As a busy campground owner with many tasks on your plate, it’s easy for marketing to sometimes fall to the bottom of your to do list. Especially when social media is a lot to stay on top of. Did you know the average person in the United States spends just over two hours per day on social media? When folks are scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, you’ll want to ensure your campground is part of the content they’re seeing. To help your campground market your campground, I’ve put together 11 social media tips for campground owners.
A Note on Social Media Goals
When developing your social media presence, it’s important to have realistic expectations and clear goals. Like many forms of marketing, social media is more of a long game. Posting three times a week on Instagram won’t instantly get you an influx of new guests, but it will help grow your brand awareness. Typically, most of my clients are using social media to increase brand awareness. Social media can also lead to bookings at your campground, especially if you’ve optimized the experience to make it easy for folks to book quickly through a link in your bio, but it does take many interactions with your brand over time for a potential camper to be ready to book.
Without further ado, here are 11 tips for effective and efficient social media marketing.
1. Use a Scheduling Tool
Rather than trying to remember to post on the go, sit down once a week and plan your posts. There are many scheduling tools that publish posts automatically. Meta Business Suite has a free, built-in scheduler that enables you to schedule Facebook and Instagram posts. This helps build consistency, saves you time in the long run, and prevents errors that you could make when posting on the fly.
2. Write a Compelling Bio on Instagram
Why should someone bother hitting the follow button when they find your campground’s profile? Put yourself in your ideal guest’s shoes. Why should they care? Your bio should have personality, be true to your brand, and have your guests’ needs and interests top of mind.
3. Make Sure You’re Using a Business Account on Instagram
There are many reasons to use a business account on Instagram. Most importantly, it gives you access to analytics so you can see how your content is performing. It also allows you to set up contact options, like a call and email button, so people can easily contact you. Other features like Instagram advertising and post scheduling are also available to business accounts only. Here’s how to switch to a business account.
4. Post When Your People are Online
There’s no one universally perfect posting time, but there are a few times that tend to work well. Generally speaking, folks are often online: first thing in the morning, over the lunch hour, and in the evening. For many industries, evening is the best time to post, as people are often on their phones after dinner or before bed. This guideline doesn’t always hold true, so review your analytics. They can show you what days of the week and what times your followers are most active.
5. Consider Creating a Facebook Group for Your Campground
Organic reach has been declining for business pages as Facebook pushes businesses to run ads. However, groups can be a great place to engage with your audience. Try making a group like “X Campground Regulars” or “Moms of X Campground” to cater to a particular demographic that loves your campground. This can give your most loyal fans a place to interact with each other and stay up-to-date on campground news. Try offering special incentives to group members–like special sales or early access to booking.
6. Hone Your Hashtags on Instagram
No need to use hashtags in your Facebook posts. Facebook users don’t typically search by hashtag and they don’t help you rise in the algorithm. Focus more on hashtags on Instagram. Social media experts recommend six to eight hashtags per post. Use a mix of small, niche hashtags and larger, more popular hashtags. You can even have a unique hashtag specific to your campground! Encourage your guests to use your hashtag when sharing about their experience, then repost their content in a weekly series like “Photo Friday.”
7. Keep it Personal
When it comes to social media tips for campground owners, this one might seem obvious, but it’s important to remember. Social media is meant to be social. It’s a two-way street, not a one-sided megaphone for self-promotion. Ask questions and encourage people to leave comments. When responding to folks, use their first name to be friendly and show you care. Responding to all comments shows that you’re dedicated to helping folks get their questions answered. As an added bonus, social media algorithms boost accounts with more comments because they see it as a measure of engagement, so responding helps your posts’ overall visibility.
8. Flex Your Sense of Humor
Humor is a great way to show off your personality and spark engagement. Experiment with funny gifs and memes. Folks love following brands that create relatable, entertaining content. The caveat here is to be funny within reason. There are some topics that are no joking matter, so run your idea by a few others before posting. The last thing you want is to make light of a serious issue and end up being a trending topic for your social media faux pas.
9. Join TikTok
You don’t have to start creating content for TikTok, but sign up and start getting a feel for the platform. It has grown exponentially over the past few years and many content creators (myself included) are finding it easier to grow on TikTok than other platforms. While you may think the platform is just for kids doing dance trends, that’s far from the reality. Just over Twenty-two percent of users are 20 to 29, 21.7% are 30 to 39, and 20.3% are 40 to 49. The platform also skews toward women; 61% of users in the U.S. are women. Plus, TikTok shared in a webinar that 52% of TikTok users are not on Instagram and 45% are not on Facebook. That’s a new audience you may not have reached yet. Even more astonishing, the average TikTok user spends 89 minutes a day on the platform! TikTok has loads of potential, so pay attention and consider giving it a try for your campground.
10. Check Your Analytics
Every platform has a built-in analytics module; checking it monthly is a good way to measure the return on your efforts. Monitor these metrics:
- Reach: this shows how many people saw the post, helping you measure brand awareness.
- Engagement: this includes things like comments, likes, and follows, and helps you see how loyal and active your audience is.
- Shares: this gives you a sense of how much your followers are doing word-of-mouth advocacy for your brand.
No need to worry about follower count—it’s a vanity metric. It’s better to have fewer followers that are highly engaged than tons of followers that don’t care about your content.
11. Done is Better than Perfect
Many business owners want their marketing efforts to be perfect. Perfection isn’t a realistic goal. Perfect is a limbo state where your content is sitting in drafts, endlessly edited and never shared. Done is the first step in helping folks discover your awesome campground. Create content that’s “good enough” and share it!
I hope these social media tips for campground owners help you market your campground and meet new guests from near and far. Happy connecting!
Emily Hessney Lynch is a social media strategist with ten years of experience helping organizations share their stories through engaging digital content. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and their three rescue dogs. They love getting outside year-round and enjoy paddle boarding, hiking, and snowshoeing. You can follow her on Instagram at @servemethesky.