Introduction to Post, Story, and Guidebook
The sharing of local information is what differentiates Houfy as a "market network" versus a standalone "marketplace" (ex: listing site). Layman terms: Marketplace + Social Network = Market Network. Houfy is so much more than just a place to list and book properties.
Once you begin to think of Houfy in terms of a market network (with thousands of owners/travelers sharing local info), you'll begin to see the potential power of Houfy. Not only will Houfy be "interesting" to site users–but interesting to search engines (Google/Bing/Yahoo,etc.) as well! Relevant content = higher search engine rank = more traffic = more bookings.
Before diving straight into writing, I suggest first spending a few minutes learning the basic concepts of Houfy Social. Once you understand the difference between Posts, Stories, and Guidebooks (and the purpose of each one), you'll find that sharing info on Houfy is actually quite simple!
Let's Start With the Social Jargon
Houfeed = Your Houfeed is the continuous stream of Post/Stories published by you, and your Followers/Friends. You will see this as soon as you log into Houfy.
Follower = a member who sees your Posts/Stories in their Houfeed. Any member can follow any other member
Following = members you follow to see their Posts/Stories in your Houfeed
Friend = a member who is "following" you, and you are "following" the member back
- Log into your dashboard.
- Click upper right Profile Pic.
- Click View your Profile.
You can now see friends, followers, and members you are following.
- Post/Story = two ways to publish info on Houfy Social
- Guidebook = a compilation of related posts/stories. You will then attach these guidebooks to your listings.
What Is a Houfy Post and When Would I use One?
A good analogy is to think of what you might post in a facebook group, but instead you are posting this to your "friends" or "followers" on Houfy. For those who don't use facebook, think of when you might email some of your "contacts" to share something or ask a question. Ex: "My guests love these wrinkle-free, cotton sheets." - you might also add a link to the store where you bought them, and add a photo or two. People reading your Post on Houfy can comment and reply, etc. Or you may ask something like: "Does anyone have recommendations of where to eat near the Biltmore Estate?" Members can reply with suggestions.
Posting = simple questions, casual short text, basic links and photos.
When Should I Write a Story Instead of a Post?
Most of you are currently using Houfy Social to create useful guidebooks for your guests–so at this stage, 95% of the time you will write a story, and not a post. Don't be confused by the word "Story," and think you need to write about funny tales from your past! In this context, think of a Story as being similar to a blog post, article, or more detailed/useful information than a casual post.
Stories allow more options in regards to formatting: you can embed links, videos, pics, bold, highlight, italicize, underline, make headings, number items, etc. In essence, a story allows you to create pretty documents.
So take all those old "things to do" and "places to eat" Word documents and turn them into pretty Houfy stories. Travelers can comment on them, share them on social media, and bookmark them into their own guidebooks for a future trip. And, your guests will appreciate that you have all of this info handy for them!
What Is a Guidebook?
A guidebook is just a collection of related Stories/Posts. Think of it as organizing information into folders. You might have a guidebook called "Best Hiking Trails near Lake Lure," "Top 10 Breakfast Spots in Asheville," or "Rainy Day Activities." Guidebooks appear under your profile, and can be set to public or private. You might be creating a Guidebook for your own vacation and bookmarking others' Stories/Posts–set to private if you prefer the public not view it.
If you are creating guidebooks for guests, you will make these public and attach them to the appropriate listing. Ex: your "Best Food Trucks in Asheville, NC" guidebook likely wouldn't be attached to your listing in Spain. On the other hand, a Guidebook about "How travelers can save $$$ on vacation" may be attached to all of your listings.
No one is going to force you to write Stories and create Guidebooks if you don't want to. If you need help getting started, go ahead and start converting your arrival info into Houfy Stories. Then compile them all into a Welcome Arrival Guidebook for your guests. I email all of this info directly from Houfy as soon as guests make a booking.
I now love having my Guidebooks and being able to provide my guests with online information about my area.
Here is an example of one of my guidebooks: