evening when interaction is proven to be higher (people have more time having left the office for the day), whilst Instagram have done away with chronological post feeds meaning that post interaction is less dependent on timing (although first thing in the morning is still a winner!).
You’re more than just a holiday home (destination)
Holiday homeowners can sometimes come unstuck when trying to come up with content ideas. It doesn’t have to be just about your cottage, so worry not that you’ll need to be putting that same photo of the master bedroom up for a fourteenth time!
Visitors are likely to spend a good deal of time away from your cottage, so what is it that your area has to offer and how can you use this to entice potential guests? As much of the content you’re sharing should be about your destination as well as your property, and remember to make this all relevant to the person you’re trying to reach (as mentioned in our first point!) so it really strikes a chord and encourages an enquiry.
Be focused when it comes to advertising
Facebook make it incredibly simple and easy to advertise through their big blue boost buttons. Although it doesn’t mean that you need to be doing this recklessly. If you are considering boosting a post, then always consider if there’s any point to doing so before you do.
Trying to fill a week after a cancellation and have a special discount to encourage a booking, then fine, boost away!
Just posting an image and an update with no real call to action? Keep your money in your pocket!
Selectively boosting when there’s a distinct action you’re wanting the viewer to take can be extremely effective. By avoiding irrelevant post boosts you’ll have more spend to ensure it really works when you should be using it!
When holiday letting your second home to paying guests it’s essential to take advice on suitable insurance. Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday letting owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday letting property? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.