Remember all of those amazing photos you took last summer? Now is the time to put them to good use. If you took thousands of photos, or even if you only took a few hundred, the first step in making great use of your summer photos is to organize. Using a program like Dropbox, create a few folders for general highlights, facility photos, and activity photos. Once you have organized your photos and picked out your favorites, it's time to use them to build buzz for your camp. Here are ten ways to do just that:
1. Create collages for Instagram — Instagram is a great platform for engaging your current and future campers. Think about the top highlights for campers over the summer (color war victories, funny evening programs, sing-alongs by the campfire, etc.) and make them into a collage for Instagram. Try an app like Pic Stitch to collage the photos together and use an app like Word Swag to add eye-catching text on top.
2. Update your camp's birthday card — if you send a birthday card out to your campers, now is the time to update it. Grab your favorite photo and create a brand new card. Campers really enjoy the birthday love from camp, and they will definitely appreciate seeing a beautiful camp photo on the cover. If you don't send out a birthday card, consider using a fun-filled photo to post a birthday message to your Facebook page each month.
3. Share your photos in a blog post — write a blog post recapping the summer and include a few of your top photos. This will give prospective parents, current campers, and alumni a great way to keep up to date on what happened during the summer. Try and add a few great photos from the summer into a blog post each month from now until the next summer season begins.
4. Update your Facebook content calendar — are you still sharing old photos on your camp's Facebook page? No more. Make sure that all upcoming posts include new photos from your most recent summer sessions. Instead of sharing all of your photos as one album from the summer, share a few photos with a related theme several times each week. Don't forget to also update your Facebook profile picture and cover photo if you have a new and relevant photo.
5. E-mail a photo that captures the essence of camp to your first-time camp parents — keeping first-time camp parents engaged is important for every camp. Find a great photo from the summer and e-mail it to your new parents with a quick note. Let them know how much fun their camper had during his or her first camp experience and encourage them to sign up for another summer. Even better, e-mail them a photo with their child mugging it up with his or her best camp friend. It's always great to remind first-time camp parents about your camp and what it has to offer their children.
6. Make a digital collage for camp fairs — adding a digital collage to your camp fair booth can be a great way to attract attention and engage future customers. This is a great conversation starter about your camp's specific traditions and activities. Don't forget to update your camp fair brochure and banner with recent photos as well. Potential camp families want to see all you have to offer and providing great visuals is a huge part of that process.
7. Try out Facebook's new ad format — Facebook recently launched a new ad format called a Carousel ad. This ad unit lets you incorporate three or four great photos into the ad. Try it out by targeting your current camp families with a few meaningful messages from the summer. If you need more campers, consider aiming a Carousel ad at potential camp families or parents in target areas for your camp.
8. Mail a postcard to your alumni — often during the summer alumni relations get pushed off to the side. Now is a great time to re-engage your alumni. Find a compelling photo (or photos) from the summer that will evoke warm memories of their experience and create a postcard for your alumni. Mail the postcard to all of your alumni to keep them excited about what is going on at camp.
9. Snap a photo to your campers — is your camp using SnapChat yet? Now is a great time to figure out if your audience is on this up-and-coming platform. Create an account and snap a fun new photo to your campers. If you get a great response, consider building a full marketing strategy around SnapChat.
10. Create a new Twitter cover photo — when someone visits your Twitter profile the first thing they see is your cover photo. So find a photo from the summer that captures your camp in a nutshell and fits Twitter's 1500 by 500 pixel dimensions and update your cover photo.
These are just some of the easy ways to make great use of your summer 2015 photos. Don't forget to save some of your best photos for later in the year to continuously surprise and delight your camp families. Stay relevant by always providing your current and future families with your most up-to-date photos in person and online.
Tools for Advancing Your Camp's Photos on Social Media
Dropbox — www.dropbox.com
Blake Sunshine spent over three years at Facebook helping brands meet their business objectives with social media. Combining that experience with memories and lessons learned from ten summers at camp, Blake has put together a comprehensive social media program to help summer camps reach new campers and increase revenue. Blake currently consults with over 40 summer camps regarding their social media programs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.