5 NEW Tips for Social Media Marketing Your Summer Camp - Part 1

How do I use social media to market my camp?

On January 29th, 2010, Travis presented his 5 NEW Tips for Social Media Marketing Your Summer Camp to a packed room at the Ontario Camps Association conference.   The presentation is full of practical tips for camps who are looking for immediate actions that they can take to improve their online marketing campaigns.

5 Tips

The five tips include:

  1. Tell visual stories
  2. Love your alumni
  3. Be a better blogger
  4. Remember your "call to action"
  5. Make the most of your Facebook Fan Page

**Please note: some of these posts are password protected but will become open to anyone to read in the next week or so.  If you would like early access to CampHacker.org content then sign up for our newsletter (it's free).

Part 2 - Tell Visual Stories

Coming tomorrow: Tip 1 - Tell Visual Stories

If you are interested in ways that your camp can improve your social media marketing strategy please fill in the form (click here) for a free 15 minute consultation.  You can also call (519.532.7366) or email Travis (travis@walkingmaverick.com).

CampHacker Podcast at the TriState Camping Conference

speak directly to your summer camp clients

CampHacker.org is planning to go to TriState 2011 and we’d like to invite you to be a sponsor of this awesome summer camp recording roadtrip.

The Plan:

  • Travel to the TriState Camping conference in Atlantic City, NJ, March 15-18, 2011
  • Produce 3-5 shot audio or video shows per day featuring the camping professionals and vendors at the conference (the largest camping conference in the world).  Picture something like the TWIT coverage of CES (if that’s some crazy-moon-man language... click the link to see).
  • Interview as many of the keynote speakers as we can
  • Release the shows on CampHacker.org, YouTube and Vimeo over the three weeks following the show.

We Are Looking For:

  • A company who sells products to summer camps and cares about building up the camp community
  • A visionary decision maker to say “Heck, yes! Our Awesome Company can be a part of the CampHacker program and partner to make great video and audio podcasts.  It’s a GREAT way to use social media to reach potential clients!”
  • You.

What’s the Catch?

Nothing weird, we promise.  There are two levels of sponsorship available:

  • Title Sponsor ($3000 Canadian) - Exclusive! You own us. For the duration of TriState, the show will be called “The Your Company CampHacker Show”.
  • Advertising Sponsor ($900 CA) - only 4 spots available.  Your Company will get a “commercial” in each audio and video piece produced at TriState - read by our host, Travis Allison.  Plus... (yes, there’s more!) an in-depth interview/commercial that will play on CampHacker.org speaking about your very own amazing products.

Who Are These Awesome People Making This Weird Request?  We’ve Never Heard of Anything Like It In The Camping Industry

CampHacker.org and the CampHacker Podcast are the brain-childs of Walking Maverick Consulting.

CampHacker is the only regularly produced podcast and video show for the camp industry in North America (maybe even the world!).

Walking Maverick Consulting is run by Beth and Travis Allison, Summer Camp Experts with 15 years of running camps in Ontario, Canada.

Stop With the Silly - Give Me The Numbers

Although we have been around and blogging on CampHacker.org for a few years, in the past eight months we have concentrated on building our audience of summer camp professionals from around the world (and you know how hard they can be to get a hold of).

In the past 8 months we have had:

  • 1200 views on each blog posting
  • The average time on CampHacker.org: 2:17 minutes
  • 695% growth in unique visits/month
  • 334% growth in Pageviews
  • 110% determination to make this a great TriState conference for you, our sponsors.

Thank you very much for considering this.  Travis will be in touch with you to find out your answer.  With the number of businesses considering this opportunity, you don’t want to take too long to think it over!

Simple Science Lessons for Summer Camp

Metal that melts in your palm? Check.

Transient

Fruit extract that makes Tobasco taste like glazed donuts? Check.

Purple frikkin' Lasers?!? Check.

One of our best Nature Directors at summer camp was actually science major (she now has her Doctorate and lectures around the world on epidemiology).   She ran a very creative program and she spent a bit of her budget on cool science education toys.     The kids loved her program.

If you would like to add a little zip to teaching science at camp you should check out this cool article: 11 Cheap Gifts Guaranteed To Impress Science Geeks

10 Things Every Camp Should Do on Facebook

There are a few simple things that summer camps can do to make the most of marketing themselves on their Facebook Fan Page. 10 Things Every Camp Should Do on Facebook

Transient
  1. Make sure that your landing page includes a Welcome video - preferably from the campers
  2. Include a picture in every post. That will make you stick out on people's newsfeed (their wall)
  3. Allow Fans to sign up for your newsletter directly on your Page
  4. Post and tag alumni photos weekly. You will be surprised at the amount of traffic and new fans this will generate
  5. Use Facebook ads to draw attention to your camp
  6. Schedule your updates (using a program like Hootsuite) so that they come out around 2:30 in the afternoon. That is when the most people are using Facebook
  7. Claim your Place
  8. Ask a question twice a week. A good question about people's camp experience will draw them back to your page (which Facebook likes and therefore helps you show up in searches better)
  9. Add the Reviews Application and ask camp families to review you
  10. Have a tab that allows people to request more information about camp. This will allow you to gather the information of people interested in sending their kids to your camp.

Stay tuned to CampHacker for more information in the coming months about using Facebook for effective summer camp marketing.

Teaching as Marketing - Beber Camp - URDoingItRight

Many of your summer camp peers realize that the best possible marketing tactic is to teach people. By teaching (something we are great at!) parents about summer camp in general we can demonstrate to our potential clients that we are knowledgable, smart, (maybe funny), and we can talk to kids.   All of this leaves the lasting impression that we are great leaders and trustworthy to send their kids to.

Transient

With thanks to Dave Bell from CampLeadership.org, I found this web page from Beber Camp in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. It is a brilliant example of Teaching as Marketing.   I'm certain that this page has been crafted to help parents who's kids are already signed up but the genius of it is what it says to potential client families.

What we can learn from Beber (click the thumbnail image to see it full-sized)

  1. Breadcrumbs - this is a great website usability (and Search Engine Optimization) trick.  Not specific to today's Teaching as Marketing lesson but... people find it helpful to be reminded of how they arrived at a web page.
  2. Visual Medium - don't forget that the web is primarily a visual medium and we need to balance text with images.  Besides, pictures of smiling kids at your camp gives readers a good impression.
  3. What Parent's are Looking For - by acknowledging that parents need this info (and have many questions) Beber establishes some trust.  Parents will feel respected if you let them know that they are not the only ones with questions.
  4. Credibility - Beber Camp has further reassured parents of the thought put into this page by alluding to the fact that real-life-experts have contributed to the material.
  5. Referral Credibility - Not only does Beber have "expert" contributors they have been recommended by actual parents - ones just like the reader.
  6. Perusability - Notice how usability is the root of this word? This page is setup so that parents can easily find what they are looking for.  Plus: it shows them things that are available that they may not have even thought of yet.

The Next Step in Teaching As Marketing

When you write your brilliant Parent page - be sure to reference this page in all of the material that you send out to potential client families.

What do you do to show that you are a leader?