Social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon allow vacation rental owners to save their listing page online and promote it to a whole different set of Internet users, easily and free of charge. Similar to saving a helpful or often-used web page to your browser’s “Bookmarks” or “Favorites,” social bookmarking sites allow a user to save these same pages to an Internet-based application that offers significant advantages over a browser.
The main advantages to using bookmarking sites over your browser’s bookmarking capabilities include:
• Access any time: Whereas browser-based bookmarks are saved on your computer’s hard drive, web-based bookmarks can be viewed on any computer with online access, anywhere in the world.
• Less algorithm, more humanism: When users search the Internet with keywords via a search engine, the search engine will (in varying ways) use “algorithms” or software that attempts to determine a web page’s meaning. The results can sometimes be less relevant than hoped. Content stored on social bookmarking sites, however, will contain human-defined “tags” – a collection of one-word definitions – and descriptions that clearly distinguish the topic(s) relevant to the page you are saving.
• Create an online reference guide: Some social bookmarking sites, like Delicious, provide further definition of a page by allowing you to group pages into “stacks.” In other words, you can create a compilation of related web pages that share specific tags. Use this feature to create an online reference area for your tenants, directing them to helpful and convenient information related to the experience of vacationing in your property. Along with your listing page, you might include the pages of:
o Maps of your area
o Your favorite linen or baby equipment rental businesses in our Service Provider Directory
o Your town’s page in our Vacation Planner to help vacationers find restaurants, museums, shopping, and activities
o Online articles referencing places of interest like beaches, bike and walking trails, bird-watching areas, and more (see some of our related articles)
To start increasing your listing’s exposure, complete the following steps:
1. Choose a popular bookmarking site and create an account.
2. Take a few moments to browse some of the popular sites others have bookmarked. Note how users have used tags and, in some applications, “groups” or “stacks” to define the pages they save.
3. Bookmark your listing page, and define it with specific tags.
4. Share and promote your bookmarked listing using the wide variety of social tools that often come with web-based bookmarking.
5. Compile related websites into a reference guide for your tenants and inquirers, and include the link to your bookmarks in your initial correspondence with them, and then again right before they are due to stay in your home.
Have you used social bookmarking sites to promote your vacation rental home? Please share!