Learning from HomeAway's Social Media Success to Help Build your Own Brand

HomeAway has long been leading the charge in social media.  As early as 2008, the company began engaging on major social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr as another way to achieve its marketing goals of building brand awareness and growing its online community.  Starting small and prioritizing great content, HomeAway focused on building strong communities on each social account they had and slowly incorporated more brands and more departments into their social efforts as their social media usage matured.  Having executed on years worth of social media campaigns, we teamed up with HomeAway's social media manager, Jennifer Stafford, last summer to host a joint webinar about how brands can successfully use social media to help build brand awareness.  During the webinar, we got some great insight into how Jennifer and her team were evolving their growing social media presence and implementing and testing out new tactics across various social networks.

While HomeAway adopted social media early on as a means to help achieve larger business objectives, the company was also quick to recognize the role a technology platform can play in truly becoming a social business.   As their social media programs expanded, trying to manage content publishing for 13+ brands across multiple channels and efficiently monitoring the social sphere for mentions of its brands to be able to measure the effectiveness of their efforts became overwhelming.  Through the implementation of Spredfast, HomeAway"™s social media program now includes all of their major brands.  The platform is being used to coordinate workflows of various team members and is helping grow their social community across networks as a result of more efficient management of the content being published, the engagement the brand is receiving and the analysis of the success of each program.  Key success metrics include:

- 67% growth in the number of HomeAway properties being viewed from social networks from 2010 to 2011

- A 1,200% increase in the number of mentions, re-tweets and mentions on Twitter from 2010 to 2011

- 56% growth in Facebook likes, comments and clicks on their content from 2010 to 2011

Whether your brand is just starting to incorporate social media activities into the marketing mix as a viable means of achieving larger, organizational goals or if you're at the stage where implementing a social media management system makes sense for your organization, there are some key takeaways you can glean from HomeAway's success that might help you better use social to build your own brand:

- Social doesn't just have to be measured by the numbers.  HomeAway was able to use social channels to build relationships within their target demographic and connect with consumers in a meaningful way.

- Content is king; it drives engagement, which creates better search results and more eyeballs seeing your content, leading to increased brand awareness.

- Building a recognizable brand comes from all facets of a company - get all departments thinking about social integration!

For more details on how HomeAway builds their brand via social media, see the full case study below or download it on our SlideShare channel.

brittany@spredfast.com's picture

Brittany Edwards

Brittany is a Marketing Manager on the Brand Communications team at Spredfast where she leads the company's executive visibility and analyst relations programs. She spends her spare time chasing after her energetic toddler, playing soccer and enjoying all-things food related that Austin has to offer with her family.