The Boost Hospitality Podcast is back for another season! We are now in Season 7, and we are currently on the ninth episode! In this episode, I’ve invited Natacha Parmantier and we’re talking all about increasing bookings with Instagram.
I’m Natacha Parmantier and I’m in Spain, in case you don’t notice it from the accent. I’m French. But we left France 10 years ago; I’ve lived in different countries and six countries right now Spain. When I was travelling, I would rent out my room and would go travelling and visiting. Paid for my trips, so it was not too bad. And then when I like came to these flats, I decided to rent a few rooms in my flat, so I’m doing pump share in these flats. I have another flat in the countryside because when I got pregnant, I thought okay, I have to do the normal things I had never lived since I decided to travel the world I never had any more than life what we would call I thought okay, I need to go back to normal life.
So I thought I have to buy a flat so I bought a flat in the countryside because we’ve made Bridgette cannot afford a flat in the centre of Valencia. I have one in the countryside. I went to live there for a while. But after getting my baby, he was two or three months old, which decided Nope. We are going back to Valencia for our healthy life, and we are only no early 30s.
And that’s how I’m decided to instead of long term rentals, which would like, bring very little money in a few days in the countryside. Plus, they are like, according to me, and according to what I was talking with people, it’s kind of dangerous in Spain, because you don’t know the risk people, they can pay one loan. They give you the deposit, and then basically, they occupy your flat, and they don’t pay you.
So we decided to do the same as we were doing here it’s doing good, there are festivals. It’s not like super, like, rented all the time because it’s like, small few days.
So yeah, that’s the two accommodations that I have. And my plan for the future is to have a glamping site so I want to have glamping site with us or smaller than tiny houses with vegan food with a garden so that people can come back to nature. So that’s the goal for the future for accommodations.
Where does Instagram rate on your favourite?
For me, the best one is Facebook right now. I’m using much more Facebook before I was using much more Instagram. In fact, like what I like in my group, I advise on different channels and Facebook, I recommend the various channel. Why? Because I think it’s good to know all the strategies and I love marketing. So for me, I, I studied all the strategy, and I’m learning we are all it’s a growing process. I’m always learning new things.
But it’s also good to know all the strategies and to know Okay, which one is working best for me? Which one is giving me the highest percentage of conversion? Because it’s like no point to spend time on something which is not giving us the highest return on time spent.
What is best for me? Two platforms for my business is Facebook and LinkedIn for like, teaching people how to, like have better online visibility for their vacation. So that’s why I’m spending more time on this.
But I love Instagram for my personal life I’m checking all the time, especially like for places to stay and bookings. And as I said, I love learning marketing strategies. So that’s why I know a lot about Instagram. But that’s not my thought one for myself,
What do you see is the most common mistake that short-stay accommodation owners are doing when it comes to getting started with Instagram and bookings?
There are a few but the first like big mistakes, I think in the hashtags, people were putting in their hashtags. Airbnb host Airbnb, super host, vacation rentals, whatever, what it’s bringing them for a world which our competitors are not like we still collaborate partners in positive places, which is good.
It’s also it’s always nice to know who’s the host, but they are not your target market. So you have to think when you’re thinking about hashtags, instead of like putting what you are, because this is not what we want to focus on, like who you are, it’s okay, but you want to focus on who they are.
So if she knows that most of the people coming to your place, for instance, I have one of my students, she, as a lot of people are coming because they love like bike drivers. Then I advise her to use those kinds of hashtags, find the one who is working for her, her target audience, not her safe, then it’s like, find the right hashtags for them.
What’s the best way of going around and finding an Instagram hashtag that they could look to take advantage of in terms of when they’re posting things to increase bookings?
When you’re on Instagram, you go to the search, search tab on the top, and you write to write what you’re thinking of, and then you will see like, Instagram will tell you, this hashtag there is like over 10 million post this hashtag has like 100 posts. So as we were saying, we don’t want to hashtags, which is too small and since you will be the only one there, that’s the point.
But you also don’t want one which is like overcrowded because you will be one in a sea of people and they will never see you. So this is the first thing like find a hashtag, which is like, not widely used.
Second thing, what I advise, look for your competitors. Hotels don’t use hashtags which aren’t just for hotels to search for their hotels; they have a big usually they have a big team, they have more money than you for their marketing so they have a team behind them while researching what hashtags they should use. So look at what they are using as hashtags and again click on each hashtag and see okay, is it a too big hashtag or not?
You have to research your booking competitors and then also you should know some of your past guests. Check what they are using as hashtags because if they are using this, they are your ideal customers.
Do you have any advice that you could pass on when it comes to using Instagram stories to increase bookings?
First, I would say that yes, as you were saying, doing Instagram Stories to increase bookings is the way to go right now. This is what you want. What I was saying is, you want to do this, and I know a lot of people are afraid. So if you’re watching this life or if you’re listening to the podcast, and you’re scared of doing it, we all have to go out of our comfort zone. This is something if you want to grow; this is something essential and why stories are significant. People don’t have time we don’t go to the feed anymore. We go to the stories. This is at the top, Airbnb, Instagram and Facebook are pushing this; that’s where you have to go.
I have two tips on this, the first one in our world in our society right now we are missing the human connection. We don’t know people, be real. Just be yourself as Mark is doing. If you haven’t checked his account, you can see he’s doing daily vlogs he’s showing all his life on Instagram, so I know that some of you are like and resilient to show all your life. You don’t have to show your life we show a little bit some things like behind the scenes, we all love some behind the scenes. So you’re like, it shows the one thing in your place.
I’m telling you something, my daughter, like, you know, a little video like this is something which we give you a lot of engagement people will connect with you this is very important, they want to relate they want to join.
And one other tip would be to put one hashtag in each series; you are supposed to read it with the hashtag. And because you have just one hashtag, this is helping you to see which is a right hashtag and which one is not working, because you can then go to the insights, as I tell you how many people saw your story because of the hashtag. So this is like a good indication for afterwards for your field to use these hashtags.
And then the third one that I thought about and forgetting right now is asking for engagement. Ask for people like to like give their opinions. This is something that they want to do so you can request a question, or you can do a poll like what do you prefer? What’s your favourite season like summer winter? Any question that comes to your mind asking for engagement again, because they will reply it will goes to your best known messages and then you will respond to them you will create this relationship that’s what I’m talking a lot in my group that relationship creates relationships in our society nowadays, this is the most critical issue like really to your business to grow, and you know, right Wait, work your ideal guests coming back to our repeat guests and things like this. You have to think about their relationships, and those are the three tips lead.
What is Linktree?
Linktree is enabling you. You can use the free premium version. I’m using the free one to have different links. Why is it good because maybe you have different accommodations. Maybe you have like your book direct. This your book direct link, then you can have like your book direct link.
You like different accommodation things. If you have a blog, you can link your blog. If you have like your Facebook, you can link your Facebook if you’re doing Airbnb experiences. You can also share your Airbnb extent; this is you can have different links there. And it’s amazing. One thing this is for people who are not tech-savvy, Linktree is perfect because it’s straightforward to use.
Then if you have your direct websites, I would advise you to do. The same has a new website. And this is very easy to create just one page, you have it built, and you have like more traffic coming to your site to spend the time they go from one page to the other. This is helping you rank on Google’s piece you can do it or if you have like a developer is doing it for you, then having such a page is also unusual because you have different things on your bio on Instagram, which usually leaves you with one option.
When it comes to direct bookings, what is the one bit of advice that you seem to be passing on to your members time and time again?
Having your website is your direct bookings. The second one, be on Google My business page. A lot of people are not on it — most of the hotels out there. But there is not this kind of like more private accommodations. They are not on Google. But when people are looking for accommodations, they are also looking at Google Maps. We are all using Google Maps and being having this little phones pinpoint on the map is helping you with after you can have your direct website link to it, and then it goes there.
Another tip, on the highlights to like put that book here like join the VIP leads so book directly to get like the best rate of things like this so that it’s like it’s written you know, they know okay you giving people need to, to know what to do like we are, provide them with the call to action. What they have to do, they have to be book direct.
People are all looking for booking direct. We don’t sometimes know how it goes. So for those who direct to have your name for your place so that when they look on one of the lifeboats, we find your name, and then they record and Google search for it, they will see your direct websites. There we go. There.
What was the idea of creating your Facebook group, and what are the plans for it?
It’s called Airbnb More Direct Booking Marketing Tips for Vacation Rentals. I sometimes think why I call it Airbnb when I say about direct bookings because basically, it’s very mainstream. Everyone knows Airbnb, especially on Facebook Like most of the groups are about Airbnb. So I put this keyword I pulled up a keyword and said why I created this because I noticed there are a lot of other groups of Airbnb hosts which are focusing more on the hospitality side. Like how to host way, and what to do, which kind of sheets to have, what to do some cleaning, whatever.
But I don’t think about other ways marketing ways or for online visibility. There are so many more things than just being on a website like Airbnb and just waiting for passively waiting for one booking to come. And you have other wins and people were not like, we aware of those ways.
So that’s why I have a business background. I studied marketing and me; I went out, I worked two years incorporate, and then I just left this corporate world.
So I built businesses, I made mistakes, and from that, I’ve learned, so I know that online visibility is like the most crucial marketing is very important. I would see that I could share a lot of things that, for me, either way, was just evident and straightforward.
But for a lot of people, it was not because they didn’t have this background. A lot of people who are doing Vacation Rentals don’t have experience in marketing. And that’s why I decided, Okay, let’s, let’s create this group and let’s share, like the board’s ideas that I have and the things that I know with, with people who are interested in being active on getting bookings and having a business, not just a hobby.
Where should you put these Instagram hashtags? Should it be in the post? Should it be in the comments? Where are we putting them and how many should we put in to increase bookings?
So this is an excellent question, and, if you had asked me one month ago, my answer would have been different. But I think one or two weeks ago Instagram did the video live was a shared some tips and what I was sharing before so for people who listen to my advice before Instagram now is changing. And it seemed like different things.
So before I was saying, like, have like, at least around 30, hashtags and put in the first comment. And now what Instagram is saying is that having 10 to 15 hashtags is good. And place it directly into the caption.
Know more about Natacha Parmantier
Facebook group: Airbnb #Moredirectbookings
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/natacha.p88