Facebook Live : Successful Business Tactics



Facebook Live


Are you looking to improve your social media engagement? Live streaming may be your key. Last year, apps like snapchat and periscope grew in rapid popularity. Other brands started to jump on the live streaming bandwagon. Facebook has now integrated this feature. You can integrate this into your vacation rental marketing plan and stay ahead of your competition.

Facebook lets you broadcast in real time. You don’t need fancy equipment, no hours of editing the material, and the live video option is built right into Facebook. The need for extra apps is gone. Just open the Facebook home page of your Profile or Page, click on the “status” button at the top, and choose the Live video icon.

Live streaming is all about connecting and interacting with your audience. It creates a personal presence that traditional videos don’t convey. It gives your customers a behind the scenes look on how beautiful your properties are and the amenities that make your properties special. You can tease your customers with how beautiful the weather is, or new properties that will be available to rent soon.

Customer service is an integral part of any business. Chances are, you get emailed and asked the same questions over and over. It is very important to answer every single question, even if it has been repeated several times.
For example, you can live stream a FAQ session. When you are finished it creates an archive that you can share with your customers and customer service team alike, so everyone is on the same page.

Below, are some tips of how you can utilize Facebook Live:

•Tell fans when you’re broadcasting ahead of time.Show the fans what they are missing by showcasing the scenic aspects of your area.

•Poll the audience : ask them what they like about your company and what you can improve upon. This is your chance to assess your strengths and weaknesses
•Asks viewers to subscribe to live notifications

•Say hello to commenters! Respond to their comments live!

•Share a success story

With Facebook live, you have the potential to reach everyone who follows you on Facebook. Give your customers the live experience, and show them who you really are! You can instantly respond to their comments, and see their reactions.

The $1 Facebook Ad Trick

One dollar facebook ad
First and Foremost, this is not really a “trick”.  Anytime you try to game the system in internet marketing, you’re going to get caught and there will be consequences.  Today’s topic is about uncovering a really unique opportunity using Facebook ads that not many people know about.
Before we get into the secret sauce, lets talk about – Why Facebook?
  • 93% of adult US internet users in the US use Facebook.  (Source:  BlogHer)
  • 25% of all US web traffic is Facebook. (Source:  Hitwise)
That’s big!  There’s no doubt about it that Facebook is the dominant player not only in social media but in total time spent online.  Your clients are there and this is your best opportunity to reach them for very little cost.
As you decide to start using Facebook ads, the first thing you need to do is:
  1. Define your goals.  Do you want more “likes” on your page?  Do you want website traffic?  Do you want engagement and reach of your posts?  This will help you define the type of ad you will use and who you will be targeting.
  2. Choose a daily budget.  We recommend to start with a daily budget no lower that $10/day for 3 months to really see some great results.
Once you define your goals, you’ll be choosing your ad types and targeting.  This gets pretty exciting to see what you can do.  What are all of the different types of ads on Facebook?
  1. Page Post Ads – Boost likes, comments and shares on individual posts that you make on your page.
  2. Create ads that target non-fans and increase the number of people who like your page.
  3. Clicks to website – create ads that direct people off of Facebook and onto your website.  If you use the "Website Conversions" option, you will need to setup a "pixel conversion tracking code"
*There are 3 others that are not relevant so we won’t go into them.


Relevancy is KEY!  The smaller more targeted audiences will perform best, but will be a smaller audience and cost more to reach.

15 Ad Targeting Options:

1-4. You must target 1 or more counties – (only required targeting option)
Location: Country/City/Zip Code + radius from city/zip.  Targets by where they are physically located AND the address listed in their profile.
5/6.  Age/Gender – Self explanatory here.  You can also target people with a birthday in the coming week.
TIP – Don't select "Require exact age match" unless absolutely necessary – it’s cheaper if you leave this unchecked.
7/8.  Precise Interest & Broad Category targeting: Reach people based on interests and information in their profile.
EXAMPLE: If you own a pet store in Myrtle Beach, you'd use precise targeting to reach people who own pets in Myrtle Beach; you'd use broad targeting to reach people in Myrtle Beach who are interested in animals.
  • You CAN target both precise interests AND broad categories at the same time – this will shrink your potential audience by only targeting people who fall under both. 
  • You CAN target more than 1 precise interests and broad category at the same time – this will expand your potential audience by targeting people who fall under all of the selected interests and categories.
  • Hashtags expand your interest targeting: #Cooking lets you reach people who are interested in cooking, cooking tips, and cooking and eating.
9/10.  Connections – You must be an admin of the page/group/event but you can target only people who like – or only people who don't like the page/group/event. Target "friends of connections"
  11-15.  Advanced Targeting:
  • Interested In: This allows a business to target Facebook users according to the gender they are interested in for a friendship, dating, a relationship or networking.
  • Relationship Status: This allows a business to target Facebook users that are married, single, engaged, or in a relationship.
  • Languages: This targeting option is best used when targeting an audience that speaks a language that is different from most of the people in the targeted geography.
  • Education: This option enables the targeting of Facebook users that are in high school, college, or a college graduate. Businesses can also target Facebook users that went to a specific school, study a specific topic, or for current college students, their expected graduation date.
  • Workplaces: Targeting Facebook users by where they work can be useful in various B2B, job search, and industry specific scenarios.
*Custom Audiences – Using email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook user IDS; you can target specific people on Facebook.
Expert Tip: Custom Audience Targeting allows you to upload your email list. *Combine this targeting with an exclusive "offer" to see BIG returns.
Facebook Ad Targeting
Next we should discuss the tool that you should be using to run these ads.  There is only 1 that I will recommend and it’s free.  It’s called the “Power Editor”.  This is a Chrome plugin that is linked inside of the Facebook advertising center and built by Facebook.

So let’s talk about the $1 Facebook Ad Trick!

It’s well published on the web that an average Facebook page will only reach about 6% of their fans with posts.  So this trick is aimed to help you reach 100% of your fans with just $1/day!  How?
  1. First, I’m going to assume you know how to use the power editor and you know the basics of how Facebook ads work.
  2. Once you’re in the power editor and have downloaded your ads, we’re going to create a new campaign setting a budget of $2/day running it “continuously”.
  3. Next, you’ll need to create an “Adset” and then create an ad (placing it in the adset and campaign you just created).
  4. When creating your ad you need to select “Page Post Engagement” under the objective, select “For a Facebook Page using a post”, select your page from the drop-down, select “Automatically promote most recent post”, and choose “All Facebook” for placement.
·         News Feed only posts will perform better but will also be more expensive.
  1. Next, under audience, you just need to target fans of your page.
  2. Lastly, under “Optimization & Pricing”, choose the CPM method and bid $1.00 no matter what the suggested bid says.
  3. Click “UPLOAD CHANGES” and wait for your ad to be approved.
I’ve presented on this topic so if you’d prefer to view it, you can follow along here:  http://prezi.com/ff9r36vxt3gg/
I hope that this blog helps you better understand how Facebook advertising works and provides an easy to follow break down to run your own “$1 Facebook Ad Campaign”.  If you need any assistance running Facebook ads for your business, we’d love to talk with you and help you with all of your internet marketing needs.

About the author: David Hutnik is the Social Media Director at InterCoastal Net Designs where they specialize in web design, search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and more. For more information about vacation rental internet marketing, check out our free downloads.

Google Plus Changes That Affect Your Strategy As A Vacation Rental Manager

Google Plus

Have you dedicated any time or resources to Google+? If you have for your business, chances are you still don't spend a significant amount of time on Google+ personally. Well there has been a lot of recent news about changes on Google+ so I'll take a few minutes to explain them and how they will impact the vacation rental industry.


First, the recent changes:

  1. It was reported that 1,000 – 1,200 employees that formed the core Google+ team are being moved to other divisions such as Hangouts and Android; and the photos team is likely to follow.
  2. Vic Gundotra, a Google employee who has led the Google+ initiative from the very beginning, has left the company. A Google vice president, David Besbris, will be taking over on the Google+ project.


Why I believe Google+ wasn't a bigger success:

Google+ was built to solve a problem for Google – they didn't have the social data information that Facebook had. Their solution was to build an extremely similar product to Facebook and integrate it with all of the other Google products you use: Youtube, Chrome, Gmail, etc… This may have started to solve their problem, but it didn't really solve anything for the common user. That's why it wouldn't last.

Google's previous mission to force Google+ into all of their other products will soon end and that is for the better, most users did not approve of this.


Is Google+ going away?

No, not anytime soon that I can see. Although, this isn't the first "social" experiment. Does anyone remember "Google Buzz" or "Google Wave"? Well, they were slowly depreciated and I can see that on the horizon for Google+ as well.  Don't abandon all your efforts here just yet!


So what's next?

I haven't completely gotten rid of all Google+ strategy for businesses in the vacation rental industry. At the current time, there is still reason to keep your profile semi active, create an optimized presence if you haven't already, and merge your local page with your Google+ business page. There's also still a lot of value in authorship and publisher tags being used because they show your profile photo directly in the search results of Google. This provides significantly increased click thru rates.

I've been reallocating some of the resources that were spent on Google+ to build more Pinterest and Instagram content.  It's all about prioritizing the amount of time that you have in the right place to reach the right audience. Find out where your clients are (other than Facebook) and engage with them.


I hope this helps you understand a little bit about the recent changes on Google+. If you have any suggestions for another topic on social media, leave a comment below or send me an email at: dhutnik@icnd.net

About the author: David Hutnik is the Social Media Director at InterCoastal Net Designs where they specialize in web design, search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and more.

Helping Clients reach 100,000 Facebook Fans!



The Intercoastal Net Designs team is excited to showcase one of our biggest success stories. Myrtle Beach Resort Vacations started a social media campaign with us back in December of 2012 with around 1,300 Facebook fans. Here we are just 14 months later at over 100,000 Fans and a very active community on Facebook for Myrtle Beach Resort.


How'd we do it?

A lot of credit needs to go to the Myrtle Beach Resort team led by general manager Paul Williams.  It's much easier to promote a page on Facebook where the property is maintained nicely and the staff treats customers so great.  We piggy backed this customer service by reaching out to the fans and friends of fans with engaging posts and the page spread virally over the course of the first few months.  We ran some great promotions and contests as well as mixing in some email marketing to promote the Facebook page.


It’s exciting to take a page in “hibernation mode” as I like to call it and really bring it to life.  When you take over a Facebook page with 1,300 fans, this means that someone really put forth some good effort to get there.  But at the time of taking it over, fans were not as engaged and the posting had slowed down a bit.  We saw an immediate increase in engagement on the page as we posted more frequently.  Then we began to mix in our other strategies and the amplified growth of fans and engagement was exponential.




Are you interested in seeing some social media results for your business? Get in touch with the ICND team today to schedule a free consultation and social media audit!

The Pragmatic Approach for Targeting Vacationer Demographics

The vacation rental industry is an 85 billion dollar industry with virtually every demographic planning a dream vacation, year after year. A majority of vacation rental managers often realize too late about vacant inventory. Focused solely on families (or vice versa) this late realization leads to last minute price slashing with mixed results. Wouldn’t it be nice each year to be ahead of the curve and guarantee a larger percentage of bookings?

Studies have shown (Framingham Heart Study) that men who regularly vacation are 32% less likely to die of heart related illnesses compared to men who do not take a regular vacation. What’s worse is that women who don’t vacation twice a year are 8 times MORE likely to suffer from a heart related illness. These studies reinforce the notion that happier, healthier people across the board, know that rest and relaxation are vital to their health.

The question is: are you capturing every demographic the correct way? 


Today’s marketing tools make it easier than ever to target specific demographics:

Facebook Targeted Ads– Facebook ads have come a long way in terms of targeting. Users of Facebook today are revealing more and more information within their own profiles that Facebook has tactfully gained access to who each user is. If one bedroom condos are a large part of your inventory still in stock, the ability to create an ad specifically toward those in relationships with less than 2 children as well as including the unmarried and married with less than 2 children, ensures that those in your target segment are the only ones who are viewing such an ad.

Facebook Post Targeting– Did you know you can cater a post to specific demographics? Much like Facebook ads, specific post targeting allows you to display certain posts to current fans that you wish to capture. Suppose there are a number of units you’d like to see booked for an upcoming weekend. Depending on your vacation rental price points, wouldn’t it make sense to target to those solely within a day’s drive? Creating a targeted post highlighting this facet has the potential to yield higher results.


Segmented E-mails– Does your company use departure questionnaires? If not, it might be time to consider implementing them. Gathering as much information on former clients can help determine location, time of year and frequency of their vacation habits.

PPC– Google, the mother ship of all things related to targeting. It should be of no surprise that Google knows everything about you. Whether you use their browser, (Chrome) or simply use Google searches on a daily basis, the fact remains that they are keeping tabs on your search history and figuring out with great detail, who you are. The power of this information is outstanding. One of the tools marketers have at their hands is Pay Per Click Ads. Incorporating a well-timed and concentrated PPC campaign not only increases views but can also show you in a variety of facets where you may be failing in converting actual sales.

Demographic information is one of the most vital aspects to understanding your business. With comprehensive research within your own buyers’ history as well as carefully executed targeting measures, the ability to capture and retain audiences has never been stronger. Utilization of these targeting tools can propel your company’s overall performance.

Pinterest Features that Vacation Rental Managers Can't Live Without

Pinterest is buzzing through everyone’s feed on a weekly basis it seems, but have you really taken the time to see how YOUR business can leverage this network?

First, let’s set the tone for where Pinterest stacks up to the other social media sites.

  • 70 Million Users
  • 60% Female
  • 20% of all US women

With all of the buzz around this new social network, it’s important to note that it is still NOT a dominant platform, however, there are some great features to leverage as a Vacation Rental that I’d like to showcase here along with ideas on how you can utilize them.  ICND was glad to contribute this article previously to Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA).


#1: Pinterest added an incredible new feature November 2013 called “Place Pins”. This allows you to pinpoint key places around the town with a map shown in the background. You can create this for local restaurants, beach access and other highlights of your town to help your vacationers enjoy a great trip. You can embed these into your website as well to keep visitors on-site, allowing you to be a resource to others.  Example: http://www.pinterest.com/sloanevacations/explore-ocean-isle-beach

Read all about how to create these “Place Pins” for yourself in our blog on Pinterest Place Pins


#2: Pin-It Buttons: You can add a button to your blogs or other content on your site that makes it easy for users to “Pin” from your website. You can also add a “hover button” so that as visitors on your website hover their mouse over a photo, the “Pin-it” button appears and they will be able to pin easily. This “hover button” is nice because it is easy to add (depending on how your website is programmed and what access you have) and it doesn’t interfere with the rest of your website design. http://business.pinterest.com/pin-it-button/ – http://business.pinterest.com/widget-builder


#3: Product Pins (Add Pricing and Description to your Vacation Rentals):  This requires a web developer to help you but adding some code to your website can allow Pinterest to pull pricing, description, availability, location and property name with your vacation rentals pictures when they are pinned.  –  http://developers.pinterest.com/rich_pins/#oembedType


#4: Promoted Pins:  These are brand new and not available for everyone at this time. You can apply to have this feature but it depends on your budget. http://business.pinterest.com/promoting-pins/

– As Pinterest describes, they are “Tasteful, Transparent and Relevant…” so you can anticipate them not being annoying and hopefully targeted to your interests.  For VRMs, this means that you can target your rentals through Pinterest to users who pin vacation destinations, located in target regions and fall into the demographics you’d like to reach.  Keep an eye on this feature as it continues to be developed in 2014.

Pinterest Adds New "Place Pins"

Pinterest added a great new feature this last week called "Place Pins".  We're going to show you some examples of different ways that you can use this new feature and how to set it up yourself.


How To Create a "Place Pins" Board

First, let me walk you through the process of setting this up yourself.  It's verys simple if you already have a Pinterest account, you just go to the upper right corner where your name is and click on the "+" sign.  This will display a drop-down allowing you to "Create a Board"


Next, you will need to name your board and give it a description.  Keep in mind SEO friendly keywords when naming your boards and giving them a good description.  Also, it's very important that you select to "Add a Map"; this is what makes it a new Places Pinboard.


Now that you've created your board, you will add your first place.  I recommend that you add you place of business (if it fits into you new board category) last.  By adding your business last, it will ensure that your business comes up at the top on the list when you are on your board.


Be sure to add a lot of places to your pinboard!  Just select the "Add a Place" button to keep adding more.


Ways to Use This Feature!

This is a great new feature to use!  If you're a vacation rental company, you can showcase all of the local hotspots and point out some of the places only locals know about.  For example, that beach access where your car WON'T get towed and it's not as crowded.  You know that local burger joint that has incredible food but most tourists don't know about it?  What about the best place to rent equipment from?  You are the local expert concierge and this is your opportunity to share with other Pinterest users!

Here is an example Vacation Rental Company in Ocean Isle Beach, NC using this feature already.

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It seems like the holidays start coming earlier and earlier every year. You can walk into a store in October, and see Christmas decorations. Here at ICND we waited until November 1st to start really pushing our holiday marketing campaigns.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are great times to take a vacation. ICND has been helping our vacation rental clients target renters for the holidays for many years. There are numerous ways you can put a holiday spin on your marketing campaign!

Email Marketing Send out an eblast dedicated to holiday events in your area, encouraging people to come stay for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time in between. Encourage them to make new traditions. Eblasts are a great way to have fun, and talk to your potential guests from their view point. Paint a picture that they would want to be a part of. Talk straight to them. “Who wouldn’t want to wake up with a view of a ski resort on Christmas morning?” or “Take a walk on the beach after your big Thanksgiving meal!” Keep it short and sweet. 

Website Edits– If you have a large rotating banner on your website, why not have a holiday relevant one designed? That way people will get the holiday feel as soon as they land on your homepage. Or how about adding some Christmas lights or a santa hat to your logo? Have fun with it! ICND’s marketing and graphic design team can help you come up with fun ideas to fit the look and feel of your company.

Holiday Specials– Everyone is always looking for a deal. Let them know that staying with you for the holidays is more affordable than they might think.

Social Media Designs- It is always good to rebrand your social media pages every 3-6 months. Giving it a new look and feel is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your guests intrigued. ICND often rebrands our Social Media client Facebook and Twitter pages during the holiday season. A festive way to grab peoples attention! 

Don’t let a marketing opportunity slip through your fingers. Regardless of the time period of your in season, the holidays are a great time to increase bookings!

Looking for more holiday marketing tips? Contact your account rep, or info@icoastalnet.com today!


The Anatomy of a Perfect Facebook Post

When it comes to Facebook, there is no one-size-fits-all type of formula that is going to work for everyone; however, there are simple things that you can do to improve your results no matter what type of business you have.  We are going to cover "The Anatomy of a Perfect Facebook Post" in this article to give you an edge and build more engagement with your fans.


What Makes a perfect Facebook post and why?

  1. Always include a photo!
    • Many studies show the drastic increase in impressions, CTR and engagement when posts include an image.
    • Extra Tip: Include a square image to ensure a uniform look on all devices and so that they aren’t cropped on your page or in the newsfeed.
  2. Add text on the image.
    • This is easily done in a photo editing software.  Add just a few words for added effect.
    • If you’re advertising or promoting your posts, don’t cover more than 20% of your photo with text to stay within guidelines.
  3. Brand your photos
    • As your photos are viewed and shared, let your brand have a bigger impact by adding a logo to the actual image.
  4. Use a Call to action ON the photo
    • Don’t let this take away from your image but a simple arrow or call-to-action can increase your CTR and engagement.
  5. Extremely short text when possible – 10 words or less!
    • Ok, 10 words or less sounds extremely short and it’s not always feasible but as a rule of thumb, just cut out any text that is not absolutely necessary.
  6. Call to action in the text
    • If you ask people to “LIKE” & “SHARE” they’re much more likely to do it!  Don’t over use it, but work it in every once in a while.
  7. Use a link and take the extra step to make it short and trackable.
    • There are many services out there that help you create short trackable links such as bit.ly. For further tracking with multiple campaigns, I will sometimes use the Google URL Builder (which helps Google Analytics tracking) and then shorten that link inside of Bit.ly. Utilize this to track what is working!


Timing is everything!

Everything above is focused on maximizing your engagement which will also increase the affinity your brand has to your audience.  Another very important element is timing:

“The average post reaches 15% of a brand’s fans and only stays in a newsfeed for 3 hours.” – Tweet this Stat

With that in mind, if your audience is more engaged at night, find out the right time when they are most likely to like/comment/share your posts.  Some of the pages that we manage have success at 3pm, some at 8am on a Saturday and some at 8pm during the week.  Do your own testing, look at your Facebook Insights and find the sweet spot.


What’s the most important thing to remember?

Engagement is key in social media.  If people don’t care enough about what you are posting to “Like, Comment, or Share”; then you need to reevaluate.  Always keep your audience engaged!


We previously contributed this blog to the VRMA Insights Blog.  Educating yourself on the effective ways to leverage these tools is the first step to success – and there’s no better place than #VRMA2013. Don’t miss the 50+ Seminars in Nashville, TN as the VRMA tradeshow travels to Opryland for the biggest show of the year. This specific topic will be covered on Tuesday morning at 10am by the @InterCoastal Net Designs team.

Facebook Newsfeed: Stats & Optimization

We've gone over a lot of tips to help you make the most out of your Facebook posts by uncovering "The Anatomy of A Perfect Facebook Post". Today we're going to discuss why the newsfeed is such an important piece of Facebook, compare it to other marketing avenues and provide you some tips that you can start using immediately.


Analogies Comparing the Facebook Newsfeed to Other Advertising Efforts:

Email Marketing: If I were to send you an email every single day, you'd probably unsubscribe, right? – This isn't the case on Facebook where it is more acceptable to post daily and have your post appear in the newsfeed.

Blogging: If you were to post daily on your blog, how many people will go through the effort of actually going TO your blog every day? People already spend more time on Facebook than anywhere else online so Facebook pushes your content to them.

Billboard: Look at the newsfeed like a billboard you pass daily. Sometimes you notice them, sometimes you go right by and don't pay any attention. But if you pass a billboard everyday, that brand will be top of mind next time you have a need for that business.


Here are a few stats about the Facebook Newsfeed to think about while you read the article.

  • 90% of time on Facebook is spent on the newsfeed.
  • 85% of engagement and interactions on a Facebook page are created from the newsfeed.
  • 95% of users only ever read their “Top News”

 So the newsfeed is obviously important to focus on, it's where everyone sees your content on Facebook. And all of the posts and content in this newsfeed are ranked based on how relevant they are to each individual user. This is driven by "Edgerank". The Edgerank algorithm is used to determine what will be shown to you in your "Top News" feed that I mentioned above, the page that is most widely used on Facebook. The alternative feed being the "most recent" feed, in-which case your only strategy is to optimize for is time. Given the importance of the Top News feed on Facebook, I’m going to break down this Edgerank formula.


What is Edgerank?

Compare it to a search engines algorithm. While Google ranks webpages, Facebook ranks posts and shows the most relevant posts in your "Top News" feed. This relevance is determined by 3 main categories:

Weight: More Likes, Comments & Shares = higher rank.

Affinity: The greater connection and engagement your fans have with your posts, the higher rank your posts will be given in your fan's newsfeed.

Time: The more recent your post, the higher rank it receives.

*Note – There are a lot of factors that go into Edgerank, we are merely covering the surface and breaking it down into these three main categories in this article.

Couple things to keep in mind:

  • As a brand, you page has to compete for affinity with your fan's family and friends. This is why it is so vital to create engaging content!
  • On average, only 15% of a Facebook page's posts even seen by Fan's in their newsfeed.
  • Pages with over 10,000 fans receive greater reach in the newsfeed.
  • The average post will only last about 3 hours in the newsfeed – so timing is everything!


How to maximize your exposure in the newsfeed?

1) Follow my tips on The Anatomy of a perfect Facebook Post – this will help you get more engaged fans which increases the weight of your posts.

2) This is somewhat covered in the blog article linked above, but get to know your fans and truly engage with them. If you relate with them and post killer content, this will amplify your affinity with your fans.

3) Look at your insights. This is the equivalent to Google Analytics for your Facebook page. Facebook now shows you the time of day and day of the week when your fans are most active. Use this to post when your fans are online.

4) Know your fans. Again in the insights, you can see a lot of demographic information to learn who your fans are, where they live and much more. Use this to target your posts and tailor posts to your fan's interests.


Now that you know the importance of optimizing your posts for the newsfeed and I've given you a few tips on how to maximize your exposure; I hope that you put them to good use and share your experience with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Let me know if you have any questions.

If you'd like a free analysis of your social media presence or help with managing them, you can contact us to learn more about ICND and how we can help you accomplish your goals.