Mountain View, California (EastBayDaily) — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media factor into the plans of vacation rental owners and managers in 2013 in a big way, according to a marketing survey conducted by Perfect Places Vacation Rentals. This growing trend will displace paid and organic search and claim the No. 3 spot as an online marketing channel, trailing only paid listing sites and free listing sites in the overall results, according to Rick Haggart, Perfect Places President.
“What’s encouraging is that most of the people who took the survey said that 2012 was better than 2011 in terms of business success, and that most owners and managers expect 2013 to be better than 2012,” Haggart said. “What’s interesting is the way people plan on marketing their vacation rentals in 2013.”
The survey was conducted from January 24 – 28 and was intended to shed light on the online marketing focus for vacation rentals in 2013, the general health of vacation rental businesses in 2012, and the outlook for 2013.
Vacation Rental Managers were asked for their top 5 picks in response to the question: "What online marketing channels are your focus for 2013?," 37.3% of respondents said Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels would be a big part of their marketing. That exceeded the percentage who chose paid and organic search, and trailed only the traditional forms of vacation rental marketing: paid listing sites (85.3%) and free listing sites (61.8%). Among large property managers with at least 50 properties and $10,000 of annual marketing spend, the shift to social media is even more pronounced, with social ranking first with 92% of the respondents selecting it as an important focus. That compared to paid listing sites and organic search, which were tied at 67%, and paid search, which came in at 58%. Respondents were asked to choose from the following marketing channels: paid listing sites, free listing sites, organic search, paid search, display, re-marketing, mobile, email, affiliate, social, content marketing and other (the handful of responses to "other" were word of mouth, blogs, and direct mail to past guests).
"We know social is big for vacation rental property owners and managers,” Haggart said, “but we were a little surprised that nearly twice the number of respondents cited social media as a significant focus compared with the number who sited paid search, which tallied just 14.7%.”
Email will continue to be a significant part of marketing efforts, according to the survey. It came in fourth overall, with 33.3% of respondents saying they would focus on email. Organic search was fifth.
"Several respondents said they focus their marketing efforts on emailing past guests.” Haggart said. “Since past guests also likely have Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts, it makes sense that social would play into their efforts to retain business.”
Regarding the success of their vacation rental business, 56% of respondents said business in 2012 was better in 2012 than 2011, 30% said it was about the same and 14% indicated business was worse. The respondents appeared cautious but optimistic about continued growth in 2013 with 61% expecting 2013 to be better than 2012, 35% expecting it to be about the same and only 4% expecting business to be worse.
About Perfect Places: Perfect Places offers nearly 60,000 vacation rental properties in more than 80 countries. Perfect Places operates a portfolio of vacation rental websites including PerfectPlaces.com,forGetaway.com, LakeRentals.com, CoastRentals.com, MountainSkiRentals.com and RentJillsHouse.com. Since 1996, Perfect Places has been a leading source for travelers looking for vacation rentals. Travelers can search for short-term rentals at Perfect Places websites for free. They'll find a wide assortment to choose from, including homes, condos, villas, cabins, bed and breakfasts and more.