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How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Listing (EP 302)

As the short-term rental (STR) space gets more and more competitive, hosts are looking to promote their listings beyond Airbnb. Joshua Hittinger leverages Instagram to generate buzz around his vacation rental and engage with potential guests. So, how can YOU use social media and vacation rental marketing to market your listing?

Joshua is a new Airbnb host in northwest Arkansas. He and his wife relocated to the area near the Ozark Mountains 14 months ago and purchased an A-frame cabin with the intention of listing on Airbnb. After a year spent renovating the space and documenting the journey on Instagram, they are enjoying 85-90% occupancy just two months into their hosting career—in the off season!

On this episode of Get Paid for Your Pad, Joshua joins me to explain how he is using Instagram to promote his listing, turning followers into guests and growing his audience organically. He walks us through the process of finding and renovating the cabin and documenting the journey on social media. Listen in for insight around telling the story of your listing in the first five photos and learn how you might promote your vacation rental outside the Airbnb platform.

Topics Covered

The story behind The Lost Haus

  • Relocated to NW Arkansas (potential for Airbnb)
  • Found A-frame cabin for $140K
  • Moved in and spent year doing renovations

How Instagram has helped Joshua’s listing

  • Turns followers into guests
  • Rank quickly on Airbnb front page
  • 85-90% booked in off-season

The process Joshua followed to host on Airbnb

  • Used FHA loan for first home ($6K down)
  • Renovate room by room + document journey
  • Put up listing 2 months before finished

How Joshua made interior design choices for the listing

  • Different theme for each room
  • Choose things WE love

How often Joshua posts on Instagram

  • 2X per day to keep engagement high
  • Take pics at turnover, post through week

How guests help grow Joshua’s following on Instagram

  • Ask to tag @thelosthaus, use # in posts
  • Introduces listing to guest’s followers

How hosting on Airbnb has changed over time

  • Understanding search algorithm used to be enough
  • Provide unique experience, promote beyond Airbnb

What Joshua might do to improve his listing

  • Include photos of nearby lake, historic town
  • Pictures of people EXPERIENCING listing
  • Most attractive pic of each room in first 5
  • Use quotes from reviews as photo captions

Connect with Joshua

The Lost Haus on Instagram

Joshua’s Airbnb Listing


Get Paid for Your Pad: How to Maximize Profit from Your Airbnb Listing by Jasper Ribbers and Huzefa Kapadia

Ozark on Netflix

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Related Post: Rankbreeze Review: Optimize Your Airbnb Rankings & Search Visibility