As a homeowners doing vacation rentals and Airbnb, being known online is the one important step.
Instagram is one of most important social networks with 500 millions of daily users. Only Facebook and Youtube have more daily users.
Last year, I was using Instagram but I wasn’t seeing growth on my profile.
However, it changed in the last 6 months. I went from 400 followers to 2200 followers. Those are real followers that interact, like and comment my content. Not just fake profiles that some services offer you!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at not cost for you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
The average engagement rate for 2000 followers is around 7% and that’s exactly mine as well. So, I know that I am doing it well!
So, yes it’s possible to grow your Instagram account and get a good engagement rate at the same time.
Let me share with you my Top secrets how I did it!
1. Post daily on your feed and your stories about your vacation rentals
Posting daily is one of the most important things in Instagram and its algorithm. It helps you to always be in front for your biggest fans.
Try to post both in your feed and in your stories daily. If you can’t do a post daily, at least try to post daily in your stories.
Stories are really the new tool that everyone is using and everyone is looking at first on Instagram.
As a working at home mom, I mostly don’t have time to spend time scrolling on my Instagram feed. However, I daily check the first stories appearing there.
2. Reply to comments to have an engaged audience of previous and guests
When people are commenting on your feed, it’s as if they were talking to you, and engaging a normal conversation.
When people have conversations with others, it’s polite to reply. Here on Instagram, it’s the same. It might be virtual, but it’s nice to get a reply.
Of course, some comments might be just emoticons, in that case, I mostly just reply with an emoticon myself.
However, if the comment is a real question or comment, then I am happy to reply larger text or even ask a question to get the conversation going.
As I said, replying to comments is good to engage with your audience.
Moreover, it has a second very important benefit if you want to grow your Instagram account: the more comments you have, the higher you rank in the Instagram algorithm.
So, next time, people comments on your pictures, take time once a day, to reply to them a nice message as well!
3. Engage with your biggest fans
Do you know how to know who are your biggest fans on Instagram?
There are 2 ways, I get to know who are my biggest followers.
The most direct one is using my Instagram Analytics service provider, who offers people having a pro account a report on their top engagers.
The other way is to look at who is seeing your stories and who is replying to your polls or questions there.
To know who is looking at your stories, click on the last story you posted and click on the ” seen by … people”. It will show you the exact people who have seen it.
Now that you know who are your biggest fans. You might think what you should do to engage with them.
Well, what I am doing, is I am either sending them a direct message, checking their feeds and commenting on their last pictures from time to time.
You are showing them that you are also interested in their life. You are showing them that there is a mutual connection.
The best thing is that you can get to know better your core audience doing this.
The best way is when they are replying to your questions or polls in your stories. They are giving you precious insight on who they are, what they like, what they need, …
Use this information to either reply them directly asking them another question to this topic to engage in a normal conversation or to post something that they would like in your next story.
You can even tag them, they will see that you consider their opinions.
For instance, one follower had told me that she likes to see my food stories. So, the next time I posted a story about food I tagged her. She was super happy!
Try to apply those tips to engage with them on Instagram and do it in a natural way.
4. Use a service to automate things for your vacation rentals Instagram account
It’s important to keep things natural but it’s also important to not spend all your time on Instagram to grow your audience base.
Since I am using a service to automate things, I don’t have to spend so much time trying to find people who would like my feed.
The service is doing it automatically for me! Of course, I need to check the analytics of it to choose how it works to make it work the best way for me.
At first, when you choose the settings you need to check twice a day what’s working and what’s not. However, now, after months using it, I just check it every week and twice a week.
It saves me time to use it just to post in my feed with a nice caption, post in my story and engage with the biggest fans on Instagram.
5. Select the right hashtags for your vacation rentals
Hashtags are how new Instagram users find you, without them only yours followers might see your posts.
You might be wondering how many hashtags you should use. Well, here the more the better. Instagram gives you a limit of 30 hashtags, use it fully.
Now, you might thing, ok, but how to choose the right hashtags.
Well, the right hashtags are the ones which are connecting you to your target audience, your competitors audience.
You should research first the hashtags which are fitting your audience but also where the competition is not that high. So for instance, don’t just put # mom as an hastag as it’s too wide, you can use #greenmom instead which will be much less general.
Hashtags have to be put when you post in your feed but also in your stories.
I always put one hashtag related to my picture in my Insta story. Then, if my post is featured for this hashtag in their stories, I might get some new followers as well!
b. Save your hashtags
Once you have those hashtags for your profile, don’t forget to save them to not have to do the same thing for every post. You can of course change a few of them for each post to adapt it to each picture content, but in general I use the same ones.
c. Have your hashtags less visible
Do not put all of your hashtags in your post, put them as a comment. First, it will enable you to have your first comment (helping you to rank better). You can of course put a couple of hashtag in your caption, when it fits the content.
Over to you – Are you getting more bookings through Instragram? Share in the comments!
Please remember to pin it!
I’m Natacha, a French vegan Airbnb host who has been working online for the past 4 years. I help hosts stand out and make more money online so they can have a good work-life balance!