Brand Management and Summer Camp Social Media

You should claim your "handle" on SnapChat even if you won't use it.

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Claim your Call Sign

Keeping up with Social Media Networks is exhausting... believe me, I know.  Just trying to keep up with them enough to help out the Camp Mavericks is tough. 

My best advice: Don't Do It. 

(kind of) 

I think your camp should follow these simple principles to make social media marketing manageable: 

  1. Pick your FOCUS Network (or 2, but no more than that).   I always recommend that camps have Parent Panels or Focus Groups - even if that Group is no more than 3 or 4 families to start.   When you have that Panel in place I think it's important to ask them: What's the first app you check first thing in the morning? If you've invited the right people, you now have a chance to find a pattern of on what social networks your camp "should" be.  It's probably Facebook or Instagram (it's definitely worth noting if the answer is consistently email!) but I never assume that.  I research that. 
  2. Ask yourself "What will I find fun enough to keep up?" It's ok if you're not a writer and therefore won't turn out 3 blog posts/month!  Why do I podcast?  Because writing's not my thing. You may be super motivated to write, or it may be photos for you, or images with quotes on them, or short, hand-held videos.  Think about what you will be motivated to keep doing 6 months from now.   Pick a social network to suit that need and then...
  3. Market Your Marketing Use all of the common social platforms, certainly the ones that are popular with your camp community, to drive people to the place that you've just committed to.  If you're a writer at heart use Facebook's Notes feature to write blog posts (or, better yet, write blogs on your own website and promote with all your Socials); if you dig awesome photography and you've got a great bank of images from the summer, become an Instagram star; if you find inspiration and lots of motivation from great quotes coupled with wonderful images, dig into Pinterest. Make sure the networks you AREN'T going to use at least point to the place where you'll be
  4. Delegate, like it's your JOB. Some of our readers won't have this luxury - they have one or two people working year round and they are all working full out.  Others may have staff interested in taking on a (well-guided) social media marketing role. You may also have summer staff who are looking to be more connected to camp throughout the year and they may jump at the chance to be the driver of your AWESOME INSTAGRAM account. Please make sure that the rules and expectations (including how often they will post and what the strategy is for getting more campers from Social Networks) are clear.   Go Camp Pro buddy and CampHacker podcaster, Dan Weir, posted a sample Social Network Policy to his Unplug At Camp website a few years ago.  That might help you gets started. 

Claim your organizations username / handle / URL


Sign up for ALL of these accounts (even if you don't intend to use them). Maybe just create the "page" and make it private or "unpublished" (FB term).  In the business world there is a term for this: Brand Defense. 

It's very important that you be consistent - Decide on one name/handle that will be common across all social networks. 

As of this writing ( 01/05/18), we recommend that you get the same username on each of these social networks: 

  • Facebook Page
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest Business page
  • LinkedIn Company Page
  • YouTube
  • Google Business Page - search for your camp and "claim this business" if you don't already have control of this Page
  • Reddit
  • Snapchat
  • WhatsApp
  • Soundcloud
  • Musical.ly
  • Nextdoor.com
  • Rex (recommendations app) http://www.rex.is/
  • Kik
  • WeChat
  • Telegram
  • Viber
  • Vk.com

PLEASE NOTE: We know this is a moving target, we'll try to keep this up to date as we hear from camps what their families and campers are using. 

Travis Allison