In our How to… guides, we take a look at how you can get the most out of your vacation rentals website, in this post we’ll look at how to get started with a social presence through Facebook.
From humble beginnings at Harvard University as a side project for computing student Mark Zuckerberg to compare fellow alumni, Facebook has grown into the world’s number one platform for social networking, boasting over 1.06 billion user worldwide and even its’ own feature film. From pictures of friends and peoples latest purchases or meal; to big business harnessing Facebook to convey their brand values and sales expertise; everyone seems to be on there, sharing information.
So with over 42 million pages already set up, you might be wondering if it’s worth your while adding to that number. The answer is undoubtedly yes! A number of high profile questions have been asked of Facebook over the last twelve months, with the IPO valuation falling far short of expectations and General Motors notoriously slashing their budget for their paid search activities on the platform, but you shouldn’t let this put you off. Creating a fan page for your agency is fantastic for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it gives your agency a social voice; you can communicate more directly with individual customers and allow them to communicate with you, it opens up a direct dialogue with someone who is interested in your brand. This interaction can be priceless not only with the potential customer in question, but also anyone viewing the interaction on your page; it demonstrates that your agency listens and responds to its’ customers, which has obvious conformational benefits.
It’s important not to simply sell constantly on your page, a regular flow of blog content, images from the areas surrounding your properties and updates about the team should be interspersed with special offers and competitions, in addition to sales-related posts. In doing this, you are more likely to get your posts commented-on and shared, which brings an obvious benefit; expanding your reach. <The more people that share your content and tag themselves (and those holidaying with them) with your brand, the more potential interactions can be created. If a party of 6 are staying at one of your properties and one member of the party tags your agency along with every member of the party, then your brand would be appearing on the wall of (a conservative estimate) of 1200 people.
A further benefit is that of the potential SEO value of social presence in general. Google have confirmed that social signals now form part of their algorithm for the order in which results are displayed, and Microsoft are pushing Facebook results within their Bing search returns. So it will be advantageous for any agency to get a Facebook fan page for a number of reasons, but how to do it?
- Go to this page and register your business: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
- Once this page has 25 fans, you will get the URL for your page: facebook.com/yourURL
- As mentioned, it’s important to vary your content with images, questions, competitions and team updates as well as sales messages
- Studies have shown that your Affinity score (Affinity is a score of how ‘friendly’ you are with a brand or person, so how often you interact with them) can be positively influenced through posts beginning with questioning words like ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘would’ and ‘why’, so it would be a good idea to use these in your posts
- Images are always popular items for sharing, so vibrant location-based shots would be advantageous
- If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could hire a Facebook developer to build you a page for your timeline. It is a more expensive option, but they do look great. Starbucks have a good example of a custom designed Facebook page
- Then you’re ready to go, just keep posting, interacting and sharing.
And there you have it; a brief overview of how Facebook can drive real value for your business. It takes time to build the page, to collect a following and to spare a few minutes each day to monitor and interact with it, but the rewards are there for all to see, quite literally. There really is nothing not to “Like”…….
Looking for a new vacation rental website to acompany your social networking? Kigo can build one with the best vacation rental software & channel manager on the market today to convert your new-found online fans into sales. Get in touch with us at [email protected] or on the phone (Spain) +34 512 702 105 ‧ (France) +33 1 84 17 04 18 ‧ (USA) +1 (786) 292-0030
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