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What digital trends can we leverage for generating more social media marketing material that we can use to promote our vacation rentals? 

Kevin Riedel of Unrents.com joins us again this week 

Here’s Kevin’s outlook,

Consider this…

Vacation Rental Selfies. Really? Really.

Selfies. The mere utterance of the word evokes images in my head of social media addicts who are begging for attention. 

I think of girls with duck lips. I think of gym rat guys showing off their six-pack abs in the bathroom mirror (why the bathroom, guys?). I think of soccer moms who use the app that artificially smoothes the look of their skin (which, by the way, look horrifically fake). 

I have a hard time taking anyone seriously who takes selfies.

Rant over.

I know what you’re thinking… “How is he going to relate this to vacation rental marketing?” Stay with me…

It’s no secret that digital/social/mobile communications are changing at breakneck pace. Like them or not, selfies are part of this rapid evolution. A big part. So why not use them to your advantage?

Think of it as a form of trendjacking. For those who may not be familiar with the term, trendjacking is simply using an existing trend to help boost your business in the marketplace. It’s most common on Twitter. Trends are what everyone is talking about at any given time. A skilled Tweeter can Tweet about his or her brand and make it relevant to a current hot trend.

Selfies are red hot right now (unfortunately). President Obama takes selfies. Ellen DeGeneres single-handedly blew up Twitter on Oscars night with the Hollywood A-lister selfie seen ‘round the world. It was shared so much that it broke Twitter!

So why not take advantage of the selfie trend to help build awareness of your vacation rental?

Warby Parker

Other businesses are doing it already. And with great success. Web-based eyeglass manufacturer Warby Parker sends customers 5 sample frames and urges them to take selfies wearing each pair. Customers then have their social friends/following vote for the pair they think looks best.

Absolutely brilliant! Customers crowdsource poll their friends to find out which frames look best. And the eyeglass company gets
FREE exposure to their customers’ social media friends.

This campaign ultimately helped boost online sales by more than 200%

So how would you do something like this for your vacation rental? There’s really no right or wrong answer. You just need to get creative with the idea and start trying things out. Here are a couple suggestions…

We’re full of… Ideas

The idea:

Urge your season’s renters to take selfies of themselves at your property having a good time or having a relaxing experience. Tell them that they must use a hashtag (created by you… something clearly relevant to your property, ideally your property’s social media name) and share it on the social platform of your choice. And tell them at the end of the season, you’ll aggregate by the hashtag, you’ll randomly pick one of the selfies, and award a prize… maybe a 50% discount off a future stay, maybe a free offseason week, maybe an iPad.  

The benefit to you:

All of your guests are taking selfies of themselves having a good time at your property. These photos will be seen by each guest’s social friends/following… potentially thousands of pairs of eyeballs for FREE!  It’s bound to catch the eye of some followers who will want to rent your property too. 

Another idea:

Pick a feature of your rental that you love. Maybe it’s a deck with a view. Maybe it’s a hammock. Maybe it’s a hot tub. Next, ask your guests to take selfies using these features in a fun and creative way. Ask them to send the images directly to you. At the end of the season, post all entries on your Google+ page and ask your followers to vote for their favorite image by giving it a +1. After one week (or whatever time frame you choose) the image with the most +1’s wins your prize.

The benefit to you:

When you post all the photos, be sure to inform your entrants. They’re going to want to win and they will ask all of their friends to go to your Google+ page to vote for their image. This will help build awareness of your property and send traffic to your G+ page.

No matter what you decide to do, remember that you’re getting all these great images of people having fun at your property. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to set up a gallery on your website. While it is often frowned upon to show people in images of your property, it’s acceptable and encouraged in this case. Create a link called “Selfie Gallery”. It will be something different. causing website visitors to be curious and click. And when they do, they’ll see a bunch of folks having good times at your house. No harm in that!

Bottom line, the possibilities are endless on how you can use selfies to promote your property. But don’t wait… like many other trends, selfies won’t be hot forever (thank God!).  Ride this wave while you can and be ready for the next one.

Are you selfie centred?

What do you think

What’s your take on this?

Love it or hate it? Share it or shelve it?

Those of you that like this concept may like to read this article and take the idea to a whole new level with Google acting as your personal mini ad director.


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

2 thoughts on “Vacation Rental Selfies. Really? Really.

  1. Kathy George says:

    Exciting idea!! Our house sleeps 12 so that’s massive scope for all those teenagers attached to their phones/ipads to legitimately take selfies. If I can get my googleplus page up and running in time for next season then I’ll definitely try this. Thank you!


    1. Alan Egan says:

      I’m glad that you liked the article Kathy.
      I’m sure that your G+ page will be up and running well before christmas.

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