VRS365 – Using Facebook Groups to Grow Community (Leads)

Earlier in 2020, I started a Facebook group for managers and property owners.  You are probably a member of it.  If not please check it out – info below.  The reason I mention it is that it has grown to nearly 2000 members in just 9 months and has become a useful resource for anyone with a question or issue around their short-term rental business.

The success of this group has intrigued me.  So, I started to think about the other Facebook groups I’m a member of.

They are eclectic, and range from a group of people who have RVs and are interested in transforming the generally ugly interiors into something HGTV-worthy, to proponents of the Keto diet to the Orange Beach – Lovin’ Life group.

It was that last one that inspired me.

For the past 10 years, we’ve been traveling to Gulf Shores every year with the RV.  I don’t rent a vacation home, but while in the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores area we shop, eat out, take hikes and I’ve even been motivated to take part in a half marathon (haven’t done it yet but watch this space).

The interesting thing is that any time I want information about something I will head to that Facebook group.  It’s like have a complete travel resource for the area at my fingertips.

If I can’t find what I’m looking for in a search of the group to see if my question has already been answered, then I will ask it and within minutes, someone in the group has responded.

It’s awesome.

So, I began to wonder if there were any groups in my area that offered the same level of help and activity.  And no, there are a few buy/sell groups, but nothing of the nature of Lovin’ Life.

And with that, I am starting one.

I’m taking a cue from Tyann Marcink who has recently started a group called Missouri Wine Travelers on Facebook.  She’s identified a niche – people who are interested in …yes, you guessed it….Missouri wine country.

With a few clever tactics, Tyann has grown her group to a couple of hundred members in a short time.  While not actively promoting her Missouri Haus vacation rentals brand, she is now able to connect with travelers coming to Missouri who love wine..and will probably need accommodation while they are there.

These groups are massively populated.  Here’s a list of groups discussing Anna Maria Island:

I’ll be documenting my journey of starting up the Ontario’s Cottage Country Lovers group on The Business of Short Term Rental & Property Management Facebook group.

I’m sure there will be a number of iterations along the way and will be learning from anyone who has done the same.

In this episode, I talk about

  • 5 reasons to start up a Facebook group
  • The difference between private and public groups
  • How Facebook algorithms are favoring groups over pages
  • Why video makes a greater impact
  • The role of a group administrator
  • Why we should all give this a try!

Links:

The Business of Short Term Rental & Property Management (please join!)

Missouri Wine Country Travelers

Orange Beach – Gulf Shores Lovin’ Life