It’s time to learn how to master social media for short-term rental businesses and become an active member of the apartment community, all with the help of social media platforms.
Most short-term rental business owners can now compete with some of the world’s most renowned brands. In fact, did you know that leasing apartments directly from social media is a trend that’s currently gaining momentum?
Apartment marketing is not anything new. It’s been widely regarded as a niche (slightly underrated) branch over the past decade and has been steadily growing into an incredibly profitable segment. Now, apartment communities actively engage with their ever-growing audiences through their social media channels.
In this blog post, we’re going to show you how to increase your social media engagement levels. How? By learning how to master social media for short-term rental businesses!
Social media marketing is a powerful channel you can use to reach more leads and turn them into paying customers. In order to achieve that, you have to develop an effective promotional strategy that will help you plan marketing activities, track their effectiveness, and improve your approach in real-time.
The best way to go about it is to collaborate with real estate marketing agencies that have the knowledge and resources to create a customized social media strategy for your business.
If that is not a viable option for you, then you have to take matters into your own hands and build an effective plan with the resources you already have. Not sure what they are? We are here to help.
1. Establish Your Objectives and Target Audience
What exactly are your short and long-term objectives when it comes to your social accounts? Do you seek to drive traffic to your website? Perhaps you’re struggling to convert your social media followers into regular clients.
Some possible objectives you might have could relate to increasing sales and social media impressions or growing your reach and conversion rate. In any case, they all rely on how familiar you are with your target audiences. Customer research is an invaluable tool that will enable you to build an effective social media strategy.
Take a look at your target audience and build the buyer persona profiles of prospective renters!
Here are some detailed examples of possible buyer persona profiles:
- Families with children
- Large groups looking for resident events
- Guests with pets
- Business travellers
Demographics: Millennials or GenXers, either married or in a committed relationship
Income: Affluent, usually have a higher budget than solo travellers
Needs & Desires: Quiet, intimate apartment fully equipped, located either at the seaside or near the city’s main attractions. They desire on-site amenities.
Families with children
Demographics: 30-40, bargain hunters
Income: Moderate to high income, usually on a budget
Needs & Desires: A spacious apartment that is child-friendly, with a fully equipped kitchen, multiple bathrooms
Large groups looking for resident events
Demographics: 25+, looking to have fun and socialize
Income ━ Moderate to high income, usually looking for a good deal
Needs & Desires ━ A spacious apartment equipped with a smart TV, a great sound system, snacks, and drinks. Desire a large kitchen and dining area as well as a spacious terrace or garden
Guests with pets
Income: Either a single source of income or two, depending on the number of guests
Needs & Desires: A quiet apartment near a park or a place where they can walk their pet. They desire an outside patio area and on-site amenities.
Income: Usually paid for by the company they work for
Needs & Desires: Serviced & spacious apartments near restaurants and conference halls, seek hotel-like amenities
2. Choose the Right Social Media for Short-Term Rental Businesses
Enjoy higher occupancy, even during the slower seasons, by posting regular and engaging social media content. Make sure to pinpoint the social media platforms used by your target audience. You don’t want your efforts to be in vain, don’t you?
Here are the top five social media platforms we’ll be focusing on:
- Google Business Profile
- Facebook: It probably goes without saying that a Facebook page is a valuable addition to your social media strategy. Facebook Groups dedicated to finding short-term rentals are all the rage. The Facebook Marketplace is a fantastic way to gain exposure, post pictures, and compete with other local renters. Organic, paid, and user-generated content (UGC) will help broaden your exposure.
- Instagram: It might seem to you that Instagram is a place for posting photos and nothing more. In truth, it has now become the gathering place for the apartment community. Regularly update your Instagram Stories and use up to 10 hashtags on each post. That way, future residents will easily find you. Ever used location tags? We advise you to give them a try! As for UGC, make sure you allow others to tag you for that extra touch of credibility.
- TikTok: Even a local business can make it big. TikTok’s always-engaged approach is a true winner. This vertical and highly visual social media platform is now the industry standard for addictive and persuasive content. Grow your audience and start nurturing a community that will rival the world’s most influential rental businesses!
- Pinterest: Property managers should know by now that Pinterest is the place where architectural aesthetes gather to marvel at the details and find decorating tips. Make sure that Pinterest is an integral part of your social media strategy!
- Google Business Profile: As a local business, potential renters are interested in reading reviews. Is there a fitness center nearby? Your residents would love to know about it! A positive resident testimonial can increase online engagement and lead to conversions!
3. Schedule Your Posts Strategically for Better Social Media Engagement
Finding good social media ideas can take up quite a bit of your time. Creating an effective social media content plan means brainstorming post ideas promoting your business while bringing you closer to your audience.
Moreover, your content is not the only factor that allows you to increase your reach and engagement levels. Your scheduling strategy also plays a major role. They require you to get creative, promote your property, and connect with future renters.
Do you share content randomly without using a fixed schedule? If so, this could be affecting your current social media strategy, engagement, and exposure levels. Start to leverage your social media analytics by finding out which hours are the best for posting.
Luckily, SocialBee allows you to:
- Customize the posting schedule for each platform and post only when your audience is online and active on social media. With SocialBee, you can plan your posts in a calendar and have a better view of your content strategy.
- Organize content ideas in content categories and schedule entire categories at once. SocialBee allows you to have an impressive mix of high-converting posts you can schedule alternatively throughout the week.
- Re-queue posts to be reshared continuously. Evergreen content is known for always standing the test of time. Think about something that will always ring true to your audience. Reshared content also helps you rank better and drive traffic to your website over a more extended period.
4. Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listings
It’s time to optimize your Google Business Profile. It’s perhaps the most effective tool to get an advantage over others in apartment communities. Besides, it’s completely free!
Treat it as a proper social media account by creating content that is both relevant and engaging. Make sure to add your correct description, location, and contact details.
Do you have a website? Then it certainly belongs to your Google Business Profile. Make sure to add images, answer both positive and negative reviews in a professional and polite manner, and even include a Q&A section. And don’t forget to post content weekly.
Why is such an elaborate content marketing strategy necessary for your Google Business Profile? Because it increases your website’s traffic and boosts the number of calls and bookings. It’s probably every renter’s dream to get featured in local searches and Google Maps, right?
5. Be a Part of the Apartment Community on Social Media
Who is your property manager, and why were they chosen to be the special person who manages your onsite team? Are there any upcoming events worth promoting? Perhaps a resident event?
Then go ahead and join the online apartment community! Make sure to promote your available units to stand out from your main competitors. Any future residents interested in visiting your apartment will surely appreciate your active presence in the community!
We also advise you to collaborate with other local brands, or even influencers, that belong to your community. In addition, you could sponsor local events and supercharge your marketing efforts.
6. Create Visual Social Media Posts
Launching a new apartment without the help of visually stunning social media posts can be quite a struggle.
Bite-sized videos and visually satisfying snippets of your apartment are guaranteed to bring in new customers. A 2021 survey revealed that 51.4% of its respondents post content that is 91-100% purely visual.
Here are some tips and tricks for excellent visual posts:
- Stir emotions with stunning visuals
- Showcase the aesthetic details
- Use the right tools
Stir Emotions with Stunning Visuals
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the scene, most people tend to feel nostalgic about having awesome vacations alongside friends.
Perhaps your audiences long for a romantic getaway or a family trip. On any occasion, take Vrbo’s example of emotionally compelling imagery. Their posts feature real situations enacted by real people your target audience could surely relate to.
Showcase the Aesthetic Details
Your audience needs to get a feeling of what their stay is going to be like. Your apartment features many architectural and design details worth sharing with the world. Besides, this could help you go viral on platforms such as Pinterest or TikTok.
Sonder posts cozy Instagram Reels that focus on the little things such as the morning coffee or furniture. Your audiences need some room to dream!
Use the Right Design Tools
Canva should be your go-to editing app, period. It helps you create stunning photos and videos while staying on brand.
The best part about Canva is that it provides professional social media templates you can edit in just a few minutes. For instance, you can access hundreds of Instagram Story and Reel templates that will help you create more engaging content than ever before.
Did you know that Reels receive 22% more engagement than standard videos? So, why not make the most of this content type and gain more views and followers?
7. Share User-Generated Content on Your Social Media Channels
Local businesses can boost their conversion rates for free with an on-point UGC strategy! Your residents can create some of the most authentic content for your Facebook community. They could also tag your Instagram or use your brand hashtag to show off the apartment complex. With just one social post, your conversion rates could shoot through the roof, metaphorically speaking.
The trick? Give them an incentive, such as a prize or a discount, to share your community events or promote your open house!
Brands that Know How to Do Social Media for Short-Term Rental Businesses
How are the best brands currently doing social media for short-term rental businesses? Let’s take a closer look!
Vrbo has mastered the pet-friendly tone of voice. Is your property suitable for residents who bring their pets on trips? No need for a thousand words; say it with a highly visual Reels post!
2. Plum Guide
Devil’s in the details, no? Plum Guide shares a glimpse into the future home they’ve been dreaming of with its community. Imagine how happy the food connoisseur residents are to see the kitchenware!
Sonder describes themselves as ‘the future of hospitality’. The aesthetically mesmerizing videos across their social media channels are a testament to this.
Want to give your residents some visual ideas of what it feels like to stay in your apartment? Then take Blueground’s example of a visually grandiose Instagram Reel that screams UGC. Such videos will give your competitors a run for their money.
Tired of videos? Perhaps looking for some Facebook ideas? Booking.com makes the most of the Milan Fashion Week event and shows you how to do social media for short-term rental businesses in style.
Promote Your Short-Term Rental Business on Social Media
Are you ready to reach more guests through the power of social media? Then, start by putting today’s tips to good use and adding them to your social media marketing strategy.
Make sure to pinpoint your target audiences, work with the social media channels they prefer, and schedule the most visually stunning posts for optimal engagement rates. Also, don’t forget to leverage the power of UGC and use it as social proof to attract new customers.
Start using social media as a marketing channel for your short-term rental business today, and get ready to welcome new guests from all around the world.