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Social Media Doesn't Really Work for Holiday Letting....
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Stewart



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 83
Location: Fife, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:59 pm    Post subject: Social Media Doesn't Really Work for Holiday Letting.... Reply with quote

...or the effort to generate business via Fb/Twitter/et al is far to much for the actual return.

Persuade me otherwise please.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2773
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I can persuade you otherwise Sad I have put quite a bit of effort into quite a few FB groups (and tried an ad or two on there too) for no return whatsoever. Twitter is a step too far for me Rolling Eyes

However, no doubt there will be others who tell you differently. I do get returners seeing my facebook page (and liking or commenting on a post) and they perhaps have been prompted to book again. But maybe they were planning on that anyway.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5902
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Social Media Doesn't Really Work for Holiday Letting.... Reply with quote

Stewart wrote:
...or the effort to generate business via Fb/Twitter/et al is far to much for the actual return.

Persuade me otherwise please.


Time was Iíd have agreed with you.
Now Iíll disagree. Up to a point.
FB can work really well for a niche market.
Over the last year Iíve had more than half my bookings via FB groups, the rest from repeats and small independent listing sites.
But Iím putting in hours a day churning through posts and answering where thereís a good match. Itís graft, and can be frustrating; we all know thereís a lot of idiots out there, we donít need constant reminders.
The major listing sites are doomed, FB is a useful short term stopgap, maybe longer - but I only see it working for niche groups.
No experience of Twitter, and if thatís still the case when they nail down my coffin lid that will probably be a bonus...
My 2p worth.
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whirlybird



Joined: 01 Oct 2014
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morning

I tend to agree with Greenbarn. If you want an easy life and just bookings given to you then FB is def not the way to go.
We are in our first season, and will be under contract for our second also. But we are trying to build the social media side up slowly so that we can take over after.
Websites and FB I have used before, twitter, instagram, Google plus 1, pinterest, Four square I have not.
They all add a little bit towards the big picture, maybe just links to your website but that is important too.
I find it all interesting and like to 'play' with it to see what works.

But it is all very time consuming.
When my wife come home after a day out and asks "What have you done today ?"
Shocked
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 398
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say it's worth it only if you enjoy it. I do fb and that's enough for me, and I only do as much as I enjoy. I have had bookings who found me on fb and probably others i'm not aware of, but admittedly not loads. Mostly through fb ads although I'm currently running a comp which has reached 50k people and generated some enquiries. I also run a group for Cornwall owners where quite a few bookings have been reported. I figure my fb activity generates website traffic if nothing else although that's hard to quantify. But if I didn't enjoy it I admittedly probably wouldn't bother.
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whirlybird



Joined: 01 Oct 2014
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

" I figure my fb activity generates website traffic if nothing else although that's hard to quantify."

That bit can be checked with google anylitics and the consol, its very easy to see where the referrals are coming from.

Facebook is more difficult to quantify.

I plan on doing a comp also, 50k is a great reach. The question is how many people come to you a few months/years after AND because of the comp ?
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NeatandPicky



Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 353
Location: Pissouri Bay, Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if you have a website, Stewart. That's the first priority.

Social media IS time consuming, even if you automate some of it so that one post goes in different directions. BUT it does generate website traffic, builds relationships and increases credibility which is all useful especially if you've ditched the big listing sites like us. And it's (mostly) free.

I'm not a natural with daily sharing... if possible I would prefer not to have a personal FB page at all, but unfortunately that's not an option. It worries me that I'm bombarding my friends with business posts when really I want to be getting my message out more widely.

I've dabbled with paid ads which can be very targeted and I think that's definitely the way to go.

While I'm on some FB groups for holiday home owners, a lot of potential guests state their requirements and wait for owners to bid. We can't compete if price is the only criterion. Map pins, albums, text and links to owners' websites are rarely used - which is quite disheartening... especially considering the time and effort that has been put into setting them up.

I'd suggest putting your time and energy into a regularly updated website blog with information about your area. Then it's very quick and easy to share this on your social media, plus it drives traffic back to your website. This will greatly increase your SEO. Win-win!
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SusanMay



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 52
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iím on the fence, wobbling towards agreeing with the statement.

I like the idea of Facebook Groups as I can see people who use Facebook looking for a holiday in a particular area, or a niche market, and finding their holiday this way. Not that I can find many niche groups. Book Your Holiday Direct With The Owner and dog-friendly ones (we donít allow dogs though).

I don't use FB personally and what I havenít braved is going near the Promote or Boost A Post or Advertise buttons. I suppose I know I donít want to see posts I havenít asked to see, promoted tweets from companies Iím not following, so I balk at inflicting my cottage on people where 99.99 % probably arenít interested. The equivalent of spam mail. Or can you target an audience who want to see posts about holiday lets in your particular region? Gosh, I donít even know what a comp is! A competition I presume?

I have been giving Facebook and Twitter a go for a few months now. Diligently liking and retweeting tweets, liking and sharing posts, highlighting my new blog posts, adding pictures etc. I actually enjoy doing it, and seeing other tweets and posts from the local area but I still donít get it as a good way to get bookings. All I usually get is one ílikeí from my husband if heís noticed my tweet so my social media foray is becoming a bit of a family joke!

I'd like people who are looking for a holiday cottage in my area to find my website, and of course I want them to book it once they've found it. I agree with NeatandPicky's approach. Concentrate on the website and blog about things to do, special events, places to eat etc. It's a matter if minutes to then put your blog entry on FB and twitter (and all the rest I expect) so if that does get more people back to your site and increases SEO that's great.
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kyreniagirl



Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 2321

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had a few bookings through FB but mainly I am still getting them through HL with a couple from Airbnb. FB is very time consuming, especially if you are at work during the day - I find that guests often post in the morning & by the time I see their request in the evening there are 15 offers there already, & you think 'what's the point'. I then spend about an hour or so whilst watching tv posting on various pages & reading the timelines, when really I just want to switch off!
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 398
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know blogging is generally advised for SEO, but I'm not convinced. I have been doing it on and off for a year or two now (although admittedly my blogs are probably not that amazing) and tbh I'm not sure it has made much difference...and I never get much response from sharing blogs on my fb page.

As far as fb groups go, I agree that niche groups are probably the way to go. There aren't many around but if you're in a popular area I recommend starting one - my Cornwall one (https://www.facebook.com/groups/919799031495722/) is doing quite well and generating bookings. It is quite hard work though. Happy to do a bit of mutual advertising if anyone wants to as long as our areas don't overlap.
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Debby K



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 98
Location: brittany

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends what you want from Facebook I think. I use it to tell my visitors what's on the area, to show photos of things I might see in the area...wild animals, landscapes etc

As soon as I have an enquiry I send them a link to my FB page and I think it does convince them that a holiday "chez moi" will be lovely. Take a look on FB - Les Gites de Kerdalidec
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whirlybird



Joined: 01 Oct 2014
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenster wrote:

As far as fb groups go, I agree that niche groups are probably the way to go. There aren't many around but if you're in a popular area I recommend starting one - my Cornwall one (https://www.facebook.com/groups/919799031495722/) is doing quite well and generating bookings. It is quite hard work though. Happy to do a bit of mutual advertising if anyone wants to as long as our areas don't overlap.


Hi Jenster
I had a look at the page, couldnt really understand what was going on or how it worked. Do you have to join before all is revealled ?

Thanks
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https://www.facebook.com/moorparks/

I have CDO, it's like OCD but all the letters are in the correct order as they should be!
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 398
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Whirly bird, yes if you click 'join group' then I will approve you and things will be much clearer. It is a closed group so only members can see posts and other activity in the group.
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 398
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kyreniagirl wrote:
I have had a few bookings through FB but mainly I am still getting them through HL with a couple from Airbnb. FB is very time consuming, especially if you are at work during the day - I find that guests often post in the morning & by the time I see their request in the evening there are 15 offers there already, & you think 'what's the point'. I then spend about an hour or so whilst watching tv posting on various pages & reading the timelines, when really I just want to switch off!


Yes I know exactly what you mean! It kind of sucks me in though and I find I can't leave it alone...before I know it it's 8pm and time to put the kids to bed, and there's not much evening left after that. Beginning to think it's a bit addictive!
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 332
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just back into LMH after a summer of doing other stuff. Time to catch-up. I hope you are all well.

At last, a balanced conversation on social media. It seems to be a marmite topic. The FB 'holiday accomm group' proponents have tended to use large numbers(hits, connections, blah, blah, etc, etc) to try to persuade the market that the model works - and you are missing out if you are not part of it, - so it is good to read a more balanced view. I have no doubt the FB group approach is hard work, often with limited returns. Same with the other social media approaches. However, they are not going away any time soon, so I think we need to embrace it to the best of our ability and available time.

And SusanMay's comment makes me smile.
Quote:

All I usually get is one ílikeí from my husband

We have all been there. You spend ages crafting a post, only to receive 1 like - from your other half. Sooo funny! Laughing
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