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Today, I’ve got a special treat for you. Short Term Stays blogger and social media manager Snezana Krdzic wrote a guest post for The Abundant Host on how to market your Airbnb from an Instagram account.
This is actually the very first guest post I’ve accepted for The Abundant Host; I normally don’t accept them on the reg, but I thought the timing of this particular pitch was too perfect, because… LOOK!
I finally got on the Instagram wagon!
Follow me on Instagram for listing design tips, welcome kit ideas, personal styling tips (often from my very own listing!) and more visual goodies.
And read on for some simple, unique ways to market your listing on Instagram. Of course, I’ll be adding in my own two (or three, or fifteen…) cents as they come. Take it away, Short Term Stays!
Hello, fellow Abundant Hosts! We’ve seen plenty of Instagram profiles trying to market their Airbnb, but often these profiles all start to look the same. You can see what kind of rooms their unit has to offer, but once they are done uploading photos of their home design and space, the marketing and engagement seems to stop there.
We see no reason why you should let this happen to your Airbnb Instagram page! In fact, if you really want to corner this market, learn to be more than just a one-trick pony and take advantage of one of the most prosperous social media platforms.
Instagram marketing works for almost any niche, and it can have powerful benefits for your rental home, room or apartment. We use our Instagram to market our services and help hosts improve their service, develop their business and stay on the right path—and that’s the path of hospitality.
Now, there are several things you as an Airbnb owner can do to showcase your Airbnb, engage others in following you and motivate them to keep checking your Instagram for more exciting content.
1. Give Your Followers a Virtual Tour
Let’s start from the very beginning. You have to focus on uploading high-quality photos of your rooms. You don’t need a professional photographer to do this. If you really aren’t good with a camera, watch a few Youtube tutorials on how to achieve the best angle when taking photos of your home, and try experimenting on your own.
Sure, they can see your unit on the Airbnb website, but not everyone is scouring listings 24/7. So, don’t be shy and start taking photos. Make sure you don’t miss any of the rooms you have. If you upload shots of your entire Airbnb and leave out the bathroom or the kitchen, guests might think you have something to hide. Show them that you don’t and have all of your cards out in the open!
The Abundant Host Pro Tip from Amy: As I recommend in my Top 5 Most Common Host Mistakes, guests want to experience your place as if they’re about to check in—so, they need to see enough space for themselves to fit into it. This is a classic trademark of home design. Go the extra mile and put out the welcome materials for your future guest—the beautifully folded towels they’ll arrive to, the array of maps and locally made chocolate bar they’ll be gifted with, etc. Imagine your guest having the point of view of the photographer—what will they be greeted with? Show them.
You’ve probably put in a lot of effort to Airbnb your home. Whether it was messing around with the interior or décor, we’re pretty sure you’ve given your best to make the place look like a vacation paradise.
As guests usually get swept off their feet with the little details, make sure to include a couple of photos of all of the amenities you have to offer. Have you been experimenting with the way you store your toiletries? Do you have a gorgeous view from the balcony? Installed a new audio system or have a few DVD’s prepared their relaxation time? Take a pic and show off your skills and amenities!
2. Look Beyond Your Listing
Okay, so you’ve shown them what your place looks like. Now, take the showcase outside! It’s time to show your potential guests where you are located. Take a photo of your neighborhood, street, the outside of your unit. If you’re located near famous, local restaurants and bars worth visiting, get their permission to post their photo on your profile.
This has two advantages:
- You’re showing your guests that you care about giving them a truly local experience. You’re being a tentative host, not just thinking about your unit, but thinking about their complete stay.
- You’re luring guests in by showing them what else they’ll be able to experience if they choose to stay with you.
3. Show Them Who You Really Are
By this, we don’t mean every single detail about you, but the essence of your being. Guests don’t just want to see the ambience. They want to see the owner, too—especially your character—and you need to find a way to portray this on your Instagram.
For example, if you want your guests to know that you are a laid-back host, you love joking around and will make sure that they laugh through their stay at your Airbnb. Find a way to portray this character trait through humorous, original, unique posts.
If you’re not going to be present at the time of your guest’s arrival, take a photo of your wacky, quirky art or photographs hanging on the wall of your Airbnb, and let your future guests know that a smile is waiting for them as soon as they walk in through the door.
The Abundant Host Pro Tip from Amy: This is so important, and the secret to attracting your ideal guests. Express your personality (and even quirks) in your Instagram photographs. Make sure to include a little paragraph caption about how much you adore your patio and gardening on it in the summer. If you’re an architect and have tons of architecture books, mention that. Someone similar will find this to make the difference between choosing a “blank canvas” place and your nurtured, personality-driven space. We attract the people we want to be around by representing who we are. I make my listing a little Goddess sanctuary. I have sage, incense, candles, flowing things, spiritual art, etc. No frat boy is going to want to stay there. None ever has.
4. Get the Message Where It Matters
Have a set of hashtags that you always use with each picture, and since we’re talking about marketing your Airbnb, the list will probably include relevant hashtags such as #airbnb, #vacationrental or #rentalproperty. Create a selection of 5 to 10 relevant hashtags for your industry and don’t forget to include them (as well as your own hashtag!).
The Abundant Host Pro Tip from Amy: Your hashtag can be the same as your three little words that you use to describe your listing every time, which can help people find you. Also, something I do is save my favorite hashtags to an Evernote file (get a free month of Premium with that link), which I absolutely love and use all the time, to make it easier to quickly copy and paste them in. Also, Airbnb features listings on their own Instagram page, which has 870,000 followers at the time of this writing, so you definitely want to tag them and see what hashtags they’ve been using lately.
5. What Are Your Rates?
Social media users like to be rewarded by a business they follow online. It’s like a little compensation for their loyalty to our brand.
Try to update your guests on your seasonal rates. As the seasons go by, let them know what the average pricing is, and when it usually changes. If you have a chance and a few empty spots left in your calendar before a special event, and you still don’t have any booking inquiries, use Instagram to notify your guests about your availability. It can’t hurt!
The Abundant Host Pro Tip from Amy: This was a great one, I had honestly never thought of this. I can see this being especially useful if you’ve planned a trip away for a weekend and don’t have any bookings for the home you live in. Discount that shhh!
6. Share Your Guest Experiences
From a guest’s perspective, it’s a completely different experience looking at a page full of design and décor and a page that has a human touch.
Don’t by shy—ask your guests to take a selfie with you, or take a picture of a special welcome note you wrote for them. If your guests went the extra mile and left you a thank-you note, get their permission to post it to Instagram. This shows the crowd that you’re really in the business and that your Instagram account is not just pictures of a house.
Every brand needs to have a personal touch to it, and with Airbnb, it’s no different. The more you share your past experiences with your guests, the more trustworthy you’ll seem. And trust is everything in this industry.
Overall, the best way for your Airbnb to leverage Instagram is by being genuine, versatile, informational and creative. Be yourself, and don’t try to imitate others and their success, because you have your own story to tell.
Hopefully, we convinced you to join us on Instagram and tell your Airbnb story! Try out our tips and tailor them to suit your character, property, needs and target audience.
Let us know in the comments down below if you liked this—and if you found this helpful, please share it up (maybe even on Instagram)!
Thanks for reading! Have a question that wasn't answered here? If you'd like more specific help, I'd love to work one-on-one with you. Or, if you want to work collaboratively in a group with fellow motivated hosts, find out if the next Abundant Hosting Mastermind group is open. I also wrote a book, Cleaning Up, where I give you the nuts and bolts (and so much more) of finding your perfect turnover assistant, thereby upleveling your profit and success on Airbnb. Have a beautiful day!