Facebook for holiday home owners. Now here’s a topic I get asked about a lot.

How can I get people to book with me on Facebook? I’m spending too much time on it and getting no results? Why’s it not working?

All valid questions.

Used effectively Facebook is a valuable tool in your marketing toolbox. Used ineffectively it’s a time drain!  Too often holiday home owners launch into setting up a Facebook page with no real thought to the content or to what’s important to their business.   Here are 5 common Facebook page mistakes and how to rectify them to turn your page into a lead-generating, relationship building machine!

1. Obsessing about the number of page likes

Don’t get hung up on the number of page likes.

This isn’t a sign of a successful Facebook page. Yet so often I see owners only chasing the numbers.  Spending money on Facebook ads because they want to get 500 page likes or 1000 page likes, whatever the milestone may be.

It’s so much more important to have the right people liking your page.  Ten people who are likely to book are more valuable to your business than 1000 who aren’t.

As an independent owner we only have 52 weeks a year to sell, our numbers are small, we’re not selling 100s of widgets therefore quality of page-likers is much more important than quantity.

Focus on who you’re ideal guest is, who is your target market? These are the people you want to like your page.  At every opportunity ask past guests to like your Facebook page too. Give encouragement to do so if need be. Tell them “this is where I post any special offers” (if that’s the case).

In your email responses to enquiries, include a link to your Facebook page.

Focus on posting quality content that your ideal guest wants to read. Focus on engaging and interacting with those quality page-likers you already have.  Who knows, they be only one more interaction away from booking with you.

Once you’re confident about the type of person you want to like your page, you can then think about going out and getting more of these people on board and running a low cost Facebook advert in the background.  It still follows that fewer quality, targeted page likes, are more valuable to you than 100s of poor quality likes.

2. Hiding behind your property

Be yourself.

When posting on Facebook, be yourself, not your holiday home. You run through the heart of your business. Ensure you run through the heart of your Facebook page too.

This strategy begins with using a headshot of you for your profile pic. Think about it. You’re much more likely to make a comment or want to engage with a page if you can see a picture of the person you’re talking to rather than a faceless picture of a room shot or a logo (no matter how lovely the room shot or the logo is). Seeing you, a real person, immediately builds a connection.

Also as the content of the page is written by you, add your name to the bottom of each post. Ensure your page-likers know your name.  It all helps with the interaction and makes you more real.

As part of your content post images of you.  A little glimpse into the life of the owner (as let’s face it we’re all nosey!) is something that your followers will love to see.  Ideally images of you at your property such as you painting the front door or enjoying a cuppa on the patio.  If you don’t visit often, instead show your Facebook fans a pic of  you at home, at your computer for example.

You, the owner, are such an asset to your business.  Letting guests see you, really sets you apart from bland Facebook pages where it’s all about “look at my place”, “here’s another image of my pool”, “we have x week available”.

Real, authentic, personal and approachable builds engagement.

3. Not enough sharing

Share, share and share again.

Share your passion for your area.  You know why it’s so fabulous to holiday there so get that message across to guests via your Facebook page. What do you personally recommend?  Share for example, your favourite places to go, why you like a particular restaurant, tips for getting the most out of a visit to a local tourist attraction. Sharing your insider knowledge adds real value to your page. It gives your followers a reason to be there.

Share other’s posts too. And comment on their posts.  This gets more eyes on you. Another way to do this is to join a relevant Facebook Group. One that’s tourist related in your area. Join in the discussion and help other members. Again, like on your Facebook page, share your knowledge. Don’t use this group as a place to sell as that will happen organically once members get to know, like and trust you.

4. Expecting too much too soon

Be realistic.

Don’t expect immediate results. Don’t beat yourself up that you’re “doing Facebook” but it’s not working.

To get all social media to work, it takes time and patience. It takes time to get traction and also time for how your Facebook page should look and feel.

Post regularly on Facebook – 4 times a day, every day. Showing up consistently is the only way to get it to work for you. You also need to monitor which posts work best for you. Do your followers respond better to videos or do they prefer posts with images? Constantly monitor and tweak what gets you the highest reach and post  more of what’s working. Though this will be ever-shifting and you need to keep on top of it.

Consistency and persistency are key to Facebook success. Followed by tweaking and monitoring. All of which take time to find out what works best for you.  So be patient and keep showing up.

5. Wasting time

Manage your time on Facebook by using Facebook’s own scheduling tool. Prepare a post and instead of hitting publish, hit schedule and choose a time and a day when you want that post to go out. This ensures consistency of posting without you physically being there. Set some time aside each week to write and schedule content for the week ahead. Ensure you have a variety of posts – images, words, links, sharing other’s posts, videos, Facebook lives.

And don’t get sidetracked.  When you sit down to post to Facebook, then post! Don’t start to look through your own newsfeed and see that Gill’s got herself a puppy and that Jeremy’s on holiday so you’ll comment on that post; oh and while you’re there you’ll read all the comments.  This is when time runs away with you.

Be strict with your scheduling time.

Of course you still need to find time to respond to comments on your page and to interact with others. Scheduling does not take away from that, but merely frees up your time. Time you can spend on other business-building activities.