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Mastering social media for short-term rentals: key strategies and insights

Social media is a powerful tool for attracting guests to your short-term rentals. By creating engaging content and interacting with your audience, you can showcase your properties and build trust with potential renters.

Alice, our Social Media Manager (and Bristolian ball of energy), recently spoke to Derry Green, Touch Stay user and owner of multi-award winning The Secret Garden Glamping. With a staggering 820,000 followers across its social channels (and up to a two-year waiting list!), The Secret Garden is officially the most-booked glampsite in the UK!

During their conversation, the two social media experts unpack key strategies and insights to help you leverage social media effectively. Watch the webinar here or read on for key takeaways:

Timestamped insights:

  • 1:01 🏁 Re-evaluate your objectives for social media: it's important to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to measure your progress. For example, you can set a target for the number of followers you want to gain in a specific timeframe.

  • 5:21 🎯 Identify your target audience: you should know your target audience inside out, including their age, location, income, job title, industry interests, etc.

  • 7:01 👀 Match your target audience to the right social media platform: consider the demographics that use each platform. For example, Facebook tends to skew towards an older audience, while Instagram and TikTok tend to have younger demographics.

  • 22:21 📈 Audit your current social media content: look at what content performed well in the past and what resonated with your audience. You can then reuse these ideas and pick up on trends.

Finding inspiration and creating engaging content

Finding inspiration and creating engaging content is the cornerstone of social media success. Here are some key strategies to keep your content fresh and interesting:

  • Stay on top of trends: explore trending topics and hashtags to ensure your content remains relevant and discoverable. Consider using social media management services, like LaterHootsuite or Sprout Social that offer trend reports to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Focus on storytelling: craft narratives that showcase the experiences guests can have at your rentals. This approach is more inspiring than purely promotional content.
  • Offer educational content: share tips, insights, and local recommendations relevant to your short-term rental niche. Position yourself as a valuable resource for potential guests.
  • Embrace transparency: share your story and the reasons behind your business to connect with guests on a personal level.

Optimising your content for maximum engagement

Once you've created great content, you need to optimise it to reach the right audience and maximise engagement. Here's how:

  • Balance promotion and value: ensure all content, promotional or informative, aligns with your overall strategy and offers value to your audience.
  • Hook viewers from the start: grab attention with the initial content, whether informative or entertaining, to get viewers interested in your brand.
  • Optimise for the algorithm: social media platforms prioritise engaging content. High-performing content gets shown to more people.
  • Schedule your social media posts: utilise scheduling tools to plan your content calendar and reduce workload.
  • Track and analyse your performance: monitor what resonates with your audience to refine your strategy and optimise future content.
  • Engage with your community: respond to comments and messages to build relationships with potential guests. Foster discussions and encourage user-generated content.

Content strategy and targeting your audience

A targeted content strategy is key to reaching the right guests for your short-term rentals. Here are some tactics to consider:

  • Leverage comments to boost engagement: actively respond to comments and questions to spark conversations and keep viewers on your social media pages longer. This lengthier engagement is a positive signal to social media algorithms.
  • Tailor content to the platform: different platforms cater to different content styles. Short, punchy videos are ideal for Tik Tok, while longer narratives with high-quality visuals may work better on Instagram.
  • Repurpose content across platforms: take your best-performing Tik Tok videos and adapt them for Instagram and Facebook. This leverages successful content while reducing overall content creation time.
  • Embrace a ‘learning by doing’ approach: don't be afraid to experiment with different content formats. Trial and error helps you discover what works best for your audience and brand.
  • Authenticity is key: highly produced content is not always necessary. User-generated content and behind-the-scenes glimpses can be more relatable and trustworthy for potential guests.

Additional tips

  • Consider a paid social media strategy: while organic reach is important, paid advertising can help you target a wider audience.
  • Multiple properties with different audiences: if you manage multiple properties with distinct target audiences, consider creating separate social media profiles for each or utilise content specific to each property within a single profile.
  • Focus on consistency: regularly post high-quality content that is engaging and informative for your target audience. Consistency is key for building brand awareness and attracting guests.

By following these strategies and insights, you can leverage social media to effectively market your short-term rentals, connect with potential guests, and ultimately drive bookings. Remember, the key is to create a balance between informative and promotional content, presented in an engaging way that aligns with your brand identity.

For more social media inspiration, check out our blog: 101 social media marketing ideas to promote your vacation rental property.

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