Using Social Media for Global Growth: The Airbnb Story

By Sam Milbrath | 2 years ago | | 6 Comments

Founded in August 2008, Airbnb is a global community marketplace for unique spaces located in over 182 countries. Understandably, connecting with a global audience of both travellers and hosts in real-time is essential to their growth and success. Learn how Airbnb uses social media to amplify stories, connect with travellers and ultimately drive business growth in our customer story.

The Challenges of Running a Global Community Marketplace

With thousands of users around the globe, Airbnb must adapt their voice for different international markets. Customer experience and community are absolutely critical to their brand. “Our community is core to our business. From the moment that people land or start their trip, they’re going to be Tweeting and Facebooking, they’re basically opening up a conversation and we want to be part of it,” says Venetia Pristavec, Airbnb’s Creative Lead.

Using HootSuite, Airbnb sought a solution to the challenges they face as a local and international social brand that connects hosts and visitors to vacation experiences around the globe. How does Airbnb adapt and maintain their digital brand voice internationally? Social helps them with this.

Social Business Solutions

Airbnb uses HootSuite’s social media management system to manage thousands of conversations around the globe. Our robust and user-friendly analytic tools measure their user growth and social CRM, while tracking certain keywords over time, so that Airbnb can strategize social campaigns accordingly. From an international perspective, HootSuite helps them manage and adapt their international voices to maintain brand consistency.

What does Airbnb use social for?

  • Educate and spread the word of what Airbnb is: People need to know what they are offering, why they’re good and what’s different.
  • Generate relationships and strengthen community.
  • Communicate with global networks and manage customer sentiment.
Book a room anywhere in the world – Screenshot of Airbnb Mobile App

By scheduling social messaging from the dashboard, they are able to target different time zones right from Airbnb’s head office in San Francisco. Likewise, with so many departments needing social, the technology must support multiple social teams within Airbnb’s global organization. In the HootSuite Enterprise dashboard, different departments are assigned separate tasks to ensure a quick response, thus efficiently connecting with its vast community.

“We work very closely with customer service, operations, sales and activation. As you can imagine, without something like HootSuite, departments and individuals would bump into each other… HootSuite has been invaluable in making sure that we’re working as effectively as possible and making sure that we’re serving the consumer the fastest and best that we can,” says Airbnb Social Media Manager, Tan Lam.

Book a home, castle, couch, treehouse, igloo, room or even a private island. For your next vacation, rent a unique space anywhere in the world with Airbnb.

Share ‘Using Social Media for Global Growth: The Airbnb Story‘ with your colleagues, clients and peers. Want to make HootSuite part of your success story? Contact HootSuite Enterprise and request a demo.

Learn More Button


Written by


I'm a big fan of the 'Airb2b' website. As Emilie mentioned, the user experience focuses on the user discover

I.e. Region > neighbourhood type > neighbourhood overview > paces to stay + rich photos + social profiles of locals.

Very powerful and far exceeds the normal approach of a boring old database type hotel listing site.

I did notice however, that their Facebook posts do not encourage fan/user engagement or participation which can extend their reach via news feeds etc. The article below explains this well.


Airbnb have had huge exposure in the press this year in the UK and use social really well. Great testimonial guys.

Emilie Alba
Emilie Alba

No wonder that Hootsuite chose to analyse Airbnb's use of their product - I really admire Airbnb's social media efforts and the effectiveness of their online strategies. It's interesting to know that they manage a large part of their social strategies through Hootsuite !

I've also analysed the "web user experience" they provide, which is mainly based on the consumer discovery trend. You can find my article here -