Vacation Rental Social Media Marketing Case Study

By Sam Peagler

Oct 23

In September of 2018, I took over the social media marketing for Cabins of Birch Hollow, a 300-acre resort property in Stanton, Kentucky offering 10 deluxe rustic-style cabin rentals. The co-owner, Kay Harris, built a thriving vacation rental business, but wanted someone else to manage the social media marketing. It was my first time running a business' entire social media marketing campaign, and I learned a lot in a short amount of time.

In this post I'll be sharing what I learned, and how you can use it for your own social media marketing.

Timing

It doesn't matter how good your social media posts are if no one sees them. Before you invest the time & resources into social media marketing, you need to identify when your fans are online: what day of the week and what time? That way you’ll optimize your posts’ Reach.

The first thing I did was review the Cabins of Birch Hollow Facebook page Insights. I looked at the page traffic and when it was getting the most views.

By going to the Facebook page’s Insights>>Posts, I could see traffic was low in the earlier part of the week, then rose in the later part of the week, with peak days being Thursday-Sunday in the evening hours. This told me that by posting on those days I would get Cabin of Birch Hollow’s posts seen by the most number of fans.

It’s also important to know how often to post. You want to remind people of your business and why they should buy from you, but you don’t want to bombard your fans.. They’ll tire of seeing your posts and Hide or Unfollow you. Experiment a ton and see what works best for your page and fans..

Three-to-four times a week works well for Cabins of Birch Hollow, and is a good starting place. From there you can decide to post more frequently or less often based on audience reaction.

Targeting

When marketing your business, knowing your audience is key. Are your posts reaching the people most likely to buy from you? If not, how can you adapt your content & optimize your post timing so they do?

Using Facebook's Insights, I was able to see the audience demographics for Cabins of Birch Hollow:

I was able to identify the people who viewed Cabins of Birch Hollow were, on average, middle-aged women, almost exclusively from the United States, split between Kentucky and Ohio. That tells me I’m reaching the right people. My posts were tailored to reach people in the Kentucky area with middle to upper class income, and users in the 35-54 age bracket are the most likely to fit that criteria.

Be Specific

One of the first things I learned from running Cabins of Birch Hollow's social media is that people like it when you tell them exactly what they need to know to make a decision. If you can be detailed while still being concise, you will have great results.

The best example of this is a post I did for the cabin named Snuggle Inn. It’s designed with couples in mind and has some great features, so I created a post that would appeal to couples and detail what the cabin offered. It got over 3K Reach, and more importantly, it got 96 link clicks (you can see this by clicking on the Reach numbers below the post). It resulted in a booking for the next weekend:

Why did it do so well?

Post

Elements

COBH Facebook Post with Great Results

Targeted

Appealed directly to couples

Detailed

Told the audience exactly what they would be getting while making it sound romantic

Concise

Told people exactly what they wanted to know in as few words as possible (I knew what features were popular as we have a close relationship with our client Kay)

Images

These might be the most important part of the post. The audience got to see exactly what the cabin looked like, and grabbed people's attention. I wanted them to feel like they had already booked the cabin and were walking in the door to their romantic getaway.

Always Adapting

Your audience's preferences and social media marketing  constantly change. What worked last year may not work as well this year. Social media marketing requires you you keep up with what works now, not six months ago. Being able to change and adapt to new platform features and audience fluctuation can really set you apart from the competition.

  • Audience responding more to image posts? Give them more of what works: do more image posts.
  • Not getting enough engagement when posting once a week? Try posting more frequently or at different times.
  • Develop special posts around holidays and important events. This is especially important for local businesses. Capitalize on local events such as festivals or local holidays to boost your sales, as shown in the screenshot below:.

This post used an upcoming local race to appeal to competitors.

Summary

I don’t consider myself a data geek, but ultimately I needed to dig into the numbers behind Cabins of Birch Hollow’s social media marketing to understand what would get results for our client.

Fortunately, I was able to take advantage of the classes here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com to learn how to use Facebook Insights to identify what I needed to know before creating our client’s social media marketing campaign

Taking those initial steps to learn how to use Facebook Insights and applying what I learned to the social media marketing paid off handsomely: Kay successfully outsourced her marketing knowing her cabins are booked every weekend this fall.

About the Author

Sam Peagler is a writer, photographer, and student in Austin, TX. He enjoys reading, and is planning on making a career in technical writing. He studied photography and photo editing for two years at Austin Community College.