Social Media 101

{flickr|100|campaign} Social Media is not a Fad. I have had the privilege to work with Social Media since before it was cool. In the late 1990s with my first 2 internet companies, we were in Chat rooms talking up our new music company. Today is can be quite overwhelming for anyone to understand all the various social media challenges and where to start. My advice is keep it simple, but jump in and engage. Most people’s view of Social Media is very limited centered around only the narcissistic comments people post on twitter and Facebook. While it is true that many people do such, Social Media can be very powerful both personally and professionally when used in responsible ways. As it relates to the professional side, I am convinced in my experience using for business ventures and consulting – Social Media that people generally have no clue how to leverage.

The best way I can explain why you want to engage Social Media professionally is because you need to meet people where they are. This has always been the case even before social media and the internet. The reason you have a Facebook page for your business is because there is at any given time 60 million updates posted from the 500 million Facebook users. It is that simple. Another way to think of it is 1 in every 12 people on the planet have a Facebook account.

Your website for your rental property and its role is still important, but it now takes a much different role than even what it was just a year ago.

When it comes to all the social media channels, there are many. The simplest way I can explain the main channels are as follows:

Facebook: Think of Facebook simply as a conversation. It is the best way to Ask, Listen, Share, Promote and Message with aspiring or existing customers.

Twitter: Think of Twitter as a FREE real time Bulletin Board. It is a great way to promote deals and share helpful information. It is also a very powerful tool to Listen and Research what other rental owners are doing or find rental prospects.

YouTube: Videos are the most powerful way to market you property. I would encourage you to have as many videos as possible with your listings. Not only provide videos of your vacation rental, but create or find other videos of the surreounding area and activities. Furthermore, YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. Therefore, in addition to having videos highlighting your property on a listing site, these same videos can be windows of opportunity back to your listing by vacationers searching on where to go from the YouTube site.

I find it interesting how many of traditional listing website models are dependent upon traffic coming to their .com based on advertising revenue streams. It will be interesting to see how these traditional listing sites address the conflict between their revenue model dependencies and the new world of meeting people where they are. is all about leveraging these new social media channels to market your vacation rentals. We have a team monitoring trends everyday and as a small company are very agile to react. As always, we would love your comments and questions.