Using social media
Social media has some huge advantages. It’s often free, and it can put a small business up there in competition with a big business. But to do well with social media you will need to make an effort. The main social media sites are Facebook, GooglePlus, and Twitter.
This is the big one, really, and there is a vast number of users in the UK and abroad. Observations suggest that users follow their feeds (the postings that they have chosen to watch) more closely than is the case with the other social media. You can post news, pictures, events, and videos. If you want people to follow you by “liking” your page you’ll need to give them something worth looking at. It is less likely that people will search Facebook directly when looking for a holiday home, than that they will follow a place that they have been to before. Social media generally is a way to keep in touch with past clients and encourage them to come back, more than a way to find brand new clients. However, Facebook business pages do show up in search engine results. You can post news about changes, the seasons, the butterflies in the garden, the hedge and the hedgehog, and any improvements that you have made. Local events may also interest people. Try not to post only sales messages – this will bore people and put them off. Special last-minute offers can and should be posted if you have them, though. Make sure you create a business page, not a person page. A business has “likes” not “friends”.
Google Plus has a lot of users but many are not very active. Nonetheless, this social media outlet comes from Google, the giant of the Internet, and so you should take it seriously. Your postings may appear in Google search results. Here again you should create a business page for your business and use it for news in much the same way as Facebook.
Twitter is for short messages and pictures. When you read that Mr X has 40,000 followers, you may not realise that perhaps only 3,000 of those actually read his tweets. But Twitter is ever so easy to use so why not, after all it is free and another string to your bow. Use your mobile phone to post tweets including photographs in odd moments that would be wasted otherwise. Tweet from the bus or train, or whilst waiting in a very long queue at the supermarket.
Foursquare is somewhere in between a social site and a review site and has elements of both. You can have a business page and update it regularly with news, offers, pictures, as you can with the others. You can encourage people to check in on Foursquare.
Although a social site in that you can have friends on Yelp, Yelp is more a review site. You can have a business page for your property free of charge so why don’t you?