Social media can deliver some pretty powerful revenue-generating opportunities for your park, but only if you know how to use it. We asked Erin Thiem, who co-owns ARVC member-park Inn Town Campground in Nevada City, Calif. with her husband Dan Thiem, to share a few of the secrets of her online success.
Even though Inn Town Campground has only been open for two years, Thiem honed her social media skills with the other business she and her husband own, the Outside Inn, also in Nevada City.
“Outside Inn is a remodeled 1930s motor court motel that’s been in the family for 20 years, but we've owned it for the last seven-and-a-half years. When we took over ownership, I decided that my creative outlet would be to write a blog for the motel on things to do in our area.“
“I think my most recent one was about a local craft fair,” she says. “The one before that was about an indoor climbing gym. It doesn’t really have much to do with the motel itself, but it helps draw people there.”
Thiem started blogging about their new campground while it was still in the construction phase. “I took all of those skills that I already had from being an active local blogger and using social media, and just applied them to telling the story about our campground.”
GENERATING INTEREST WITH INSTAGRAM
We live in a visual world, so social media channels like Instagram are enjoying massive popularity right now with campers.
It’s because of this that Instagram plays a big role in the Inn Town Campground owner Erin Thiem’s social media strategy.
“I think what's unique about our Instagram story is that it’s a really a fun visual platform. Because it took us three years to build our campground, we had the opportunity to share the process with people through our Instagram account.”
“It really helped create a unique community of people who are passionate about the project and find us real paying customers. It also helped educate people about what we were doing and what our campground was going to look like once it opened. I really utilized that tool to help get the word out.”
Now that the campground has been open for two years, Thiem uses Instagram to share what’s going on at the park.
“It’s a great way to show and remind customers or potential customers what we’re up to.”
Inn Town Campground’s recent Instagram posts showcased things to do at the campground as well as suggestions for side trips guests can take. Thiem also posted a video to tease “something fun” that they were soon adding to the park. Her followers quickly weighed in with guesses on what it could possibly be. A trampoline? A tee pee? Yurts? Time will tell, but with just a single post, Thiem was able to build interest and excitement and get her followers engaged.
“I never seem to run out of things to share,” she says.
This was the second story of a three-part series called “Using Social Media to Drive Revenue. “Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, “Setting Priorities” or re-read Part 1 “The Power of Photos”.