When you list your experience on Airbnb, you’ll reach potential guests from all around the world—and for some enterprising hosts, that’s just the beginning. From building their own websites to making the most of social media, they attract even more guests to their experiences. We asked a few of these hosts to share their online secrets to success. Here’s how you can make the most of the web:
Create a website
Part of the excitement of traveling is researching things to do in a particular destination. These hosts have found that having a website, in addition to hosting on platforms like Airbnb, helps them stand out and attract more guests.
- A website legitimizes your company, and a beautiful website sets you apart from countless others.—Stephanie, Los Angeles: Host of Foodporn, who runs Cooking for Luv.
- By having a website, people can find me on Google, when they search on terms like “urban hiking San Francisco.” —Alexandra, San Francisco: Host of Hike to the top of Twin Peaks and Pacific Coast Hiking, who runs Urban Hiker SF.
- Having a website lets me direct web traffic to Airbnb, and Airbnb app traffic can learn more about me from my website. They work hand in hand. —Travis, San Francisco: Host of Lands End Rock Balancing, who runs TravisRuskus.com.
How to: You don’t need to know how to code to create a beautifully designed website. Tools like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Shopify, and WordPress make it easy to create customizable pages in no time.
Be active on social media…
Posting on social media consistently is a top tip from hosts. Commit to posting regularly with detailed captions to create an established presence. It will help potential guests find you when they’re searching for things to do.
- I manage to post on my accounts five times a week. By posting consistently, my accounts look active and I can stay top of mind for people who follow my account.—Alexandra, San Francisco
- Promote yourself on as many channels that you can consistently manage. I like to use Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Youtube. —Travis, San Francisco
Instagram is great for promotion, but it also provides the opportunity to be creative and connect with like-minded people and potential guests. Hosts told us that they see the most success and engagement from posting photos and videos on Instagram.
- A beautiful and engaging Instagram presence is far more important than a website for many fields. —Stephanie, Los Angeles
- I started doing Instagram when I started my restaurant. I just kept my daily record for three years. I am very happy to have a lot of foreign friends [followers]. —Yang, Seoul: Homestyle Seoul Cooking 101, who runs Yang Chul Cooking.
- I seem to have the most interaction in Instagram and it’s also my favorite place to post since I love looking at everyone’s beautiful photos!—Alexandra, San Francisco
- I try to mix my [Instagram] profile up with photos of my latest artwork as well as the journey – I really just want to inspire others to see the infinite potential within themselves. —Travis, San Francisco
Add hashtags, keywords, and tags to your social-media posts
The best way to help people find your posts is to use keywords, hashtags, and tagging. Keywords are descriptive words and phrases that represent what your experience is about. When you add the #hashtag sign in front of a keyword it turns into a hashtag. For example, a host who leads a beer tasting experience in London might post a photo on Instagram from inside the brewery with #London #beer #craftbeer #beerlovers.
- On Instagram, one thing I’ve done is to tag @SFGate in some posts. Occasionally they will repost a photo I’ve shared. I get a very high level of exposure when this happens as they have a large audience. I often get bunch of new followers too! —Alexandra, San Francisco
- Create great content, use the right keywords, engage with your fans, share it on all your social channels, and repeat. Eventually things will start to pick up. —Travis, San Francisco
Have promotion tips, questions, or stories you want to share? We’re excited to hear what’s working and not working for hosts all over the world. Please share and connect in the Community Center just for experience hosts.