5 Ideas for Smarter Facebook Advertising in 2017

2017 is the year to get savvy about Facebook advertising. The social media platform had over 1.8 billion global users as of September 2016, and 1.1 billion of whom used the platform every day that month.
 
If you haven’t added Facebook to your vacation rental marketing arsenal, it may be time to reconsider. Facebook recently launched a product called Dynamic Ads for Travel designed specifically for hospitality and travel brands to help them retarget consumers browsing for travel ideas and inspiration.
 
How can vacation rental managers tap into this massive user base? By getting smart about your audience and marketing objectives, you can take advantage of this opportunity to extend your advertising reach and convert more bookings.

Target the right audience
Facebook is great for showing ads to people who are in the “consideration” phase. Facebook ads take into account a user’s interests, demographics and behaviors. This means you can target an audience that is most likely to show interest in your vacation rentals. If you are looking to generate inquiries on properties in Pebble Beach, you could run a Facebook campaign targeting avid golfers, 35–60 years old, who live within 150 miles of the location.
 
Create ads that focus on action
Remember, people scroll through their newsfeeds quickly. Your vacation rental’s ad needs to be easily digestible — but not easily discarded.
 
Have you invested in professional photography? Use the photo that perfectly showcases the experience of your properties. The goal is to get the guest to your website where they can learn more about the listing.

When starting, you should create several ads and constantly A/B test. Review your metrics and make minor tweaks. As your campaign runs over time, a clear picture emerges about which messaging users respond the most positively to. Eventually, you settle on the perfect ad.
 
Set goals within your budget
Establish specific goals and a way to track your progress toward them.
 
A campaign to drive direct bookings through your vacation rental website will look much different from a campaign looking to generate brand awareness. And even that will look much different from a campaign trying to drive mobile phone calls to your reservation team.
 
An optimal campaign must first decide what exactly the campaign is trying to accomplish. Set a specific goal like: “Each month, I want my ads to generate 10 inquiries directly through my website, at a cost of $15 per inquiry.”
 
Run a campaign for a Lookalike Audience
Hoping to attract new guests in 2017? A technique you may not have heard of yet is called Lookalike Audience. Paid ad campaigns for Lookalike Audiences reach a new audience on Facebook that are similar to your current customers.
 
This audience can be based off an email list of past guests. Simply upload the email addresses and Facebook then find similarities in demographics, interests, behaviors, etc. to generate a list of similar Facebook users which you can target in your campaigns. Here’s how to get started.
 
Boost a popular blog post
Most of us have personal Facebook accounts, and some have a Facebook page for their vacation rental business.
 
Chances are that your Facebook’s business page has been reaching fewer people in the last year. In an effort to keep Facebook relevant and personal, the social networking giant has adjusted its algorithm. Consequently, there’s been a nearly 42 percent drop in organic reach per post. Paid Boost advertising, however, can help get your reach back.

Compelling content still matters to users. Your blog post, video or photo still resonates with people when they Like, Comment, or Share. If your organic traffic is good, you should consider running a boost, which is a flat cost you pay to keep your content higher in your network’s newsfeed.

Run Tests
Test, test, test. And then track, revise and test some more.
 
Advertising can be a powerful way to turn up direct bookings, but make sure you don’t spend more than you’re making back. You can track your ad are performance in Facebook and check your booking sources with your property management software.

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