Authenticity matters. It’s what makes your brand and your properties stand out to potential travelers.
Vacation rental professionals can add authenticity to their listings by turning past guests into online influencers. Who better to be a cheerleader for their favorite property? With 78% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, the influence of your past guests can be pivotal in persuading potential guests to click “book now.”
Two simple and effective ways to transform past guests into your influencers are:
- Make it easy for them to provide reviews
- Encourage them to participate in photo contests
Make it easy for travelers to provide reviews: Most of the time, guests want to share their experiences. Make it simple for them to share by targeting them with Google and Rezfusion review pop-ups. In addition, post-departure emails are a perfect opportunity to encourage your guests to give honest reviews about their stay. With the right call to action, there’s no need to send “how to” instructions, instead one click can send past guests directly to your property page or Google to leave a review.
Also: Don’t get discouraged by negative reviews! Honest and personal reviews validate your business as trustworthy and reputable. However, it’s important to respond to those reviews promptly to try to rectify the situation. By responding to the review directly, you have the opportunity to resolve issues, make improvements – showing that your brand cares.
Start a photo contest: Just like reviews, photos are a key part in establishing your brand’s authenticity. Collecting guest photos is a great way to build your photo library.
To encourage photo submissions, take a page from Hobbs Realty’s book and start your own photo contest. The contest will not only encourage current and past guests to interact with your brand, it improves engagement across channels – including social media – and grows your subscriber list.
Here’s how Hobbs encourages guests to participate:
- Use an app or create a page that allows people to submit photos
- Gather data by requiring guests to either “Like” or “Follow” your social media channels and/or provide their email address to submit photos.
- Announce weekly (or monthly) winner who get swag bags of promotional coupons.
Communicating with past guests and providing them with a platform to share their experiences at your property not only facilitates brand loyalty and increases repeat bookings, it also aids in turning lookers into bookers. To dive deeper into the topics discussed above, watch our August 2019 Inside the Tent Webinar where Bluetent’s email and digital marketing experts share their insights. Or, connect with our team to discuss how you can take advantage of Bluetent’s email and digital marketing services.