August 2018 Archives

9 Critical Twitter Tips for Marketing Your Summer Camp

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Twitter is one of the most important information platforms on the world. Whether news or marketing, the influence that people, brands, and governments have on Twitter seems to be limitless.

That's why you need to be on Twitter and actually use Twitter to market your summer camp. So in the spirit of the platform itself, here are some quick, easy-to-read tips for Twitter marketing.

1. Pick a Perfect Twitter Handle.

Make sure your name is recognizable as your summer camp. If you want recognition (and potentially a blue check mark), then people need to know your Twitter handle is you.

If your handle is @PurpleCupcakes445, but you run a nature camp, you need to resolve your camp's identity crisis. And try to keep the handle simple.

2. Show Dynamic Primary Pictures.

These primary pictures include your profile picture and your header photo. Make sure these pictures are dynamic and show what your camp is about.

Action shots are great. Make sure they are high-quality and clearly show your unique propositions. Spend a little money on this if you have to.

3. Use Your Bio.

When someone clicks on your profile, you have a bio available for anyone to read. Don't neglect it.

Describe your camp in exciting terms. Say who you are, what you offer, and how people can find out more.

4. Join Hashtag Conversations.

On Twitter, you can see trending conversations that usually center on common hashtags. If you have something valuable to say, especially about topics related to your camp or fun diversions, then join in the fun and use the hashtag.

Don't try to hijack every hashtag though. If you put out a lame joke just to "join in," you might not gain a good reputation.

5. Post Pictures.

On Twitter, pictures mean more engagement. Tweets with images get more retweets, replies, and likes than those without.

Post pictures and create memes with action shots from your camp to drive engagement.

6. Use Video.

Videos can give walkthroughs of your summer camp and show off the fun events you hold.

In the past, video used to stutter or cause problems, particularly with mobile, but now faster network speeds such as LTE and 4G have become ubiquitous. Use this to your advantage.

7. Join Conversations About Your Summer Camp Topic.

On Twitter, you're not confined to discussing trending topics. You can search topics and find relevant tweets to reply to.

For example, if you have a STEM camp, you should search for topics about STEM and reply to popular ones. Maybe if you reply to Neil DeGrasse Tyson, you'll earn a retweet to the astrophysicist's 12.7 million followers!

8. Know When to Tweet.

Generally, the best time to tweet is Monday through Friday in the early afternoon. But you should always check your own metrics and find when you get the most engagement.

After some early testing, stick to a solid schedule. Tweets are only 140 characters, so this shouldn't be too hard!

9. Promote.

At the end of the day, it's about exposure. If you're new to Twitter, these tips will help, but you may need to put some money aside and pay to get noticed.

Consider putting aside some money to identify your exact market and promote your tweets directly to those people.


5 Essential Tips for Marketing Your Summer Camp

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Not all summer camps are created equal. Some are better than others, and your summer camp is probably the best of all.

But marketing for summer camps isn't easy. There are so many camps out there, and even the poorly-run camps have slick websites and ad campaigns.

It can be difficult to break through the clutter, especially if you spend your money on supplies and activities instead of marketing. But getting your camp out there is possible.

Here are the 5 essential tips for marketing your summer camp that will make parents and campers and take notice:

1. Know Your USP.

What is your unique selling proposition? What makes your summer camp stand head and shoulders above others?

If you are a camp with the latest robotics, then lean into that with your marketing. Come up with catchy slogans about how your tech and STEM activities are the best. Attach yourself to current events related to robots in your marketing and social media.

If your summer camp has the best views of mountains in all of America, then make sure to put pictures and vistas at the forefront of your marketing campaign.

2. Get the Best Pictures and Videos.

So how do you market your unique selling proposition? With pictures and videos of course.

It's never been easier to get high-quality pictures and videos. Most smartphones today can take HD pictures and videos. And with the right settings, you can even make sure these images are fit to print.

Since the technology is there, make sure to capture the right moments. Campers having fun. The sites of your camp. Videos of the activities. 

3. Know Your Marketing Strategy Early.

Summer camp is seasonal, so don't wait until May to start your big marketing push.

When you're huddled by the fireplace in winter, that's when you should be thinking about your marketing plan for summer. Identify your target market. Gather your materials (pictures and videos).

And don't wait to bring a team of creative designers and writers on board. Start designing web ads, posts for Facebook, and other campaigns. Then you'll have them ready to fire off when the time comes.

4. Build an Online Presence.

Online is the way of the world. Nobody will hear about your summer camp if you're not online, nowadays.

Make sure to have a functional website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. Try to post frequently as you ramp up your marketing. You can even repurpose articles on your website into Facebook posts and tweets.

Create high-quality content that appeals to your target camper and their parents.

5. Offer a Trial Camp.

Trial camps are just what they sound like. A few days of camp to show off the activities, friendly staff, and vibe of your summer camp. It's a camp appetizer.

While not strictly marketing, trial camps are a pre-camp experience that can help parents and potential campers understand what you're all about. This can help build word-of-mouth and convince any fence-sitters that you're the best around.

If you follow these five steps, you can get the word out and compete with the slickest advertisements in the camping business.


Should Your Summer Camp Partner with Schools?

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One new trend in summer camps is the idea of partnering the camp with a school. According to an American Camp Association 2017 report, "49% of camps report some relationship to schools or school curricula."

These relationships can manifest in a number of different ways. You can design your camp structure or activities to complement existing curriculum or what goes on in the school year. Another option is to fully collaborate with a school and craft your plans together.

There are many benefits to a partnership. Here's a quick list.

  • Partnering with a school can save you costs if you do activities at a school, library, or public facility. Cooperation often means splitting the costs of events or supplies.
  • Working with a school encourages parents of the value of your summer camp. Parents love to see their kids continue to grow throughout the camp experience.
  • It's good for kids to stay engaged with learning and school subjects (like science) throughout the year.
  • If you build a trusted partnership, you may be able to partake in co-marketing with the school and build awareness of your summer camp.
  • Working with schools helps kids reach their academic aspirations, even as they have fun. Combining learning and summer camp activities gives kids the tools they need when they return to school in the fall.
  • Collaborations with schools can have positive behavioral outcomes for campers. This can encourage teammates as they do learning projects and more.

It's not all benefits though. You may have to give up a bit of control regarding scheduling or the location of your camp events. And when considering location, keep in mind that you might need to transport campers if doing a collaborative event at a school.

Basically, school systems can be a slow-moving bureaucracy. But if you find a school or administrator that you trust, it might be a boon to your summer camp to partner with a s chool.


How Summer Camps Should Think Differently about Food

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Summer camps must no longer be the world of hot dogs and icies. The quality can no longer be a mere step above a school cafeteria.

More and more attention continues to be put on the food we put in our bodies and the food we put into our children's mouths. Obesity is an American epidemic, and some parents are choosing summer camps based on how those camps will feed their kids.

In addition to curbing risks of obesity, summer camps also must keep an eye on proper nutrition. During camp, growing kids and teens are often more active than usual with all the various activities. With an increase of physical activity, the proper balance of nutrition (and rehydration) is essential.

We recommend consulting with a nutritionist to plan the meals for your campers. Make a calendar for lunches and dinners, plotting out which meals will be served at certain times. If you can cross-reference this with your schedule of activities, that's even better.

Also, make sure to consider special diets. Always ask campers about allergies or special needs.

You should have all sorts of options available. Everything from vegan to gluten-free to peanut-free to lactose-free. Your consideration of these sensitivities goes a long way to making parents know that you care.

Increased physical activity may mean you serve more carbohydrates, but always make sure to balance that with other food groups. Yogurts, fruits, and vegetables are healthy snack options. Campers can be rewarded with ice cream and pizza, but those shouldn't be on the menu every night.

Having self-serve bars for meals is a great way to serve a variety of different campers with their own needs. Salad bars and sandwich bars with fruit on the side and proteins available are good options.

Diet is a very personal issue, so make sure to ask ahead of time from parents what their childrens' needs are. Then consult with your nutritionist and meal planner to make sure your campers are taken care of. Your camp will be rewarded for your effort through word of mouth, and maybe word of stomach.