Hiring season is in full force, and many high-achieving college and graduate students are already lining up internship opportunities and jobs for this summer. With 72 percent of young adults using Instagram daily for more than 28 minutes a day, it is a no-brainer to use Instagram to recruit new and returning staff members for your summer camp. 

Here are a few easy improvements you can make to your camp’s Instagram strategy to help recruit staff for summer 2020. 

Update Your Highlights

Instagram Highlights allow you to group together Instagram Stories and save them on your account. This is the first thing that prospective and current staff will see when visiting your account. Make this area a worthwhile place where prospective staff can learn about your camp. Here are a few ideas for great Instagram highlights:

  • Positions available. List all of your open positions with images or video of staff members working those activity areas. For example, in this highlight you would list lifeguards, bunk staff, division leader roles, and more. 
  • Typical day. Many new staff members are not familiar with a typical day at camp. Use this highlight to showcase the fun and daily life of counselors. 
  • Summer fun. Use this highlight to showcase the most fun events that staff members participate in each summer. 
  • Visas. For International staff this can be a great resource for learning more about your camp’s visa process and applying for your program. 

Leverage Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories have more than 500 million users per day and are a huge driver of engagement on Instagram. Many times metrics will show that Instagram Stories receive 3–4 times more views than a post made in the regular feed. Now is the time to leverage your Instagram Stories to include information about recruiting staff. 

  • Use engagement drivers. Instagram Stories has incredible engagement tools built directly into the product, such as polls, quizzes, GIFs, music, and stickers. Use these tools to create fun staff content to share such as a “favorite staff playlist” or poll for what staff members would like to see as a treat for next summer. 
  • Do a staff takeover. Allow your trusted staff members to take over your Instagram for a day and share some of their favorite memories from 2019 and what they are looking forward to for summer 2020. 
  • Highlight new and returning staff. Each time a staff member is hired, highlight them on your Instagram story. This can be a great way to drive up retention and previous staff members see and get excited about who will be at camp this summer. 
  • Share what is new at camp. When competing with other camps for staff members, it is always a smart strategy to share what is new and exciting at your camp this summer. Highlight new renovations, activity areas, equipment, and more. 

Maximize Video

Video is one of the most engaging content types on Instagram with posts containing videos receiving about 38% more engagement than those containing images. If your camp has footage from last summer highlighting staff members, now is the time to share it!

  • IGTV. Instagram TV (IGTV) is a great place to share your videos that are longer than one minute. Share staff videos here in addition to any videos that staff may find appealing such as waterfront highlights, special events, and more. 
  • Instagram Live. Going live on your Instagram account is a great way to share video content if your camp does not have a lot of footage. You can give a tour of camp, host a staff Q&A, or even livestream your staff members from specific recruiting events. 

Hashtags and Bio

Using hashtags and updating your bio on Instagram are two other easy ways to maximize Instagram’s search capabilities. With hashtags, you are more likely to show up in Instagram’s search and explore feed in addition to showing up when potential staff members search. 

  • Hashtags. Hashtags make content more discoverable on Instagram in addition to helping categorize it for those who are searching. Start using 10 hashtags on each staff-related post using popular search terms such as #campjobs, #summerjobs, #summerinternships, and more. Place these hashtags in the first comment on Instagram below your posts. 
  • Bio. Update your bio on Instagram to include a line that lets potential staff members know you are hiring. You can also include relevant hashtags in the bio. Make sure you have a link in your bio that includes open staff positions. 

Leverage the power and popularity of Instagram to maximize staff engagement and make the most of your recruiting efforts. Making these quick and easy changes to your Instagram content strategy will guarantee you more staff eyeballs this #HiringSeason!  

Blake Sunshine is the CEO of Social Summer Camp, a full-service social media program for summer camps. Blake 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 staff) and increase revenue. Blake also serves on the marketing committee for Project Real Job. If you'd like to connect with Blake, please email blake@socialsummercamp.com.

Stats pulled from adespresso.com/blog/instagram-statistics/ and blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/

Photo courtesy of YMCA Camp Shady Brook in Deckers, Colorado