Tips & Tricks

Growing your activity centre's social media engagement

by Daniel Steele

Social media can be a powerful asset for any experience business or activity centre looking to grow their customer base and boost brand awareness.

Whilst a commitment to great content is central to any successful social media strategy, there are a number of additional methods you can use to drive engagement online. 

Find out more about what to post on social media in our article.

social media

Engage and interact

A good rule of thumb for social media is that engagement feeds engagement. The more you are able to interact with other accounts on a platform, the more likely you are to see results in terms of audience growth and engagement. 

With your followers
Interacting directly with your followers is key to growing your social media presence. Platforms like Instagram use algorithms to determine which profiles to prioritise in user’s feeds, and one key metric informing these algorithms is engagement. Frequently engaging with your followers will boost your ranking in the algorithm, thereby increasing your visibility.

It’s also good business practice. Any time someone comments on one of your posts or sends you a direct message, you have the opportunity to create a relationship that could ultimately help grow your business. Even simply liking their comment goes a long way towards showing you are invested in what your customers have to say.

With other accounts
Whatever your business, there’s an online community for just about every outdoor activity going. Take some time each week to interact with other accounts in your niche, particular on Instagram. This will grow your own engagement and make your content more widely visible. 

Remember that (bots aside) on the other side of every profile is another human being, so the quality of your engagement matters. Over time, people will see through endless ‘thumbs up’ emojis or generic comments like, “Looking good!” 

Instead, find people and businesses that you genuinely admire, and let them know about it! These could be people around the world enjoying similar experiences to the ones you offer, or local businesses in an entirely different sector. The key is to build an online presence that’s just as dynamic and grounded as your company. 

Use CTAs

A CTA (call to action) is a prompt designed to encourage readers to complete some sort of action. CTAs make it clear to potential customers what actions to take, and help to eliminate any friction involved in converting visitors to bookings. Make sure to include a link to your website or booking page.

Some examples of CTAs you might want to consider include:
‘Book now via the link in our bio’ (Instagram-specific)
‘Sign up today’
‘Get involved by booking at the link below’

eola book now button
The eola 'Book now' button is an example of a CTA

Use hashtags

Hashtags are a way of grouping content around a particular topic or theme. They’re particularly useful on platforms which place an emphasis on discovery as opposed to community, such as Instagram and Twitter. Users can follow particular hashtags to discover content related to their interests.

There are plenty of free and paid hashtag tools online like all-hashtag and metahashtags, which will help you generate hashtags to grow your following. Researching some local hashtags will help you reach a local audience more likely to make bookings.

Some of the most popular Instagram hashtags which might be relevant to your business include:
#inspiration (6th most popular)
#travel (14th)
#health (21st)
#nature (29th) 
#supportlocal (31st)
#healthylifestyle (47th)
#adventure (48th)

Additionally, using popular phrases like #TravelTips, #MondayMotivation or #ThrowbackThursday can improve your visibility and give you inspiration to mix up your content. 

Encourage your customers to post about you

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to attract new customers, as people tend to trust the opinions of their friends and family over any marketing campaign. 

At the end of an activity, a ‘real life CTA’ in the form of a few words encouraging people to share their experience on social media can go a long way. Especially if you’re able to provide people with content to share in the form of pictures and/or video of their activities. Ask your customers to tag you in any post, and be sure to leave a friendly comment on any content they share about you. 

Build your own hashtag

Creating and sharing a hashtag for your brand will give your customers one more way to engage with you online. Anyone clicking the hashtag will be directed to a feed full of content all about you. Just make sure that the hashtag you come up with isn’t in use by anyone else.

Post interactive content

As well as engaging with other accounts, you can encourage them to engage with you by posting interactive content. Just be aware that social media algorithms in recent years have become a lot more focused on detecting spam accounts. One way they do this is by analysing what percentage of an account’s followers regularly engage with its posts.

This means that you should keep your interactive content specific to your niche. So rather than, say, giving away an iPad or a television - which just about anybody would want - you should give away experiences or equipment specific to your business. That way, the people who enter your giveaway are more likely to be ‘your kind of people’, and continue to engage with your content once the giveaway is done. 

Polls and questions
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all allow you to create and share polls and questions with your followers. Whilst ostensibly collecting people’s opinions on a matter, this content also directly drives engagement and gives your followers a sense that they have a stake in your business. 

Give away a free experience at your centre or a piece of equipment in exchange for boosted engagement. A standard format for social media giveaways is to ask your followers to enter by commenting on your post, sharing it in their feed, and tagging one or two friends to share the prize with. 

Multi-image posts
Posting multiple images at a time on Instagram and Facebook will pique your followers’ curiosity and encourage them to scroll or click through to see more content.

interactive social media content

We hope this article offered you some insight into growing your social media following organically. If you’re looking for advice about where to get started with social media, check out our article - Which social media platform is right for my business?

Take a look at the eola Academy for more tips and tricks. For all the latest updates on eola, follow our Instagram business page. 

Read more

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5 benefits of social media for experience businesses

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Which social media platform is right for my business?

what to post on social media and why

What to post on social media and why

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