Social media is a powerful tool to get discovered and generate interest in your listing. Learn the secrets on how to build a strong online presence from an expert digital marketer (and Superhost).

 

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Navigating the social media landscape can feel like you’re lost in the woods. Where do you start? How do you create great content? And how can it translate into more bookings? Tom Feldman of Tye Haus in Skykomish, Washington shares his successful (and refreshingly human) approach to building a following and making your home an absolute must-visit. 

 

 

Tom’s Tips to Make Your Home a Social Media Star

  1. Name your space
  2. Start with beautiful photos
  3. Create creative partnerships
  4. Build a following
  5. Be genuine

 

TYE HAUS IS BORN

Tom: Our hosting story began back in 2012 when we bought our first A-frame, Tye Haus. We fixed it up, listed it on Airbnb, and started an Instagram account with pictures of our home alongside cinematic scenes from the area—our hikes, local attractions, what we loved on the grounds. Soon after that, popular photographer Alex Strohl reached out to us and asked about collaborating. We hosted him for two months as a sort of creative retreat in exchange for pics to share on our feed. As we began to post Alex’s photos, that’s when our popularity took off.  It was the first of many collaborations and contests to come. 

 

My family and I now manage three A-frame cabins, and we continue to host influencers from all over the world. In exchange for sharing their credited content on our feed, we provide them with a place to explore, adventure, and relax. This has become one of our primary marketing techniques. We’ve gone from a 30% occupancy rate to close to 100%, filling up weekdays as well as off-season months. We’ve also built an online following of nearly 115K. Here are our tips on how to put your home on the social media map.

 

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01. Name your space

The first step to marketing your home may seem small, but it’s an important one—and that’s to name your space. You want to find a name that’s distinct, memorable, and clever. Then, you can brand your home and register your username on Instagram.

 

Here are a few questions to help you brainstorm a name:

 

  • What kind of home do you have? Is it a chalet, a beachfront property? Is it a tudor home or a loft?
  • Do you have a theme? Do your interiors follow a particular style? Is it pirate-themed (which exists!)?
  • Is there a connection to your location, city, or town? Can it be incorporated into your name?
  • Is there a historical significance? The perfect name may be waiting to be uncovered from the past.

 

Do some research online and find out what other listings are doing, as well as what names are available on social media. For us, we named our first cabin after one of the neighboring rivers, the Tye River. The spelling of the second half, Haus, was inspired by a nearby Bavarian-themed town called Leavenworth. Together, it became Tye Haus. 

 

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02. Start with beautiful photos

Once you’ve got your name and your social media handles, you’ll want to start out the gate with beautiful pictures. Do not, I repeat, do not, start with a bunch of crummy photos. The images on your feed are the first thing that people will see—and you want them to feel inspired! They’re what’s going to sell your listing. Your photos should be:

 

  • Consistent. Maintain a uniform look and aspirational aesthetic.
  • High-quality. Post sharp, vivid, high-caliber images and videos—avoid grainy or blurry photos.
  • Accurate. Content should reflect your property well.

 

Try to capture what sets your home apart. Is it the interiors, character, or location? Find what really makes your property interesting. Remember that you’re not just advertising your space, you’re also sharing the experience people can have if they visit: your location, the sights, and the activities in the area. If you’re not great at taking photos, considering hiring a professional photographer to start.

 

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03. Create creative partnerships

Another way to generate beautiful content for your feed is to collaborate with influencers (e.g. photographers, bloggers, and videographers) and offer discounted stays in exchange for content. We recommend researching and reaching out to local photographers, bloggers, videographers, and content creators in your area.

 

This strategy is one of the primary traffic drivers to our page. As influencers share their posts of your space, new users will come across it and discover your home.

 

When reaching out to influencers to make an ask, it’s important to:

 

  • Be professional. Go in prepared and knowledgeable. Ask the right questions that will help move the partnership forward.
  • Be clear. It really could be as simple as: “Hey, I love your work. I’m just getting my Airbnb off the ground. Would you be interested in a creative exchange: a stay for credited images or a write up?”
  • Outline your expectations. Create a mutual agreement for both parties so that it’s clear what each of you is expecting and what you will receive. This should include details such as delivery dates, image rights, tagging, number of images/videos, and file types, etc.
  • Make it a win-win. Approach it as a collaboration and work to make sure that the partnership is beneficial to both parties.

 

Another related tip is to never have empty inventory. If you have any last minute open dates, take advantage of the downtime and use it for your marketing efforts. Invite a local influencer to stay so that you can use the time to generate additional content for your feed.

 

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04. Build a following

Once you’ve established an online presence and gotten a feed full of great images, it’s time to make yourself known. This can be done a number of different ways:

 

  • Be a local online ambassador in your area. Find your relevant online circles and be present in them. So for Tye Haus, we like to keep up with the social media of local businesses and surrounding location tags. We follow a nearby ski resort, for example, and we might answer questions other people leave, or comment and say “Hey, next time you’re in town, come stay with us.”

 

  • Partner with brands to create contests and giveaways. We’ll also run contests and promotions to up our follower count. Think outside the box to find partnerships that fit your “brand”. We’ve partnered with a blanket, a bedding, and a cutlery company to cross-promote our audiences. We’ve reached out to them and said, “Hey, we’re going to get in some influencers to talk about your product, would you be interested in partnering? I can throw in a free stay.” These are also great opportunities to start an email database.

 

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05. Be genuine

As a rule of thumb, people are generally turned off by self-promotion, whether its online or in person—so it’s important to be authentic in all of your interactions. Don’t just comment on every influencer’s post with the same message just to be seen—or start spamming every account you come across. There’s a fine line, and people can sense when you’re coming in with a hard sell. Be genuine in what you’re saying and you’ll attract the right people.

 

As a personal rule of thumb, I try not to overdo it with the hashtags. We tag a couple of relative feeds in the photo and only include 5-10 hashtags per post. Some people use a whole slew of photo tags and hashtags to get discovered, but I prefer a more subtle, organic approach.

 

Remember that building a following takes time and certainly doesn’t happen overnight. I encourage you to use these tips, get creative, and you’ll surely find yourself with growing a social media community—and your occupancy rates will thank you.

 

Happy hosting!

Tom

 

Not a host yet? Become one today.

 

Check out the full #howtohost series here.

 

Book a stay at one of Tom’s three cabins in Skykomish, Washington. Follow Tye Haus on Instagram.

189 Replies

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
New Jersey, United States
Level 1

Beautiful A frame, thx for the invite 🙂

 

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

Great inspiration for new ways to get bookings.  I have a basement space in the city, with lots of local competition, so I am not sure of how to make a unique marketing strategy.  This has given me ideas.  Thank you!

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Pāhoa, HI
Level 1

Wonderful article!

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Tacoma, WA
Level 2

This is my next BIG step!!  Thank you.  I needed to see this!

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

Level 1

Thanks!

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Level 1

Guys,

So, talking about the brand, are you saying that  AirBandB listing can use the name of the hotel (which potentially mean that people can try to book not through AirBandB but searching on the name and finding the place on other platforms or Googe maps...). Is it alowed by airBandb to use the name?

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

Level 2

Good feedback.Thank you

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Kalispell, MT
Level 3

So beautiful! Thank you for the great tips! 🙂

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
San Diego, CA
Level 3

This is one of the best Airbnb articles I've ever read!  So relevant!  If you ever want to visit Southern Utah, let me know.  🙂

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Queensland, AU
Level 2

Great tips, thanks Tom, feel much more confident to try working with influencers nowadays I was t sure when approached...we have a lot of bird species , amazing long walks with views, wood fired pizza oven etc so thinking of those as point of difference opportunities.

Love your pages to bits !  .... check ours @hazelmontcottage.... feedback or thoughts welcome 

thanks Sue 

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

Level 1

Thanks for your good tips and we can learn to much how we can improve our Home stay  business

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 1

Great tips! Thank you for sharing!

 

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Stellenbosch, ZA
Level 10

Thank you very much - this has been very helpful.  Of course, you'll always be welcome in Kalk Bay, Cape Town, South Africa!

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Arusha, TZ
Level 2

Thanks for the nice article,welcome to Tanzania one day.

Re: How to Host: Making Your Home a Social Media Star

in
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 2

Thank you so much, will start to make my social media more attractive .. thanks for the tips 

The Black House 🌻🌻

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