How to Fill your RV Park or Resort Using Social Media Marketing
There is a lot of talk about the power of social media and why you should be using social media to promote your RV Park, Resort, campground or Mobile Home Park.
The reality is, the results from an ROI standpoint are still somewhat mixed.
But, that shouldn’t stop you from using social media to market your Mobile Home Park, RV Park, Resort or Campground.
If you’ve been following along with your free 7 Step RV Park Marketing Plan (which works equally well for mobile home parks, RV resorts and campgrounds), this is the 7th step.
Social Media is About Building a Connection – A Community
Some of the best destination RV parks in the country spend a lot of time, money and effort to build a sense of community into their parks.
They remember names and faces.
They create events that are designed to bring guests together and to create friendships. After all, where would you rather stay? A park where you are likely to run into old friends, or a park where you are isolated?
That’s what social media is about – creating a sense of community and connection.
And, that’s also a big benefit. If someone comes to your Facebook page or YouTube Channel and sees other RV owners, campers or tenants interacting, they are likely to then believe that they should rent from you (because other people already are, and those people seem happy with the experience).
Social Media Can Help Your Park Rank Higher in the Search Engines
I was recently attending a social media seminar where the speaker shared that Google is now relying heavily upon social media to determine how highly they should return your park’s website in the search engine results.
Even if social media may not have a direct ROI, it does have an indirect ROI by increasing the number of people who will visit your website (if your site ranks highly in Google).
Google does this because Google is essentially setup to determine how relevant you are based on what other people say about you, and listening to social media is a great way to determine what other people are saying about your park.
Social Media Mistakes
There is a right way and a wrong way to use social media to promote your park.
We use social media to socialize, not to be sold to.
Pitching or outright selling on Facebook is considered by many to be a no no.
Think of Facebook like a cocktail party. You wouldn’t pitch someone straight out of the gate, would you? No. You’d be more likely to talk about cool new things you are doing, new projects, or challenges you are facing and how you are overcoming them.
Your park’s Facebook Page should be like that.
It’s a place to discuss new and interesting things that are going on at the park, special events, special activities, and other bits of interesting “news” or human-interest stories similar to those you see on the news.
Talking About Unrelated or Random Events
Nobody wants to know what you had for breakfast unless you are running a restaurant or a food-critic page. Likewise, most people aren’t interested in random and unrelated videos, even if they are funny.
If people are subscribed to your park’s Facebook page, it’s because they want information about your area, about your park, about when your seasons starts or ends, about activities, and special events or special offers you may have.
Create a Facebook Fan Page for Your Park
If you don’t have one already, create a Facebook page for your park. This will provide your former, current and future guests a place to talk about your park and share their experiences at your park.
Promote Your Park’s Facebook Page
Like your website, your Facebook page is useless to you unless people know about it and use it.
The best way to get people to your page is to promote it and to encourage your guests to interact on your page.
Build Your List with Contests
Running a contest is a great way to increase interaction with your Facebook page.
Monetary or tech prizes work well, but you can also offer prizes like a free or discounted stay at your park or campground. If you build in a sharing element, where a contestant increases their number of points, by sharing the contest with others, you’ll often increase the amount of people who will participate in your contest.
Just make sure you consult with an attorney before running a contest so you stay out of hot water.
Create Videos (Yes, YouTube Is a Social Media Site)
In an earlier post on why you should use YouTube videos to promote your park, you learned why creating videos is so beneficial.
What you may not have realized is that YouTube is considered to be a social media site because users can like, comment, subscribe and even post video responses on YouTube. As a video publisher, you can respond to comments and videos. This is what makes YouTube “social” and it’s also a great place to test different appeals – to see what your audience really wants to watch or to learn about.
Salt the Tip Jar
In the bar industry, bartenders will often “salt the tip jar” by putting money into the tip jar before the evening crowd starts to pour into the bar or club.
This has a suggestive effect on patrons when they order a drink and stand there looking at the tip jar while the bartender makes their drink. In fact, many patrons will start to feel guilty if they hadn’t planned on leaving a tip just because they can see that “others” have already been tipping and they don’t want to feel like a cheapskate.
It turns out bartenders know a thing or two about human psychology.
You can do the same thing with your YouTube videos by leaving the first comment on your own video. You don’t have to pretend like you are someone else. Just leaving a comment that says you’d love to hear what people think is enough. What matters is that your viewers notice that they are not going to be the first person to leave a comment, which makes them feel more comfortable leaving a comment themselves.
Create a Google+ Page
If Google places enough emphasis on Facebook to allow it to affect their ranking system, how much weight do you think Google gives to their own social media platform, Google Plus?
Nobody can say for certain (Google is very secretive about their web page ranking system), but my guess is, “a lot.”
Setting Up A Google Plus Page Is Relatively Easy
To setup a Google Plus page, just go to http://plus.google.com and follow the instructions.
Your park’s Google Plus page will be similar to your park’s Facebook page. It’s a place to share news, events, videos and updates while engaging in conversations with your guests.
If you need help doing any of this, please contact us.
Only Use Twitter If You Plan to Use It Regularly
Twitter receives a lot of publicity and about 12% of people report using Twitter as their main source of news and information, but I don’t recommend it to all of my clients.
Unless you plan to use it on a regular basis, creating a Twitter account and only posting a few posts is a little bit like advertising a telephone number for your business, but never picking up the phone when it rings.
Claim a Twitter Account With Your Park’s Name
Even if you don’t plan to actively use a Twitter account right now, you should still claim your park’s name (or an abbreviation of it) on Twitter before some other park grabs the name.
This way, you can use the account in the future if you want to.
To setup a Twitter account, just go to http://www.twitter.com
You Don’t Have to Do This Alone
All of this “social media stuff” can be daunting for park owner or manager who doesn’t spend their day living on a computer. If you would prefer to focus on your park and leave your marketing up to park marketing experts that intimately know how to make it all work, then you are in the right place.
We are a full-service marketing agency focused on the mobile home park, RV Park, RV resort and campground industry (we grew up in the business). We have a number of marketing solutions designed to fill your park, whether your park is in a destination area and just needs help at the beginning and the ending of the season or if your park is not in a tourist destination and needs marketing year-round.
Give us a call or schedule a time to see if we’re a fit.