Every single day I hear someone tell me they aren’t using Instagram for their vacation rental business…yet.
Y’all!!! Instagram is PERFECT for vacation rentals (that means you). It’s time to move “Setup Instagram” to the top of your to-do list.
Look, 80% of all the people on Instagram are looking for travel inspiration – and you can be there, inspiring them with photos and videos of the places they want to visit, the food they want to eat, the fun they want to have, the sunrises they want to see and the relaxation they want to feel.
How To Use Instagram Marketing For Vacation Rentals In 2021
Vacation Rental Instagram Marketing Tip # 1. Create an Instagram Business Account
Ensure your Vacation Rental Instagram account is set up as a “Business Account.”
- It gives you the ability to link to a website and have other contact details added to your profile.
- A business account gives you more insights into your followers and engagement.
- You can advertise and create promoted images, and stories.
- You can link to your Facebook page so you can cross-promote and cross-advertise.
If you already have an account and need to switch to a business account, you can do that in your account settings.
Tip # 2. Your Vacation Rental Instagram Profile Should Not Be A Sales Pitch
Instead of “Book My Vacation Rental in Hawaii” try, “Dreaming about a Hawaiian vacation? Follow along and we’ll show you our favorite spots in this tropical paradise.”
People on Instagram follow others because they want to see great photos, they want to be inspired, be entertained, or be shown a life they want to live – they do not want to be sold to. The selling comes after they follow you and you start building a relationship.
Your profile Bio and photostream are extremely important – it is your chance to share why people should follow you.
Tip # 3. Create A Marketing Plan For Your Vacation Rental
Think of your vacation rental Instagram account as a tourism magazine – with you as the only advertiser.
What do tourism magazines share images of? You want to INSPIRE your followers and future followers with images of your destination. Create a guest profile for the target markets your home is perfect for and decide what images and videos these guests would like to see.
Remember, they didn’t come to your Instagram profile to book a vacation home. They came to be inspired to visit your destination and experience the vacation you can provide. So, inspire them.
Think of your Instagram’s “home page” as a magazine cover, your storefront. When people visit your profile page they will see your photo grid as well as story highlights (I’ll talk about them later). These should be images and videos that inspire your potential followers so they want to click on “follow” and see more of your content.
Then, when they do follow you, they see all these images, videos, and stories come through their feed all about your destination – with shots of your vacation rental and your vacation rental experience thrown in.
I’ve been following this Instagram account since Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Coast in 2018. Watching these images come through my feed inspired me to book with them not once, but twice in two weeks. Beautiful images of horses, romantic beach sunsets, and a barnyard full of adorable farm critters truly inspired me (and others) to follow and dream about a horseback ride on the Texas coast.
Tip # 4. Research & learn Instagram marketing for vacation rentals from other tourism and hospitality businesses
You can learn a lot from your peers – find other vacation rental owners on Instagram (especially your competition) and watch what hashtags they are using, get inspired by their images, read their captions, etc., and notice what is working and what isn’t. Follow me on Instagram to see more tips, and ideas to successfully use Instagram for vacation rental marketing.
Tip # 5. Encourage your vacation rental guests to be an ambassador for your business!
One key to Instagram marketing for vacation rentals is to let your guests know you have an Instagram account and ask them to follow you and share their images. When they do, be sure and reshare and post to your stories. Mention this in your welcome letter, add a note in your guest book, and add a list of “Instagram-worthy” hot spots at your home and in your area.
Tip # 6. Grow your Instagram following authentically
Adding more followers is the biggest struggle for many vacation rental owners and believe me, it does take time, but the key is to just be yourself, post inspiring and helpful images, and take time to get to know your followers. Remember, it is NEVER about the number of followers you have, but about engaged followers – the people who like, comment, share and respond. You should be aiming for about 5% of your followers to routinely engage with your posts. If not, you may need to reevaluate what you share.
How do you find new followers? Use relevant hashtags to find and engage with people with similar interests. For more tips on building an engaged following for your vacation rental Instagram account, read my post – 5 Tips For Growing Your Instagram Engagement
Tip #7: Use hashtags
- Be sure and do your hashtag research and use the hashtags that matter to your audience and destination.
- Use hashtags that are relevant to your destination. #SanAntonioRiverwalk #sanantoniovacationrental #sanantoniogetaway #texashillcountry
- Use hashtags relevant to your target market #texashistorybuff #texashikingtrails
- Use vacation rental-specific hashtags #sanantonioairbnb #texasvacationrental #sanantoniovacationrental
- Use a mix of popular hashtags and less popular hashtags. There is no real point in using the Instagram hashtag #vacationrental when millions of other photos are out there using that hashtag. But, if #foodporn has 257,000,000 images and #phoenixfoodculture has 16,000 posts, guess which one you are most likely to show up in with your image of a local Phoenix restaurant.
Have Fun With Your Instagram Marketing For Vacation Rental Business
Building an Instagram account sounds like some pretty tough work, but once you start you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. Check out my free Instagram Action Planner.
The key to being authentic on Instagram is to enjoy it. Follow others and see the beautiful images they share and start making connections.
Be inspired, then inspire others. If you need help taking great photos, check out this handy guide from Travel & Leisure Magazine.
Be sure and use a planning tool each week to determine what you want to post and how you want to caption, what hashtags you want to create.
Start by creating your account and researching what others post. Please share a link to your Vacation Rental Instagram page and let us see how you are using this awesome app to market your tourism business!
Learn Instagram Marketing For Vacation Rentals
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed – everything here and much more about building an Instagram strategy and using it to create bookings is available in my program – Insta-Booked! so you can learn Instagram marketing for vacation rental owners.