As you may have read in previous posts, using Instagram for my vacation rentals gets me leads and eventually bookings (If you missed these posts, read about Kim Kardahsian, Instagram and me or about my Instagram tool list.)
I am not the only one to use Instagram, a social media network that frequent travelers use en masse. And not just teenagers.
So, our marketing manager Baron has contacted 5 experts and asked them this simple question: “How do you use Instagram in your vacation rental business?“.
1 – We use Instagram to share pics and tips about Florence.
Lorenzo Fagnoni – @apartmentsflorenceit
Instagram is one of the most growing social media channels for us. We know that people like to use this network to make travel plans. We use it to share pics and tips about Florence, according to our editorial plan throughout all other social channels. We work in cooperation with influencers and bloggers who have a huge following on their Instagram accounts, in order to increase our visibility and our followers.
Our Instagram followers are from all around the world, but especially from Brazil because we work a lot with Brazilian influencers. We are also very interested in the new ways Facebook offers to advertise on Instagram. We are sure Instagram can be a place to increase brand awareness and drive conversions. For us it is second place after giant Facebook.
2 – We want to give a visual marker of our standards, what guests can expect from our site.
Nikki Woodson Blair – @clanventure
We have a few goals with Instagram… first, we want to share our own personal photos, highlighting life with kids. This helps us establish authority since we are marketing to families. Moms trust other moms. It also gives our company a real face and builds trust with our guests. We also use Instagram to promote our blog posts, using hashtags to get maximum exposure.
Once our website is finished and our properties are featured on the website, we want to use Instagram to highlight the best of our homes, especially the family-friendly amenities they offer, such as a beautifully designed bunk room or a vignette of the pool as seen from the safety gate.
We want to give a visual marker of our standards — what guests can expect from our site. We are excited too to use Instagram video to capture moments at our homes, maybe with children playing in the pool or walking down to the beach. We want to use it to draw people in and really get them visualizing their family in that space.
3 – We post pictures of our properties to show what our villas are like in terms of features but also service.
Daniel Rouquette – @villabalicom
At Villa-Bali.com, we use Instagram in 2 ways:
- Obviously, we post pictures of our properties to show what our villas are like in terms of features but also service. To this end, we often share the access to our Instagram account with our clients so that they can share their real experience at one of our villas.
- We post pictures of Bali to share our love for the destination, share tips from our favorites places (restaurants, cafes, etc.).
Finally, we also share behind the scenes pictures to show to our clients what the team is doing for them. For instance, we show them very real human doing photoshootings, answering their calls and emails.
4 – I use Instagram to announce the new properties and promote the blogs and testimonials.
Karleen Lewis – Marketing & Advertising
Because Instagram is first and foremost a mobile app, it allows me to put high-quality product images in the hands of potential prospects and brand advocates. Vacation rentals are a highly visual product, therefore I use Instagram to announce new properties, share information about a destination, promote the blogs and testimonials, and induce overall vacation envy. It also allows us to share a first-hand account of what it’s like to stay at one of the properties. For example, I might share where a ski run is in relation to a home, or what a sunset view looks like in real time. These are selling points that are conveyed better with an image, than simply listed as an amenity on a website or during a phone conversation.
I try to take advantage of Instagram’s robust search functions by optimizing the posts, thus encouraging them to be seen by non-followers. Hashtags have been essential for me to reach a broader audience in like-minded industries such as interior designers and local tour operators who can become advocates for me in the future. For example, for posts about ski vacation rentals I use hashtags like #powderday and #skiutah. For posts of the property interiors I might use hashtags like #design, #style, or #architecture.
I also tag the photos by location which encourages posts to show up in geographic related searches. For example, for a vacation rental with views of Casa Batllo in Barcelona, I will tag this landmark and anyone who’s looking at pictures of Casa Batllo can stumble upon our beautiful property. I think if I can offer a unique viewpoint of well-known destinations, it adds value in an otherwise saturated industry.
5 – Instagram as a platform that can generate leads to business.
Flavio Sarahyba – @mahnai
Social media is often overlooked here in Brazil as a platform that can generate leads to business. Instagram is very popular in Brazil among the youth and adults and we deal with a very specific kind of customer: wealthy, used in traveling and who actually demands nothing but the best in luxury housing.
Therefore, we understood the importance of:
- Taking and posting good pictures on our social media accounts.
- Not overflooding our social medias only with villa pictures. Creating content is an interesting way to engage customers with the brand. Also, we sell ourselves as more than just a luxury rental company. We want to sell and create unforgettable experiences to our clients, therefore we offer tips on where to eat, what to visit, etc.
We schedule our posts according to reports indicating times where we will have maximum engagement from our customers, we use selected tags and other organic growth procedures. All I can say is that we experienced an amazing increase of subscribers and last but not least, clients these last months, thanks to an intelligent social media strategy. We have more than 5,4k followers and we are looking forward to more!
Bonus – How we generate email leads for our Bali and St. Barths villas by publishing great content on Instagram.
Baron Jamesson – @saintbarthcom
We generate email leads for your Bali and St. Barths villas by publishing great content on Instagram. Our goal is to attract the right kind of followers and to get them to download our free destination guides. We promote these in our Instagram posts and ask followers to click on the link in our bio to get the free guides.
It has worked really well and has enabled us to turn Instagram into a great source to get new subscribers to our newsletters.
We create on our content and also curate content from people currently enjoying their vacations in Bali and St. Barths. Our goal is to become a friendly local authority.
How about you? How do you use Instagram in your vacation rental business? Leave a comment below!