Making the Most of Facebook for Camps

Happy Campers at Camp LakesideIn January 2014, Facebook passed the 1.23 billion mark for monthly active users, 945 million mobile users, and 757 million daily users. Odds are, you are one of them.

Facebook is a great marketing and communications tool for camps and other organizations. It’s like a mini-website located where lots of people hang out. It’s where businesses go to have fun and get to know their customers.

Because you’ll handle it somewhat differently than your personal Facebook page, we wanted to share some tips for getting the most out of the popular social media channel:

1. Facebook is highly visual

As mentioned, post lots of images. Photo albums, pictures and videos get
180%, 120% and 100% more engagement, respectively, than posts with just words.

2. Facebook is all about relationships

You can post announcements and reminders about your camp or program, but just make sure that’s not ALL you post. Share articles, contests and challenges, videos, pictures, industry observations, surveys, links to your latest blogpost, etc.

Most importantly, you must engage! Get involved in the conversation (as a person, not as a business). Here’s why:

  • You can monitor for negative comments or other problems that might surface there. Turn any of these into opportunities to show your prompt customer support.
  • Make sure you’ve turned on the message feature of your page so people can private message you.This is becoming a more common customer service channel. And according to Edison Research, 42% of customers expect a response within an hour! No one else can see these messages. You cannot private message people who have liked your Page, but you can respond.
  • Engagement is key to being seen in other peoples’ News Feeds. Currently, 96% of fans NEVER return to your page after the initial Like.That means your best chance of having your message seen is to get into the News Feed of your fans. The catch is that the News Feed is the electronic equivalent of a busy intersection during rush hour and only about 1 in 6 fans will be standing at that intersection when you post.
  • Posting regularly (2-5 times a week) helps weight your “score” that increases your visibility, but you need to do more. Get people to Like, comment on and share your content. Posting as your camp page, go to their pages and thank them for commenting (prompting them to comment there).
  • You can also go back and post comments on old comment threads to extend the lifespan of those conversations. Every interaction on your part increases your Facebook score.

3. Build a Facebook Community

Ask all your partners, vendors, counselors, employees and camp parents to Like your Page. Invite appropriate friends from your personal profile page. Click on “Invite Email Contacts” under “Build Audience” on your Facebook Admin Page to upload email lists and send messages of invitation. Promote your Page everywhere – on your website, printed materials, emails, registration page, etc.

4. Go Deeper

To really use the maximum potential of Facebook as a business marketing tool, investigate these Facebook features:

  • Page Insights – Facebook’s analytics tool to measure your page activity and performance
  • Apps – the tabs under your profile photo can contain a YouTube app for your channel, a Pinterest or Twitter app, as well as contest, poll and survey apps. (Most business apps come from approved 3rd-party developers.)
  • Advertising
  • Boosted Posts (formerly Promoted Posts) – pay to increase the number of News Feeds your posts display in
  • Sponsored Stories – pay to have your follower’s activities with your Page promoted to their friends. (Mary Smith and Tom Jones like ACTIVE Adventure Camp) once you reach 100 Likes
  • Facebook Offers – promote special offers once you reach 100 Likes

5. Posting Tips

  • Introduce your staff
  • Ask followers to vote on your next blog topic (give them choices)
  • Rotate your profile photo often
  • Always provide a link to your website
  • Include registration links, when timely
  • Address people in a conversation by name by typing @ before their name (@mary)
  • Have fun!

Now, go create a Facebook post for your camp!

Your Turn: What has been your most commented on post?


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About Gina Calvert

Gina Calvert is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, camps, schools and endurance events, for more than six years.