Instagram’s popularity and image focused content makes it one of the top five social networks for summer camps. Best part? Getting started isn’t as hard as you think. The idea of managing another social network might drive you crazy, but here are some things to consider and 10 tips for getting started.
The Case for Instagram
- Brands see 4% more engagement on Instagram than Facebook and Twitter
- Instagram has over 200 million monthly active users
- 60 million photos are shared each day
- Users give out 1.6 billion likes per day
- Younger users, like your campers, are using Instagram
- Social media users consume visual content more than text content
- You can easily push your Instagram content to other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter
- Use Your Twitter Username. When creating your account, I would recommend using your Twitter username as your Instagram username. It’s not mandatory, but it will help your fans tag your camp between different social networks.
- Tell Everyone. Once you’ve created your Instagram account, don’t hide it. Share it with everyone! Put it on your website, include it in your email newsletters, cross promote it on your other social networks and run Instagram specific contests. The biggest mistake brands make when they start a new social network, is not telling anyone about it.
- Create a Content Team. Don’t rely on just one person to create content for your Instagram account. Get your entire summer camp team involved! One way to ensure quality control is to have your marketing director be the gatekeeper for all content posted on Instagram.
Steps to Success
- Post Once a Day. You can’t build a community if you’re not posting content. Not sure what to post? Here are 100 content ideas.
- Use Hashtags. Hashtags are a way for your photos to be found by a wider audience. Focus on hashtags that are both popular and brand specific. Third party sites like Iconosquare or Ink361 can help you identify hashtags that will reach a wide audience.
- Have a Camp Hashtag. Speaking of hashtags, make sure your camp has a hashtag, and then put that hashtag EVERYWHERE. Here are some great places to put you hashtag – website, email, t-shirts, photos, and signage.
- Monitor and Respond. Chances are you have your own Instagram account, making monitoring your camp account not all that convenient on your phone. I would suggest using a 3rd party site like Iconosquare or Ink361 to help monitor your account. There are three types of engagement you want to monitor and respond to:
- Comments on your own content.
- Other users tagging you in their own content or comments.
- Users using your camp’s hashtag.
- Add an Artistic Element. Your photos don’t need to be professional, but take some time to frame your shot. Better yet, recrute art majors to be on your content team; they’ll get it.
Create a Community
- Run Contests. Contests are a great way to gain exposure on Instagram, but they are also a great way to engage your audience and get them sharing content that will build your camp community.
- Host a InstaMeet. InstaMeets are events centered around Instagram and are a great way for your camp to gain exposure on Instagram. Usually InstaMeets include a tour of a specific area so that users can take photos for their Instagram accounts. A camp InstaMeet that included a hiking trail would be beautiful, especially in the spring and summer when camp is quiet.
Have a question about Instagram? Let me know in the comments section below. If you found this helpful, please consider sharing this article with your peers.