Having a Facebook page can give outstanding exposure to your Airbnb rental if used right. For example, my guests log on to our wifi either by signing up with Facebook (and like our page) or by supplying their email address and password. In truth, there are a ton of ways you can use Facebook (along with your own website) and other social media tools to promote your Airbnb / Expedia / Booking.com property and save yourself a ton of money on booking fees from online travel agencies.
- 1. Facebook & Social Media = Branding
- 2. Steps to take in promoting your Airbnb listing
- 3. Use Super Engaging Cover Photos
- 4. Use compelling Calls to Action
- 5. Ensure your phone number and contact details are prominent
- 6. Ensure you’re listed on all Social Media Channels
- 7. Promote Special Offers
- 8. Consider Facebook Ads & Targeted Likes
- 9. Build a Custom Audience on Facebook (what’s that?!)
- 10. Use a Facebook Chatbot to Promote your Airbnb Property
- Further Questions
1. Facebook & Social Media = Branding
It’s easy to set up a Facebook page to try and promote your Airbnb listing. It can be done in 5 minutes, but actually using it to generate value for your property is your key objective.
Well because having a social media presence around your business builds trust and confidence in your customers. It’s almost like reviews. If people can see that others have stayed with you and had a great experience, they’re far more likely to book. In internet speak this is called “social proof”.
Of course, it isn’t just Facebook that’s particularly suitable for promoting your Airbnb property, Instagram is also a fantastic way of gaining good traction and raising awareness if you post regularly.
This is especially true if you have a property in a very visually appealing location.
Every time I visit my apartments I take photos of the views of the balconies, and occasionally these photos have been a digital marketing dream and actually gone viral. But even just something as simple as publishing your reviews can have a MASSIVE impact.
For example, the post below included two reviews, and got 1,200 likes and 33 shares! Which went on to generate 5 direct booking inquiries.
Generally speaking though, images obviously make the best content for Instagram and also for Facebook. They draw people in and inject life into your property. And will people check your Facebook page out? Heck Yes! – ODM group found that 74% of buying decisions were influenced by social media. You can check this article here.
2. Steps to take in promoting your Airbnb listing
I would recommend the following schedule for promoting your Airbnb listing on Social Media.
- Once a week, a really great photo captured at dawn, dusk, or at another time your property looks really nice. Another good idea is to focus on features or upgrades you’ve made to your property. If you’ve just had your bathrooms renovated – tell people! These make great subjects to post.
- Use a Social Media Scheduler to schedule posts. There are many available tools and they’re listed here.
- Whenever you get a positive review, post it on Facebook. People love good news.
- (More on this later) but publish news about offers and discounts, particularly for direct bookings made on your website.
- Publish, once a month or so, just something funny and engaging. It doesn’t have to be about your brand, it can be anything to make people smile because they’ll associate it with your page. Postplanner.com is a great tool for this.
I would suggest that if you are posting 5-10 pieces of content per week this will be enough to engage your audience, but not too much to annoy them.
3. Use Super Engaging Cover Photos
A cover photo of the best photo in your property is probably a good idea. This is what we have on our Facebook page. It’s not the best photo in the world, but it’s good enough to give our audience something realistic and pretty attractive to look at and most importantly a flavor of the style of our properties.
4. Use compelling Calls to Action
A “Call To Action” or a CTA is a piece of text or an image that invites the visitor to take action. The image on the right shows a Facebook call to action button.
You might think: Do they work? Well yes. They do. For one thing, Facebook’s a pretty smart company, so they wouldn’t use them if they didn’t work. But let me give you another example. If you saw a text link on a website that said “don’t click here” what’s the first thing you’d do? Click it. Right?
The mind subconsciously follows prompts like this (see this article on entrepreneur.com) and this is why CTAs are important, and they can easily be simple CTAs in posts. For example “Click Here To Read More”, but you must make that call to action. If you don’t it’s a bit like taking someone for a test drive in a car, but not asking if they want to buy it.
5. Ensure your phone number and contact details are prominent
It sounds simple, but make sure that your address, phone number, email address, and website are featured prominently, ideally multiple times. You could and should use these as part of a Facebook post. Remember, the idea of the Facebook page isn’t just for fun, it’s to attract people to book.
An interesting truth about the “buying” process is that almost 60% of all people would buy but don’t buy because it’s hard for them to buy – there isn’t an unobtrusive process for them to complete the transaction. I.E. make it easy for people to engage with you. Remove all roadblocks as this article discusses, and make sure your contact information and links to your direct booking website are appropriately placed on your page and in your articles.
6. Ensure you’re listed on all Social Media Channels
The more channels you are listed on, the great authority your website, and hence your direct booking chances will be. Ensure you’re on all of these, and that you post consistently and regularly. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are great because the content stays on the site (at least for a while). Tweets, on the other hand, get buried in minutes.
And they are in this order of importance as Pinterest is now seen as a far higher driver of traffic than Twitter so it’s worthwhile taking a look at this.
7. Promote Special Offers
Whenever you’re running a special offer on one of the online travel agencies, run it on your social media pages as well. If you are clever with how you get your Facebook “likes” (more on this in point 8) then this will gain traction. Especially around the holiday season when people have family coming to visit.
8. Consider Facebook Ads & Targeted Likes
I have invested a couple of $100 on growing a Facebook audience, but rather than just shooting in the dark, I have specifically targeted only people living within a 10-mile radius of our apartments. This means that when people are having friends and family to stay they will be aware of us. We found this to get much more traction and uptake than targeting by interest, for example.
In this example, we have used Stratford-Upon-Avon as our target location, and Facebook tells us that we will reach between 3 and 9 thousand people per day. This would build an excellent, highly appropriate audience of people in your area that you can engage with and generate bookings from.
9. Build a Custom Audience on Facebook (what’s that?!)
You can build an audience on Facebook by installing what’s called a Facebook pixel on your website. Please see this post on what’s a Facebook pixel or watch this short video.
What this means is that anyone who does visit your website will have their profile stored in your Facebook audience. This means that, for example, if you are running Facebook advertising campaigns or buying page likes, once you have a sizeable audience, you can specifically target people who have already engaged with your website (they are much more likely to engage with your brand than people who don’t know you) and directly appeal to potential guests..
10. Use a Facebook Chatbot to Promote your Airbnb Property
Chatbot growth is accelerating fast. It uses pre-programmed questions that a user is likely to ask and answers them in real time. For example, you could ask a chatbot:
- What’s your phone number
- What’s your web address
- Where is your booking link
- How many bedrooms does your property have
- How many toilets does your property have
It’s pretty cool technology and has a high rate of capturing email addresses, and other contact information, meaning you can convert people into direct bookers. People generally like speedy answers to questions, and this is one great way of making your Facebook page much more dynamic,
Here’s an example of a chatbot below:
I hope that this article has provided some useful suggestions on how to use Facebook to help promote your listing and give your Airbnb or Booking.com business a boost.
If you have any questions or comments, do let us know here – we’d love to hear from you!
Above all: Remember these two golden rules when you use Facebook to promote your Airbnb
For Facebook to work for your Airbnb or short-term rental:
- Publish regularly (in the 1980s Xerox in the USA studied the number of times it took a sales rep to contact a client to make a sale. The answer was 7 times. The same applies here. People may not react to one post, but if they see consistent, high-quality posts, this will generate interest).
- Publish screen-shots of your reviews (this is called social proof). This shows that you’re the real deal and builds trust in your proposition.
Q: I’m sure most people have Facebook pages for their Airbnb, how can I make my Facebook page really stand out?
A: Well firstly no, the vast majority of people on Airbnb don’t have a Facebook page, they don’t even have a website. They stick to the Airbnb platform because it’s convenient, and they don’t try and create a business. I’ve checked over 100 listings randomly and found 1 with an obvious website.
Secondly, to answer the question, of how to make your page really stand out, just make the content really high quality. For the most part, this means using really, really good pictures, but it also means using hashtags “#”, for example, #Airbnb #StratfordAponAvon
Q: I don’t have my own website. Is this expensive to build? Who can I contact?
A: No this is neither difficult nor expensive. We make them! So you can contact us here.
Q: Will Airbnb penalize me for having my own website?
A: No! Airbnb has a ranking algorithm just like all the other booking websites, but from extensive research, I have done, I have never heard it suggested that you will ever be penalized for having your own website.
Q: What are other ways I can generate my own direct bookings?
A: We have a whole post on exactly this subject with 12 things you can do. Click here to read and enjoy!
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