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Vacation Rental Marketing and Facebook Promotion

This week I thought that I would share an experiment that I just carried out with Facebook.
Those of you with facebook pages showcasing your vacation rental may want to read on.

I’ve never been a fan

For those of you that know me you may well know that I’m not a huge fan of Facebook and even less of a fan of Facebook pages.
I see the pages as a double edged sword. Facebook is too big to ignore but the reality is that it brings in no business and takes up your precious time to boot.
Ok, so there are over a billion users (some of whom spend an unhealthy amount of time on it) so it seems to make sense to use it for advertising.
After all these billion users go on holiday.

Here’s the numbers

In theory you have to entice people to “like ” (as in a thumbs up) your page. You can use various methods to do this, for instance you can offer freebies, discounts etc.
I see no value in chasing these likes and as such have only accumulated, as of today, 313. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to each and every one of those people that have read my posts (at least two a week) and clicked on “like”.

Here’s where it goes wrong.

I post a link to an article, like this one, and around 16 of those 313 fans get to see what I have written.
Now that’s just plain crap. It’s crap for me and it’s crap for the 297 people that don’t even know that I posted anything.

What’s the point in any of it with that sort of reach?

Promoted posts

So I’m on my page, I’ve just added a new post and I notice a little box entitled “Promote”
I click on it and it tells me that I can promote my post for as little as $5.00.
What’s more, it says that the estimated reach is between 2,800 and 5,200 people.
I’m thinking – Wow, that’s a lot more than 16.
I’m wondering – will all 313 of my fans see what I’m posting?
I’m also wondering how Facebook will choose who else from the billion other users will get to see my offering.

So, I figure, it’s only 5 bucks, I will see what happens.

Here’s the reality…

I sign up, which to be fair was very easy, and they take my $5.00 and they say that after review my post will be promoted.
Then I get this notification,

Facebook stats

Facebook stats

Your promotion has finished, but you can increase the budget to continue promoting your post.
Budget spent $4.99
$0.01 left
768 paid reach
408 people saw this post
4 page post likes
1 page like

I can spend another $5.00 for an estimated reach of 560 – 1040

 So now I’m thinking

408 people saw the post and this is, after all, around 25 times the usual amount (16). So that’s pretty good.
There was a paid reach of 768, but I have no idea what that means as only 408 people saw it. So that’s not so good.
I gained 5 likes which of course equates to a dollar a like which seems pretty high as those people probably won’t get to see my next post as I will no doubt be back down to 16 views. So that’s pretty poor.

But what I’m really left wondering is this,

WTF happened to the advertised reach of between 2,800 and 5,200 people? Because that’s daylight robbery.
I was expecting around 10 times as many people to see it (4080)
I’m still trying to get my head around paid reach 768 and reach 408.
On the up side I still have $0.01 credit off my next promotion!


The vacation rental marketing takeaway…

The vacation rental marketing takeaway

This was never really going to work for me as I am in a specialized market where I am selling marketing guides to vacation rental owners, so cold calling strangers was never going to be an option. The thing that I was looking at was increasing reach as it is reach which is so dismal with Facebook pages.
To some extent that aspect worked as twenty five times more people saw my article.
Although nowhere near the proposed number of between 2800 and 5200 people saw it and I was pretty put out by that.
If you or I promised 4000 of something and only produced 408 of that something we would most likely be sued.

Anyway, it did only cost me $5.00 so if you have a Facebook page where you promote your vacation rental it may be worth a (albeit small) gamble.
Maybe you could try promoting a discounted empty upcoming week or two!

Here’s more information for those that want it http://mashable.com/2012/03/05/facebook-promotion-guide/

I would like to know how you get on if you try it out.

What do you do?

I hope that you found this article, Vacation Rental Marketing and Facebook Promotion, useful.

Are you using Facebook pages to promote your holiday home?
What’s the best use that you have found?

I would love to hear your views.
Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts.


You may like to follow rentmoreweeks.com at one of the places below, that way you won’t miss out on other articles made for owners just like you.

2 thoughts on “Vacation Rental Marketing and Facebook Promotion

  1. Ertik says:

    Thank you for posting your experience with Facebook advertising. I have a similar experience, did a $20 test, used in 2 days and got 4 “likes”…
    It was for launch of our new portal at http://owners-direct.com

  2. Eva says:

    Hi Alan! I don’t think FB is going to get weeks rented, as I am pretty sure most vacationers will google their destination or use HA or VRBO. What FB is good for is guests leaving a nice review (in addition to the other sites)
    Great to feature photos or keep fans updated on events in the area. But not really for marketing to sell your weeks.

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