Online Tools and Social Media
As well as your LetStayAnywhere.com advert, there are other online ways to market your holiday let. A purpose-built website and social media are both very effective online marketing tools, allowing information about your property to reach a big audience without huge expense.
Your own website
Setting up a website is an optional promotional tool you can use to complement your LetStayAnywhere.com advert. Your website can include multiple pages to showcase all aspects of your holiday home and provide extra information. It also gives the impression that your business is professional.
Use your website as extra marketing to supplement your advert on LetStayAnywhere.com. Relying on your own website alone can be risky as to get it to the top of the search engines for the right keywords requires specialist search engine optimization skills – if you don’t have these skills yourself you would need to be prepared to pay for them.
There are many simple website builders (some are free) that ave templates designed especially for holiday home owners.
Alternatively you can employ a web designer to draw up and build your website. Make sure the designer incorporates user-friendly editing facilities on the website so that you can update information yourself.
Use large text (12 point minimum, 14 or 16 is better) and a clear typeface (Arial, Univers or Verdana are the easiest to read). Avoid red text and use contrasting background and text. For more ideas on website accessibility, check out the Website Accessibility Initiative.
Social media is the buzz word in online marketing at the moment with Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts at the forefront of many businesses. So it makes sense for holiday homeowners to use these networks for extra promotion – and they’re free.
Many holiday home owners have started using social media as a way of communicating with previous and potential guests to promote their holiday rental. It is an easy and cost effective way to generate new interest in your business.
Before you begin, you need to set realistic goals and expectations for your social marketing and then put in place tactics to meet those goals. Here are a few questions to consider:
- Is your goal to reach new travellers or to communicate with returning guests?
- Do you want to try to market locally or nationally?
- Would you consider yourself a success if you are engaging with people who love your rental or do you need to drive enquiries to feel that social marketing is worth your time?
Your time and effort on social marketing engagement should determine what type of social media channel you should use.
LetStayAnywhere.com uses Twitter and Facebook regularly to promote new homes, special offers, properties with amazing views and much more.
Twitter – essentially a micro-blogging site where millions of people provide and exchange information. It can be an ideal platform to give information, news and updates about your property and the area, and share tips on renting with fellow holiday homeowners. Short snippets of information and conversation starters are the essence of Twitter. You can read those posted by the broadest range of people and companies (local and national tourist boards, food and sports specialists as well as newspapers) all in one place.
- Finding potential travellers and promoting your property
- Connecting with local businesses and media (many journalists and bloggers now use Twitter)
- Publishing short updates about your business and links to other relevant sites and news
Medium if you want to build an active and engaged network
How to create a new Twitter account:
Go to www.twitter.com, click the Join the conversation! green box. Create a username and password. Enter a valid email address, type in the security code and then click ‘I accept, Create my Account’.
When you sign up for Twitter, you need to compile a short bio (160 characters) and you can include a link to a website – it’s a good idea to include your LetStayAnywhere.com quicklink here. Your posts (tweets) are limited to 140 characters so your information needs to be short and sweet, but you can add links to photos and webpages for added value.
Facebook – sites like Facebook act more like a mini website because you can create a page dedicated to your holiday property and post images, videos, news and text on it. These then appear on the news feed of those people who are a ‘fan’ of your page. As with Twitter, you can include a link to your LetStayAnywhere.com advert via your quicklink. Keep your Facebook page up to date and add new content regularly. Maintaining an active presence means your page will receive more visits and potentially more bookings.
- Connecting with past guests
- Finding potential guests and promoting your property
- Connecting with other owners and holiday rental-related businesses
- Publishing a variety of content types (photos, links, videos, stories, etc) in one location
- Using it as a website if you don’t currently have one
- To get the most out of Facebook, create a page, not a profile or a group for your business
Initially low, if your page grows significantly and is very active, then medium
How to create a new Facebook account:
Go to the www.facebook.com and look on the right, you should see ‘Sign up! It’s free, and always will be’. Enter your personal details with a valid email address and password. Enter the security code if prompted and confirm your account
YouTube – is a video-sharing website that allows users to upload and showcase their videos to millions of other users. Users can then rate, comment, share and add videos as favourites.
- Showcasing videos about your rental and the area where your rental is located
Low to medium depending on how intricate you want your videos to be and whether you’ll spend time filming and editing versus hiring someone
How to create a new YouTube account:
Go to the www.YouTube.com, click on ‘Create Account’ button in upper-right corner of the home page. Fill out the personal information and continue. Login or create a Google Account. They are free and required to get a YouTube account. Decorate your YouTube page. On your profile page, you can add a main picture and your own background, among other things. Upload your video file. Upload by clicking upload, finding the video file, and clicking open.