What, where, and when to post to Instagram and Facebook.
I am often contacted by campsites or glampsites wanting to know how to write a social media strategy.
They are happy with posting on their social media platforms but grind to a halt and get stuck with ideas for content. They revert to posting the same things. More of a “one post wonder” approach.
Putting together a social media strategy, or in fact a plan, saves you time and makes your social media more targeted. And it enables you to connect with your ideal customer and nurture them into your world.
Here are my simple steps to creating a strategy for your business on social media:
1. First up, know your audience
Create a fictitious “user persona”, give them a name, age, and a location. Do they have kids or not, where do they shop, what will they do when they arrive onsite? Will they head off to the local organic farm shop or have they stocked up from home? Think about their potential “pain points” and how you can solve them. Are they going to be arriving late on a Friday night? Can you suggest some local pubs nearby or book them a table?
When you can identify who your visitors are likely to be, then it’s easy to create social media content (or posts) that will talk to them.
2. Decide what to post
Lots of small businesses get stumped here. The proper term for this is “content pillars” but I like to call it the “content pie”. Think of about four to five interesting onsite topics (or content) that your customers will want to know about. These may be:
● Your local area – the local pub/teashop, visitor attraction, great beach, wildlife walk. Add your recommendations or top local tips
● Your site news – here you can post about developments or changes onsite over the last 12 months. Upgraded some facilities, added new pitches, replaced or added a brilliant safari tent? Post about them!
● Meet the team – people buy people. Introduce yourself and your team. It’s great to see who is going to be around onsite and it gives your site more personality
● Camplife – this is a great source of content. Use real behind the scenes content to convey your story. Last year I filmed our Covid clean taking place in time lapse. The aim was to show that we took the clean very seriously. It was amusing to watch as we filmed it at high speed and, being video content, it resulted in many views and comments. This moved it higher up the algorithm reaping high reach and impressions.
3. Get analytical
It’s important to set aside the time to look at your analytics. Not everyone’s favourite pastime, but it does enable you to see which content has been popular. You can also find out when your audience is online and so schedule your posts to tie in with them being around. Make a note of your top performing three posts so that you can start to build up a picture of what’s performing well.
4. Get to grips with hashtags
Hashtags are a hot topic on social media. Facebook and Instagram need different hashtag strategies. I recommend using about three on Facebook, and the full 30 on Instagram. Opinion splits on the best number to use. Test using different ones to see which get good engagement or reach (Hashtagify is a good free option).
Change your hashtags often and do not use the same ones ad infinitum. Consider using camel text which increases accessibility and read by screen readers. ie #GlampingCornwall rather than #glampingcornwall.
Saving groups of hashtags on the notes section of your phone or in a folder will save you time too. Check out www.GravTag.com for hashtag suggestions too.
5. Stories, Guides and Reels
Ensure that your social media is using both Facebook and Instagram Stories as well as grid posts.
Stories are mobile full screen vertical videos or images that appear outside of your regular feed and last for 24 hours before they disappear. Use them to show real/unfiltered glimpses of life at your site that you may prefer to keep off your grid. Think rough around the edges and humour!
Save your Stories into collections (aka Highlights) for later viewing. They offer endless features including @mentions, location stickers and pretty much everything else.
Have a look at Instagram Guides. These are essentially a collection of some of your pre-published posts. Guides straddle the space between a blog post and Instagram carousel posts. They may be really useful to showcase a particular accommodation feature. Each Guide includes a cover image, title, introduction and optional descriptions for entries. They appear in a dedicated tab on your profile and can be shared in Stories, DM and via email. Very useful!
You may be familiar with the newly launched Instagram Reels. These are 15 second multiclip videos that you can create to share on Stories, Explore Feed and the new Reels tab.
Clients often enquire about posting frequency. I recommend posting at least three times per week on Instagram grid posts and stories. For Facebook, two posts per week on your page plus stories and sharing relevant content in the newsfeed. Don’t forget to adjust your posting frequency to take seasonality into consideration, e.g. creating posts for your late availability.
Building a strategy is key to the success of your social media content. Consider it akin to buying a map for a holiday. Yes you can wing it short term but in the long term creating a strategy will save you time and yield great results.
About the Author
Lisa Bullen runs Social Media Sussex, a consultancy providing social media training and advice for campsites and glampsites. Lisa’s online short training course has featured in Cool Camping. She is also co-founder of The Secret Campsite in East Sussex. firstname.lastname@example.org / www.socialmediasussex.com/courses