It’s great to see so many RDO members excited about this social media marketing drive and eager to get started or take their game to the next level.

Now, getting out there on social media is a bit like sending out party invitations. You’re going to have many more people popping by than usual, so you need to make sure you have a few things ready.

What happens all too often is that businesses run a terrific social media campaign at the expense of everything else. That’s like sending out stunning invitations but skimping on the party itself. Don’t!

Here’s a list of things to run through to make sure you’re ready to go social.

Check that your website is up to scratch

There’s no point in using social media to drive a lot of traffic to your timeshare website if your site hasn’t got what it takes.

First of all, make sure all the basics are covered.

  • Check that your site works flawlessly on all the main desktop web browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari, and at the most popular screen resolutions.
  • Make sure your site works on mobile devices and browsers too. Mobile phones are increasingly becoming people’s main form of internet access.
  • See that you have all the relevant social sharing buttons such as those for Facebook and Twitter appearing on your content so that it is as easy as possible for people to share your stuff.
  • Enable comments on your site content and actively reply to visitors there.
  • Test drive your site to get a feel for the user experience you are offering. Does it load fast? Is the design inviting? Are all the most important sections and links easily visible and where people would expect to find them? Is there an obvious way for people to get in touch?
  • Ask some people who are not familiar with your timeshare website to try it out. See if they agree with your findings.

It is very important that people who reach your website have the best experience possible. After all, you’re trying to convince them that the same is true of your timeshare resort.

Make sure your content is fresh and moves people down the sales path

The content on your website is your key to success. You’ve managed to grab people’s attention for a moment or two. What do you want them to see? How are you going to keep them interested and move them closer to becoming new timeshare owners?

The photos, videos, web copy and everything you present on your hotel’s website have to engage visitors and help them move closer to becoming timeshare owners. That’s not an easy task, and yet it is easy to see that all your social media endeavors are wasted if your website is not built to sell.

At the same time, you should be obviously make your current owners to feel welcome too and make it easy for the to find all the information they need. In short, your website should get them looking forward to their next holiday with at your resort.

Make sure that your website’s content gives off good vibes at first glance. Choose images that are full of the things your timeshare company is offering: fun, energy, friendship, relaxation, and so on.

Go through your web copy. How can you pep it up, to make it more persuasive and enjoyable to read?

And what about your blog feed? Has it been going a little slow lately? Write a few new posts for people to find when they visit, and come up with a plan to write more on a regular basis.

Remember that you need to change your content like bedsheets. Your timeshare website will have some static copy, of course, but it is the fresh and changing photos, videos, posts and articles that keep people coming back.

And while you’re working on your content, think about how your website fits in with your overall sales process. What sort of people visit your website and what is the next step down your timeshare sales path for the different groups? With this in mind, you will be able to create content that hits the right buttons and makes a real contribution to your sales.

Optimise your resort’s potential for word-of-mouth sales

Social media marketing works by people telling friends who tell friends and so on. It’s a kind of online word-of-mouth marketing system that is more far-reaching and powerful than ever before.

One part of your social media marketing involves building your own social media community around your resort. Make sure these people have interesting and valuable content to keep coming back to, and above all, content they will want to share.

There’s a lot to say about creating great content, and we’ll be going into more detail on in future posts. In the meantime, put yourself in the shoes of your typical visitor and take a good look at the content you’ve got. Is it fun? Engaging? Informative? Does it have enough value? And above all: is it worth sharing.

What goes for sales also goes for retention

The same soft selling techniques that are appropriate for social media will also help you retain current owners. After all, a lot of your social marketing strategy depends on happy owners helping you out by sharing their love of your resort with their friends.

Reach out and engage your current owners. Create a pleasant and happy atmosphere on your website and within your online community. Keep people interested and excited about what is going on at your resort, so that they look forward to their visit each year.

Your current owners are your best ambassadors.

Once you’ve got the groundwork of your online presence in order, you’ll be all the more ready to make the most of your social media efforts and rake in the rewards of your efforts.

As we go along, we’ll talk about other tasks, such as sprucing up your existing social media profiles. But first things first. Let’s get the house in order and get ready for the social media party.