Instagram: a good promotional tool for your rentals

04/02/2020

Summary

In the vacation rental industry, as in other sectors, the content preferred by Internet users are photos and videos. Why not correlate the two?

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Always with a view to promoting your business and maximising your direct bookings, Instagram, the social network with 1 billion users monthly assets, is perhaps a promotional lever you would not have thought of.

As you know, Instagram is a social network based on the publication of photos and videos.

Why Instagram?

In general, all social networks are good levers for communication and promotion. Not only do they have millions of usersThey are not only dynamic, but also trendy, of all ages, all sectors and all nationalities. But Instagram is even better because even if it is not the number 1 network ????,  is the social network with the highest engagement rate (4x more than Facebook).

Instagram is a real source of inspiration for users but is also a great marketing a great marketing tool!

These a few figures are quite telling:

  • Instagram help 80% users to decide to purchase a product or service.
  • 83% of users say they discover new products and services on Instagram.
  • 50% of users follow at least 1 brand

Not to mention that we are talking about a totally free application!

How to do it?

Create your feed

First, if you have not already done so, create an account. Add your logo, your slogan (if you have one), and a link to your website. These are 3 essentials to post, if only to lend credibility and formality to your account. When travelers research and come across a site they like, they will often take a look at the brand's social media channels, especially Instagram. You can be sure that if your travelers don't find your Insta account, it can have a negative impact on your bookings.

After creating your account, which will be brand new and therefore empty, you will have to add photos. First of all, the photos you publish must be clean, professional, well framed, in order to show your rentals to their best advantage. (But I am not teaching you anything ????) Secondly, you must the photos published over the years form a beautiful ensembleand therefore a beautiful feed.

Your Instagram feed is the sequence of your posted photos, your Instagram profile, basically.

For some time now, we've noticed that Instagram feeds are becoming more and more polished, uncluttered, and in the same tones. Nowadays, we don't only apply ourselves to the photo in question that we publish, but to all the photos published. To have a beautiful feed, some rules must be respected :

  • Use one or two dominant colours for a nice looking set. I can see you coming, I am aware that all your rental properties are not in the same colours and that you do not offer that apartments with a purple sofa and curtains. (Although, if that's the case, so much the better!) Otherwise, no problem, choose a tone, and try to publish at least 9 photos with this tone to make a nice square. For example, if the highlighted apartment contains blue tones, feed your feed with photos of blue skies, tropical island landscapes, etc. While remaining consistent with what you propose, of course! Applications exist to preview your feeds before publishing. (Preview, Previagram...)
  • Edit your photos ! Or always use the same filter. The goal here is to create a consistent feed, with the same type and retouching on your photos. If you usually lighten your photos a bit, add the same brightness to each one. Conversely, avoid adding too much light, too much contrast, too much sharpness... Too much kills too much.
  • Don't post too many videos. Even if it's a very popular content, videos can quickly spoil the beautiful feed you took so long to build. (Unless you create a custom preview for each video). Publish them anyway, but not too many, because in any case, the stories are there for that. (More details later!)
  • Choose light tones. Light tones generate a positive feeling and a sense of calmness. Instagram profiles with light tones are always more pleasant to look at!
  • Don't forget the #hashtags. Even if they are often hidden by the description of the photo, they are well present a little lower and allow to improve your visibility. Don't hesitate to use them : #vacationrental #locationparis #locationparis #holidays #travel and many more ! The city names are important since many users search for the city they want to travel to via Instagram.
  • Publish at the right time. As with all social networks, certain days and times will be best. See what works best for you, but avoid posting a photo in the middle of the night or in the middle of the day when no one is looking at Instagram. Posting times can be quite complicated to estimate at first, but once you find them, they don't change!
  • Whatever whatever happens, stay consistent with your brand image. If on other social other social networks, you are used to adding a frame, a shape, a quote, whatever whatever, be consistent and keep the same graphic charter.

Building your feed over time is important, it can be the first thing people look at in a brand, and therefore the first impression.

The stories

While tending to your feed on a daily basis, there's another popular and even more dynamic Instagram feature: The stories. These are photos and/or videos, which are published and remain on your profile for 24 hours. These can allow you to communicate on events, news, or even just small information to pass on but which are not necessarily useful as a constant photo/video publication on your feed. For example, you're having a company lunch with your whole team and you want to communicate on it to highlight the human side of your company, show a part of your premises, or whatever. And hop, a little story! This allows your most loyal followers to know a little more about your business, while keeping a nice Instagram feedWithout the blurred team photo that you would have taken between two forks.

To optimize the use of stories, you can also encourage or suggest to your your current tenants to tag your brand in their stories!

Because yes, as I told you, this stories tool is very dynamic and allows you to geolocate yourself, display a date, a time, an emoji, a music, but also to tag brands or people. If someone posts a story and tags you in it, you can repost it on your account and showcase your rentals, thanks to your customers. Isn't that great?

Featured stories

Featured stories are a mix of your Insta feed and regular stories. A featured story is a basic story that you've posted, that you can "pin" to the top of your profile (and that will stay on your profile for as long as you want). These front page stories are pretty handy since it allows you to create "themes", "lists", a bit like categories of information. Many brands are using it in this way. Welkeys, for example, the high-end concierge 2.0 company we work with, uses front page stories to sort their rentals by city. This way, they put all their properties in front and users can choose to only look at apartments in Lyon and Megève, for example!

You can also use the front page stories to post your FAQs, or a "Did you know? "section, or your recruitment ads... anything is possible!

Advertisements

Instagram also allows you to advertise online! Much less expensive than a normal communication campaign, ads on Insta would also have an ROI (Return On Investment) higher than other social networks. The application allows you to distribute your ads to specific targets, according to their gender, age, geolocation, and behaviour, just like on Facebook, since the data of both companies are linked (same company group).

Many formats are available: a photo alone, a video, a photo carousel... You can also choose your location: in the news feed or directly in story, in short, there are many possibilities to advertise on Instagram, do not miss the opportunity to increase your visibility!

So even if you only rent two or three apartments from time to time, many opportunities are available on this social network, so you might as well put all the chances on your side!

Octave PAVIET-SALOMON

Octave PAVIET-SALOMON

Marketing & Communication Manager for Swikly. I regularly write educational and informative articles and documents for rental professionals.

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