Instagram for vacation rentals

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Instagram is one of the three most used social networks in the United States and in the world. How to take advantage of the power and global reach of the platform to promote your vacation rental? Find out in this practical guide how to register on the social network and take advantage of it to develop your notoriety, your rental business and generate new bookings.

Instagram: state of play and key figures

Instagram needs no introduction. The social network, where the image in all its forms is king, was launched in 2010 and was bought by Facebook in 2012. To date, the platform has over 1.38 billion active users worldwide. These figures make it one of the essential social media networks to have a presence on. By doing so, you can develop your vacation rental business, as well as your brand image.

How to create a professional account on Instagram?

Go to the Instagram app (iOS/Android) or to create an account for your vacation rental. Fill out the necessary fields: phone number or email address, your Last Name/First Name, username and password.

Once your account is created, switch it to professional mode. This feature is free and gives you more options to develop your vacation rental business. To do so, follow these two simple steps:

  1. In the “Settings” section In the “Settings” section, click on “Account” and then on “Upgrade to a Professional Account”.
  2. Choose a category that best describes your business
  3. Your account is now in professional mode

If you already have an active Instagram account, you can switch it to professional mode by following the same steps. It’s that easy!

How to properly fill out your Instagram profile?

Filling out your Instagram profile information is simple but still requires some effort to do it right. Indeed, the goal is still to entice potential tenants. We will give you some tips to achieve this task.

The profile picture

The photo that you will choose for your Instagram profile is very important. Indeed, it will allow your followers to distinguish you and identify you. It will also be highlighted when you publish stories. So choose a nice photo or your logo if you have one. You will see, the profile picture on Instagram is presented in small format. Nevertheless, do not neglect its quality so that it does not appear pixelated.

The username

The username should be simple, evocative and easily remembered. Ideally, you will use the name you gave to your property to reinforce your brand image. It is possible that the username is already taken. In this case, play with hyphens, a number (department for example) or the region to reflect your brand. On the other hand, try to avoid too complex combinations that could mislead users. Moreover, a very long and complicated username may appear suspicious.

The bio

In this space located under your profile picture, you can share a few words, hashtags, emojis, all in 150 characters maximum. Let your personality and your approach to welcoming travelers resonate here to seduce your potential future tenants.

The URL address

Very important section to redirect traffic to your own website. Here you can share the URL of your website allowing you to generate reservations without commission. If you don’t have a website, then share the address of your Airbnb,, Vrbo or other listing. In any case, do not leave this field empty. It would be a shame to lose traffic and potential tenants.

Company features

If you already have a personal Instagram account, you will see that the business account offers a few more features.

  • Contact information: here you can add an email address, a landline or cell phone number, or a mailing address. This information will appear as a button.
  • Call-to-action button: very interesting, this call-to-action (CTA) will allow you to redirect your visitors to the booking page of your website. You can, for example, name the button
    “Book now” or “Learn more” depending on the link you share.

10 tips and tricks to grow your Instagram account

If you’re just starting out on Instagram or want to give your profile a second wind, find some best practices below to grow your online presence and boost your short-term rental business.

Post great photos

Providing quality content is essential on Instagram to gain new followers, let alone potential future vacationers. Choose quality photos and don’t hesitate to use photo editing applications to make some adjustments for brightness, contrast etc. and optimize your initial photo.

Don’t hesitate to hire a professional photographer for high-quality shots.

You can use different types of photos, the choice is vast: images of your vacation rental, of its surroundings, of the surrounding tourist spots and ideas for getaways, of your renovation projects, of your interior decoration, etc. You can also repost photos of your visitors for more authenticity and to inspire more confidence. The possibilities are almost endless. In case you use photos found on the internet, mention in the caption the photo credit or tag the account on your photo.

Vary the type of content

Think and prepare well the content you will share on your page. Forget about poor quality photos or those with questionable aesthetics. It is necessary to present your vacation home in the best light while remaining fair and not promising the impossible, at the risk of disappointing your guests and collecting bad reviews.

Different types of content are possible on Instagram, play with the different formats and create a nice dynamic on your page: photos, videos, reels, contests, IGTV (long videos) or stories.

Create a content calendar

To stay on track, you can create a publishing schedule and set a structure for your short-term rental’s Instagram account. Vary the content to surprise your followers. Ask them questions (What is your best vacation memory? Have you ever visited the area? Name 3 things you like to do on vacation etc.) to create engagement on the post.

Publish strategically

The goal is to reach a maximum of users with your publications, so it is necessary to choose carefully the time of day when you will publish your content. We suggest you publish between 4pm and 8pm to start. Then, once you’ve built a small community of followers, you’ll be able to see via Instagram’s statistics when your community is most active on the network and thus publish your posts accordingly.

Take advantage of hashtags

Using appropriate hashtags on your Instagram posts allows you to potentially reach many users on the social network. Avoid generic hashtags and prefer targeted hashtags related to your location, time of year, city/region etc.

Many daily hashtags are emerging on the platform. Follow the trends to reach the maximum number of users and take advantage of the hashtag’s reach. Check out a list of the most popular hashtags here.

To hide the hashtags in your post you can either :

  • Add a dot and go to the line 5 times and then insert your hashtags
  • Post your publication without hashtag and then in comment of your publication add the said hashtags

Use geotags

Geotags allow your photos to appear in the geolocalized feed of Instagram. So, if a user searches for Austin as a location for example, if you use this geotag because your location is in this city, then users of the social network may come across your publication. You will then create a first point of contact that could lead to an upcoming booking.

Create a link with your followers

Creating a link is essential on Instagram. For this you can put different stratagems in place:

  • Comment on your guests’ photos and thank them for staying at your vacation rental.
  • Mention the @username of your guests if you use one of their photos or if you share a positive review on your account
  • Ask questions to your community
  • Follow (follow/follow back) the accounts that follow you and don’t hesitate to follow strategic accounts (merchants you recommend, city accounts, local influencers etc.)

Gain followers easily

When you start an Instagram account, the beginnings can be a bit slow as it takes time but don’t get discouraged. To start, you could send an email to your past travelers telling them to find you on Instagram to follow all your news and discover surprises for example. You could also install an Instagram button on your own booking site or an embeder an Instagram feed to promote your account. These two tips should help you gain followers,

Instagram also offers personalized advice via a free marketing plan. Don’t hesitate to take a look at it too to optimize your communication on social networks.

Publish from your computer

Instagram now allows you to publish your content directly from your computer and a web browser. This gives you an additional possibility to publish content and promote your vacation rental.

Extra info: Did you know that Smoobu is also on Instagram? Join us! Search “Smoobu”!

Conclusion: Instagram, a potential new booking channel

By launching yourself on Instagram and relying on this new communication lever to promote your vacation rental, you create the possibility of transforming a part of your followers into short-term renters. Thus, you will be able to develop both your brand image and create a community but also generate a new source of income (new bookings) for your vacation rental thanks to social networks.

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